The past year has felt like a money hemorrhage. About a year ago, my car needed replacement before I had saved the purchase price for the next one. I borrowed money. I had not had a car payment in about five years.
I should have waited longer to start the kitchen remodel. Mid-project, my cabinet installer had a heart attack and my cost for that part of the project doubled. (He’s OK now, just going much slower than before.)
There has been the once-every-four-years band trip to Disney ($850 per band member–I’m paying for one, their dad is paying for another.) And so on……
This past week is a case in point. Last Saturday, while I drove across the central Illinois countryside between the state cross-country meet in Peoria and the Illinois Music Educators Association band concert in Macomb, beloved youngest son was playing computer games on the laptop–and broke the left click on the mouse. SIGH. Beloved daughter’s saxophone needed a tune-up. I have already paid for minor repairs on her clarinet, the school’s baritone saxophone that middle son plays and youngest son’s snare drum. I have actually created a line item in the budget for instrument repair. Wednesday, a part blew off my car as I was driving down the road (passenger side roof molding.) Also, this week, we have spent $56 on craft supplies for items for the Latin Club convention this weekend.
The absolute worst money drain this week, though, was the beautiful bicycle that beloved daughter got for her birthday in September, the bike that she rides to school every day, was stolen from the school grounds while she was in class.
And here is my dirty, dirty secret: I haven’t paid for it yet. I bought her bicycle with my credit card, and I haven’t paid it off yet.
I did not have a credit card from the years 2001 through 2009 by choice. I only got one because I was told it would ease international travel when we went to Paris. Buying a new car last fall emptied out my big emergency fund. The kitchen debacle created about $3,000 of credit card debit.
I still have my $1000 emergency fund. I have been faithfully putting $1000/month into the kid’s college fund and $667/month into my IRAs. But the credit card debit is really bugging me. So–here is my new challenge–I will not spend money on anything frivolous until it is paid off. I will blog daily about my successes and failures. I will post every single cent I spend. I hope that being accountable to you all will keep me on task. Feel free to comment about money spent. How you would do it differently (your idea of frivolous may be different from mine), encouragement (I may need a lot of that) or just random ideas about spending less.
Thank you in advance.
Here are the disclaimers (there are always disclaimers):
1) I will spend $100 on each child (includes DIL) for Christmas
2) I will continue to get my hair colored
3) I am allowed up to $70/month for wine.
Here is how I did today:
Repair to beloved daughter’s alto saxophone $46.68.
Repair of Honda’s roof molding $0.00 (still under warranty)
More tiles and grout for the Latin Club mosaic project $12.40.
Winter clothes for the boys (coat, hat, gloves) $63.27 two items on sale for $12.39 off.
Household items (cleaning product, batteries for smoke detectors, toothpaste [$1 off coupon], hair conditioner [$1 off coupon], 4 wine glasses, paper lunch bags) $31.80
Christmas cards $7.56
Total spent today: $166.79