Budgeting, Once Again

I have a confession. 

I haven't budgeted since the middle of the summer.

As someone who talks about how important it is to have a budget, it is embarrassing to share that. 

I've written before about building a bedroom for my son, something that I couldn't wait any longer to do. He was already nearly 13 and sharing a room with his two sisters, 8 and 10, and he needed his own space already. And I could only do it in the non rainy summer because in order to build it I needed to store the things that were in the stairwell outside during the construction. 

But the summer was already an expensive one. I had promised my children to give them an enjoyable and meaningful summer and though I tried to keep costs down, the cost of the outings did add up. 

Then I got into a car accident and totalled the car (not my fault), but was naive enough that I ended up paying a large chunk of money to the owner of the car even though I shouldn't have, and that didn't help my finances. 

But despite those large expenses, the room still needed to be built. And while it was far cheaper than paying someone to do the construction for us, it still added up. By the time I was finished with the expenses of the room, I had not only depleted my emergency fund and the money I'd set aside for building the room, I also ended up needing to take money out of the money I'd set aside to buy my ex out of our house. And because of the time and energy spent on building the room, I wasn't able to work so much.

Basically, I wasn't in great shape financially.

And then I went through a few months of an emotional and physical breakdown (building the bedroom was not good for my body) where I was barely able to work. So my finances didn't catch up to where they were before the summer.

I was terrified to see what my financial situation was. I spent what I did, trying to keep costs down, checking sporadically how much money I had in the bank, but didn't calculate things or keep a detailed budget because I was sure I would hate what I saw and freak out. 

Then I was approved for disability, so got a small chunk of money which got me out of that hole I was in. Because of inertia and having gotten out of habit of budgeting, I wasn't tracking my income and expenses even when things were a little less scarily tight.

But today, I saw a post about starting off the new year right with budgeting. And I am opposed overall to new years resolutions since I don't think they generally are great for people for a variety of reasons.

However, I needed to start budgeting again, and doing so at the beginning of a month is a convenient time, so took this as a call to action and finally went over my finances and updated my budget, and hopefully will track all my income and expenses now. 

Who knows how long it'll be until I fall off the bandwagon? All that matters, though, is that I get back on, even if it takes about 5 months to do so....

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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