The Budget Blues

by Erika Torres

To say we mismanaged our budget this month would be a gross understatement. We didn’t just mismanage–we left Mr. Budget at home in a dusty box in the corner while Mr and Mrs Credit Card accompanied us everywhere we went and said nice things like “You deserve this” and “You’ve worked hard ” and pretty soon, we forgot all about Mr. Budget.

Basically, we get a big fat F this month. In red marker. With three exclamation marks. Yes, it is that bad.

The only reason I can explain our lack of budget this month is by thinking about it like a diet. You know how when you’re on a diet, you always do the best Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday? But then Thursday rolls around and you’re like “well, the weekend is almost here…” and then Friday comes, and you’re like “Oh it’s Friday! A glass of wine, or 2 or 4, won’t kill my weight loss!” And then Saturday comes, and then you might as well start over on Monday?

Well, I think that’s what happened to our budget.

We were like “oh…well, it’s almost the holidays and our budget is going to go crazy anyway, might as well get started early!” I don’t know how to explain ourselves…we had a few heavy expenses, but we budgeted for those. It was all those extra things that just kinda slipped through our fingers…And my idea of Christmas shopping involves one present for you, one present for me, one present for her, one present for me, one present for him, one present for me….see how it is???

Stop it! I see your condescending eyes on me through this computer screen! I know what you’re thinking…you’re looking at us like we’re recovering crack addicts that have fallen off the wagon. SO let me explain.

In December, we are expecting a $1500 freelance check. This check, we both agreed, would cover that brand new TV we’ve been wanting and Christmas presents. There was an incredible deal on a TV so we snatched it, even though we still don’t have that check. So how did we get the money? Mr. and Mrs. Credit Cards. But no biggie, we’re going to pay it off as soon we get the check, right?

Moving on. Then I found out that I got a new job! While I don’t like to talk about work much, let’s just say that besides getting married, this is probably the best thing that has happened to me this past year. So of course I had to celebrate, right? So I did what any other responsible 26-year-old who just got a new job would do…I called in sick the next day and Eric and I went to Disneyland!

Was Disneyland in the budget? Of course not. But I had a free ticket, and we only had to pay for Eric’s…and at $76 this was still a steal! Right?

The point is, between the second and third week of November, our budget was pretty much shot. We overspent on everything, we denied ourselves nothing. We were like two horny nuns in a strip club–we knew it was wrong, but we couldn’t say no.

Food budget? Overspent. Eric’s lunch budget? Overspent. Extras? Overspent by more than double.

The good news…and yes, there is GOOD news, is that our credit cards are still in the running to be at $1500 by the end of this month. And Eric and I have a pact going to keep each other on track.

The bad news is we’re going to have to cut back on other things to pay for those presents. Although we don’t have any lavish holiday parties to attend, and a lot of our entertainment planned for this month will be free, so that should help us out. Eric has picked up three extra shifts at work, so that helps too. However, I start the new job on the 13th, and my first full paycheck won’t be till January 8. Gulp.

We shall see… We did bad last month, but all we can do is start the diet over and do our best this month. Considering how Nazi-like I got beforehand whenever we’d screw up our budget (which just seems to be a recoccuring theme with us) I’m not too upset about anything. It’s CHRISTMAS! How CAN you be upset? And I got a new job!!! And did I mention it’s Christmas?!?!!?


City Girl December 19, 2010 - 8:11 pm

It’s the holidays, and you had a huge reason to celebrate! You’ll get back on track, I’m sure. xoxo

IntrigueMe December 6, 2010 - 8:20 pm

The more nazi you are with your budget, the more likely you are to get that big fat F!

But whatever, that’s not the important thing here…

YOU GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!!!!!!

Congrats, girl!! Glad you celebrated- as you should!!


BudgetBabe December 4, 2010 - 8:54 am

Congratulations on the new job!

And to echo what everyone else is saying, don’t beat yourself up too much about going over budget. You recognize you went over – learn from it and move on. It’s when it becomes a pattern is when you should start to analyze why it happens. You should still be allowed to have fun, even when you’re paying off debt. 🙂

If you really want a challenge, you can do what I did last year after Christmas – No Spend January. I didn’t spend a thing (outside of essentials like groceries, bills and gas) for a month and saved a bunch of money.


