October Budget Buster

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What a disastrous month it has been for my budget. I’m usually not so doom and gloom, but my goodness! Our finances need a break.

Despite some non-recurring, high expenses in September, we finished the month really strongly in the black and earning $2,500 more than we spent. We had an out of state wedding which meant lodging, eating out, gas, tolls, a gift, hair & make-up, on top of getting a new dress. Therefore, despite going over budget, I consider September to be a success because we had some serious expenses to contend with. But the glow did not last long as October came in swinging, taking names, kicking ass and stealing my lunch money.

October is both my and my mom’s birthday month (we are 2 days apart). However, gifts and 2 birthday steak dinners in 1 week aren’t enough to set us back. We are fortunate enough to have multiple sources of income. However, this particular month of October 2016, also happens to be when my husband’s younger brother was getting married. And that’s right: out of state. Since it’s his brother, my husband was also a groomsman, meaning that we had to spring for a tux despite the perfectly well-tailored and expensive suits he has hanging in his closet. I remember when I got the call from the groom saying: “we are on our way to pick up the tuxes and the store manager said he hasn’t paid yet. He’s not picking up his phone.” Sure, here’s my credit card number.

Then there was the hotel. 2 days.

The gift.

We had to eat and put gas in the car.

Do you have anxiety yet? Well, it gets worse.

We go home after the wedding to find out skylight shades in the great room broke. It was just hanging there, swinging. My husband is very bright and pretty handy, but given that the ceiling is 10+ feet tall, I wasn’t going to risk an injury to save some money, so we called a company. The quote? $2,000.

I just checked my budget app and not only did we run over budget, we spent $600 more this month than we made.

I’m ready for this month to be over. There’s way too much month left at the end of my money.

(Jokes aside, this shows the importance of having a solid cushion, both month to month from an income perspective, and a savings point of view. If a month like this happened to anyone living paycheck to paycheck, it could have been a catalyst for getting into debt or the final straw that breaks the debt camel’s back. At least one would hope that people on the brink of financial disaster would be less frivolous with their money, carpooling to the wedding and crashing with acquaintances rather than paying for a hotel. But they didn’t get that way by being mindful of money so maybe my statement still stands. In any case, for me this is a frustrating stumble that will make me even more motivated to tighten up for the 2 months left in the year. But it is by no means going to unravel my year since this situation is the exception for us rather than the norm. I look forward to making a positive year-end update!)

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