Today another workman’s comp check cleared ($721.30) and it went to the usual suspects:

Groceries/Gas/Tolls/Etc. $270
Insurance Savings $120
Emergency Fund Refill $240.48
Buffer Refill $90.82

First I would like to point out something I think is super positive. Our lifestyle/bills and income have done some criss-cross in the graph of personal finance where the last check of the month only goes toward a savings account (so we can pay insurance in full and avoid extra charges for making payments) and that’s it. We are aaaaaaaalmost able to live on three checks out of the month. In my fantasy life, I pay all the bills with one check because it’s okay to have dreams. In reality, if I could pay the bills with two checks I’d be over-the-moon excited. Hell, I’m excited now. Celebrate the small things because they add up to the big things.

I tapped into the emergency fund last week for the girls to have tennis lessons and volleyball lessons over the summer. It was $490.40 and it hurt to take that out of the emergency fund. I feel really lucky we are in a position where even though my husband is injured we can pay for summer activities. Last summer the only thing we could afford was the $88 for one kid to go to a week of camp. It helps mightily not having a $500 car payment anymore (I know that was so dumb, I’m so happy it’s behind us.) There is still an outlay of $270 coming up for swimming lessons, too, which is why I’m replenishing the emergency fund instead of paying down debt.

I’m pretty sure it’s not financially smart to choose kid’s activities over paying off debt. I’m sorry. I don’t even know if I’m apologizing to you, to me, or to the universe but I feel like an apology is somehow in order. An apology for not being committed enough, for not being “nose to the grindstone” enough. For feeling like it’s not the smart decision but still going ahead and doing it because it’s what I want for the kids.

It feels like a very selfish decision.

I also had to spend $90.82 to refill the buffer we keep in the checking account to bring it back up to $100. I took out $10 for one field trip, $10 for another field trip, $20 for the 5th grader to take with her on the field trip so she can play games, eat awful snack bar food, and ride go karts. There were also two birthday parties so the gifts for those added up to another $50. (We normally don’t spend that much on presents. One was a Nerf gun party so we had to buy a Nerf gun for our daughter to take with as well. Well, we didn’t HAVE to, we chose to because we WANTED to let her participate fully in the party.) See, again, selfish in the moment but not really best for the long-term.

Finances were so cut-and-dry when there wasn’t enough. Decisions were easier because there were way less options. Now everything feels like a big ol’ grey area. I’m not good with gray areas because I don’t have a lot of practice dealing with them.


My “perfect budget” for June has the emergency fund filled and the Macy’s card $100 away from being paid off. I am going to do my best to stick to the damn script and follow the budget! I would love to know the first week of July I could really, finally get rid of the Macy’s card balance. I didn’t expect it to take so long to pay off (do we ever?) but I can’t say I’ve regretted the new bed once. I’ll still be paying it off way before the 12-month no-interest financing ends (November) so at least I’ll pay it off fast enough I won’t be punished with interest charges.

I figure if I have trouble sleeping at night because I wasted money, at least I’ll feel like I did right by the kids and wasted money. Or something. That rings kind of hollow.

Really, I swore to myself I wouldn’t expand my lifestyle to match his income in order to be in a good position later in life. I don’t know, though, because his worker’s comp is 66% of his actual pay and I should still have some left to pay down debt so we are technically still living below our means. How much lower below your means are you supposed to live to be doing it right?

I’m going to spend the whole darn day half confused. Probably the next few months, if we’re being honest, because budgeting when you’re not talking about bare bones survival is not something I’m good at.

2016-5-26 ynab

Here are the raw numbers in the accounts. The Citi Diamond card is the dentist bill. I have it set up on a $140/mo. payment plan to pay off before the 21-month interest free offer expires. I’m sure between paying down debt and tax returns it will be paid off before then but I’m a very “hope for the best, plan for the worst” kind of person so even if I can’t pay it off in bulk, at least I won’t pay interest!

3 Comments on How We Spent It 5/26/2016

  1. We struggle with this every. Month. At the end of each month, we say to our grown-up selves, “Shit, we did it again.” Yup, in the hole. Usually just by a bit, but in the hole nonetheless. When we look at where we splurged, as we keep a to-the-penny budget, it’s always the kids, especially as they get older sports and friends are becoming their two main life-giving sources.

    Sports cost money. Friends cost even more money. Fuck if I’m going to tell my 10-year-old son, “No, kid, you can’t go out with all the other ballplayers to the movie, because it’s not in the budget.” Should I? Probably. No, most definitely. But I can’t. And I won’t. And if I die broke and alone in some state-run old person home facility where I’m riddled with bedsores and ignored for days on end, so be it. Worth every penny.

    • I can’t stop laughing. Not because you’re wrong but because man, I think the same dark thoughts. “Will tennis lessons help her socially so she can afford to get me good care when I’m older?” Is something I said OUT LOUD to a friend of mine while I was trying to decide. I don’t care if I’m wearing four year old Old Navy t-shirts I got for $6 and don’t get to do fun things outside the house but the kids didn’t ask for any of this and how can I tell them, “Mommy chooses to clean up her fuck ups from earlier in life instead of giving you a childhood with memories.” I mean, I wanted to send them to this amazing sleepover camp but it’s five grand and I was like, Okay, let’s put this in perspective. I’m not maxing out credit cards to send them to House of the Rising Pony to make friendship bracelets, I’m helping them learn to swim (aka not die in water) and putting them in sports. Sorry it took me so long to approve your comment, my youngest has a stomach bug and I had to set her up this morning with the couch, the bucket, and cartoons. Thank you so much for your comment. From my heart, thank you.

  2. Despite a lot of setbacks on your financial, you still keep your humor intact which is way much better than most people I know.

    Keep your chin up and can’t wait to read your next update 🙂

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