Good luck!

Sarah Soon-To-Be December 2, 2010 - 9:34 am

I’m laughing but at your writing, not the icky budget blunders. Sounds like it’ll all work out – maybe just not right away. Hopefully our Veggie Grill date didn’t contribute too much 🙂

Wonderful December 2, 2010 - 9:24 am

Even though I’m super jealous of you right now, I still want to say congratulations on your new job! I hope it goes well!

Sam Lorton December 2, 2010 - 12:58 am

WOW! Thank you so much for your kind words my dear. They were appreciated beyond belief. And also, thank you for commenting so I could venture over and find your lovely blog! It’s so stinkin’ cute, and Lord knows we all understand the title!!! Budgets are no fun, but how great it is to have the one you love with you!!!

Grace December 1, 2010 - 9:52 pm

It happens. Budgets can be hard to keep, especially around this time of year. I’m sure you’ll jump right back on.

p.s. City Girl said I should check out your blog. We have a lot in common!

prettylittlereckless December 1, 2010 - 8:08 pm

I know you’re working super hard at paying off your debt, but this isn’t the end of the world. Think of it as a good reminder for future months when you’ll want something then think back to Nov and be like, “ohhh yeaahhh… remember how that turned out?” Besides, you *do* deserve a treat every now and then. Heck I’m going to Vegas in January and in my head I’m FREAKING the EFF out about the balance of my CC, but I know that my mental health after that trip will make everything soooooo worth it.

Enjoy the new tv 😉 AND JOB! WEEEEE! Congrats lady!

fromshoppingtosaving December 1, 2010 - 7:58 pm

i added you to my links! 🙂

First off, you and the hubby look amazingly happy at disneyland. i think you deserve to splurge once in awhile and what other time to splurge than the holidays. You got a new job and you will be able to pay off your CCs just don’t let it happen too often. Life is too short to feel guilty about the little things. Congrats!

Jolene December 1, 2010 - 6:06 pm

YAY! NEW JOB!!! that’s awesome, so happy for you!! (rub off on me!!). As for the budget thing…while I completely and utterly applaud you for working so hard to get the debt down, there is always a time and place, IMHO for a much needed splurge and yours was this month. So, you lived a little. you’ll make up for it. Enjoy it!

Sarah @Newlywed and Decorating December 1, 2010 - 3:32 pm

Congrats on the new job! Every few months we blow our budget too but luckily most months we do better! It all evens out in the end 🙂 At least you have a budget!

Teacher Girl December 1, 2010 - 2:40 pm

You got a new job!! Are you excited? I am excited for you.

Don’t be too hard on yourselves. You’ll get back in there. And that check will come eventually.

PS. Did you get your ASSETS stuff?

Keenie Beanie December 1, 2010 - 11:04 am

Don’t beat yourself up too much… just get back on the wagon like you are planning to do. And at least the news about the month-end credit card balances is good.

But really I wanted to say is: Yay for the new job!!! Congrats.

the MRS. December 1, 2010 - 9:45 am

Well at least you are honest about your gluttony.
thats a starting point…

Ashley December 1, 2010 - 8:12 am

Congratulations on the new job! That’s awesome!

And I nearly spit out my drink laughing several times during your post… horny nuns… so funny!

Good luck getting back on track!

Mysti December 1, 2010 - 8:02 am

First off…congrats on the new job!

I think when we deprive ourselves too long, we go off the deep end. And this is what happens. Maybe you need to budget more for “fun” so that you don’t feel deprived.

I hope your $1500 check comes through so you can pay off your “fun.”

Keep on trucking….we all have our backslide!

Ali December 1, 2010 - 6:00 am

Our budge-fail month was October…both our birthdays are in that month and my hubby turned 30. Hopefully we can stay on budget for Christmas.

On a happier note…yeah for Disneyland and for your new job!!!! Congrats

brandt @ New House on the Blog December 1, 2010 - 5:23 am

There’s another piece of good news – that was last month, and now it’s a new month.

Even like dieting, if you fall off the wagon, just get right back on. Do we get another spreadsheet chart budget breakdown this month to see the damage err…see how it turned out?


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