Okay, first of all, this budget thing is a fabulous idea. Why the hell did it take me so long to balls up and do it?
I’m a competitive person and love structure and a challenge. Um, hello? That is everything a budget is about. Or, at least everything MY budget is about.
So, this December I finally extended the challenge of a budget to myself and accepted said challenge from myself. I not only followed the budget, I beat it. See what I mean about competitive?
I set out to spend $2000, the amount I thought I normally spent, although realistically it was always a few hundred over, and as of December 31st I actually spent less. I am kinda awkwardly excited about this. Tracking my spending for the last few years has really made me think about my spending, but making and following a budget was empowering.
The thing is, I didn’t feel like I spent my money any differently than I had in the preceding months. I might have said no to myself when otherwise I would have said, “why not?” but I’m not worse off for it. I’ve actually forgotten about whatever little things I wanted to buy here or there.
So, since I’m new to this whole budget thing, during the last week of the month, I was haunted by one question. What do I do with the “excess”? I probably should have had a plan for this because there’s no way I would have spent exactly $2000, that would really freak me out actually. Perhaps my thought was that there was no way I’d be able to spend UNDER it at all.
I thought of many things…e-fund, wedding fund, retirement fund, extra payment for my credit card or school loans. And okay, I may have thought about clothes or taking myself to the movies.
I’m sure there’s a right answer, but without enough time to think about how I’m prioritizing my goals, I made an extra payment on my credit card and have the rest hanging out in my checking account and will eventually move it to my e-fund. And I vowed to come up with a plan for my overage next month!