More Money, More Problems

I had prepped this in February but forgot to post it. I thought I’d share anyway as this has been a problem recently. I’m afraid that I’ll pay off my debt but not have ‘enough’ money to do all the things I want. I think I’m afraid of falling back into debt once we clear out of it.  I am feeling better about my spending right now and so far the month has been good.

I started the year off increasing my savings so that I could pay for a car expense without using credit. This was a significant increase as I went from setting aside $50/month to $220/month. My thought was that I’d have a lean two months and then revert to my original savings plan in March.

I’ve begun planning my March budget so I did that and found that I had some money leftover. I don’t know about you but I find if I’ve got too much ‘extra’ I not only blow it on silly things but I end up dipping into credit. Also if I have money leftover I thought I should be putting it toward a savings lines as the first two months have gone rather well. So I took a look at my car line again.

ML & I anticipate being in the market for a new vehicle in 2 years. Based on our current lifestyle, as well as our wants and comfort level, a used version of the vehicle we want will most likely be around $30,000. That’s a lot of money to save in 2 years! Frankly in spite of how good I’m doing with getting out of debt that figure scares me. We’d need to sock away $1,250 a month to get it. I’m going to tell you right now that I can’t save without scrimping and allocate that kind of money to a single savings line.

With this in mind I re-upped my savings to $220, well if felt like a noose. I would then have to not go out for dinner with friends to celebrate my birthday and cancel a visit to see a friend who has flown in as the gas would be too much. Though not earth shattering those sacrifices felt like too much. Frankly I had made plans for March counting on having an extra $170.

So I looked at my budget again. I took out the expenses I had put in because I had the money:

  • Cancel the trip to the salon to get my eyebrows done. I’m perfectly capable of doing my own
  • Opt out of the night out with friends that we don’t particularly enjoy being with
  • Take out the extra padding I put into groceries, we’ve been doing just dandy spending the amount in January and February

When I looked at the budget critically these weren’t hard to do but in the moment they were terrifying. How in the world did we make it through the first two months?

In the end I’ve compromised. In March I’ll put $150 toward the car care/replacement fund so I can still do some of the things I’d like. By May my aim is to increase that savings to $200.

Have you had this feeling when you’ve seen a small increase in your salary?

 

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10 thoughts on “More Money, More Problems

  1. GeorgieMoon

    I so admire you! You must be really strong willed to be able to stick to your plans. We just bumble along week by week and hope to get to the end of the month without too many monetary disasters!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! I think another word is stubborn :D.
      Dont let me fool you! There is a lot of bumbling but I do weekly checks which help me adjust if needed.
      Feeling like this goal is getting close to achievement is helping.

      Like

  2. I think having a little bit of limitation is good to challenge you to be creative in cutting down unnecessary expenses/find more frugal alternatives, but always having a strict limit will burn you out. It’s a balancing act eh…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Totally agree with Jess above. I feel like I am constantly on a tight rope with my budget/bills/spending. Unfortunately, because of my past mistakes, my tightrope walk has no safety net below. A used car with a value of $30K? Wow, that must be some car! My recent car shopping shocked me by the cost of cars and I managed to get buy with a very nice, like new used car for $8500, thanks to Craig’s list. You are smart to save ahead to get the car you want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel as though im balancing fairly well right now but i started looking at the future and got myself worked up.

      $8,500 is amazing!!
      I had purchased a new car 8 years ago for $24,000. My mechanic describes it as “flukey” so I’m nervous about not buying from a dealership or purchasing anything that’s older than 2 years since the warranty was a great help! The $30G is the top number I found for the vehicle we both liked. I figured if I put that number down we’ll get something under it but be prepared.
      I’m calling it a car when in reality I drive a car now but we’re exploring moving to an SUV. We’ll see what happens in 2 years. Who knows the current car may surprise us and just keep on chugging!
      The deal we have is that we’re not purchasing until we absolutely need to I.e. the car costs more to maintain than it would to upgrade.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My first instinct with extra income, is to put it in the bank. And for years i did this. But its more reasonable to reward yourself for the effort in some way. So i try to do this in a guilt-free way. I think you do a great job! Like yourself, I have trimmed back things I used to outsource, like coloring my hair in favor of spending on a good hair cut and coloring at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For many, budgeting and eating cause similar problems. We budget for cost and calories but remain focused on short term goals. Although this is a great place to start, breaking long term habits require different patterns of thinking. We can’t rely on patterns of yesterday that initiated our problems to somehow create different future outcomes.
    Sometimes we need to focus on greater discipline OR change the time frame and methods for achieving the BEHAVIOR. It is the emotional mindset that usually acts as the culprit interfering with our success. Focus on changing the mind set and see the methods fall into place. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

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