A Teacher’s Day In The Life (15): The Budget, Month Two

Ugh.  I’m failing here.  I know we have no money, so I don’t even look at it.  Avoid, avoid, avoid.

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I’ve been better this month about keeping track of where our food money goes.  That’s the hardest category for us because we love our little treats, like ice cream and chips and dip.  I know we’re over budget there, so I’ve been trying to keep track of what’s cheapest where.  I have lists in my phone of the prices so I can compare as I shop.  It sometimes means that I go to two stores every week, but we make it work.

I’m still not using the Good Budget app like I should, and I still have a pile of receipts on the counter.  I’m looking for other ways to manage this.  This week I’m going to try to put the spending in every day after dinner while the baby plays with her books.

It all just feels so overwhelming.  And, again, since I am very aware that we have nothing and potentially not enough money coming in every month depending on my husband’s bonus payout, I feel like I’m defeated before I even start.  So what’s the point?

Here’s the thing: I know I need to just do it.  Yes, I’m aware I said that last time.  But it’s hard.  I get scared, and I just want to run away.  Things snowball in my brain really quickly – you know, you feel like one thing is going badly and then, before you know it, everything is awful and you can’t seem to win?

Maybe it would help to focus on tiny wins, like the baby is currently napping – win!  I actually cleaned the toilets this weekend – double win!! I’m almost finished with a book proposal I’ve been working on for four years – WIN!

Things are definitely not all bad, but my brain sure is tricky.  I wish I had more of a natural talent for this money stuff.  It feels like, no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to make myself cooperate.  I’m an excellent planner.  I know exactly what I need to do.  I just don’t follow through.  The kicker is that I know I could develop the habit and my brain would adjust accordingly.  The trouble is getting started and making it a habit to log our expenses and use our money wisely instead of letting it scare me away.

I could do it.  I could be a financial rock star.  But the debt – all that debt is scary and smells of failure.  Why didn’t I pay it off when I was living with my parents with no other expenses??  It’s things like that that make me wonder who let me be an adult.

On the other hand, I am not that same person I was when I was 22, and, if I need to get better at this money thing, then that is what I will do.  I mean, the wellbeing of my family kind of depends on it, right?  Next time, accountability partner, I will have tracked all my expenses every day so I know exactly where our money is going.