Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Spending Triggers

My economic stimulus check is here and spent. And that is NOT a good thing. My original plan was to put $300 in savings/EFund, use $150 for clothes and save $150 for a weekend trip at the end of the month. Instead, I've pretty much blown through the whole check.

What did I spend money on?

$180 on clothes.
$200 to repay back a friend who loaned me some money for my real estate fees.
$60 out of the ATM spent on crap.
$125 on hobby expenses.

That comes to $565 meaning I have $35 left to go into my E Fund. Pathetic, really pathetic. I had budgeted the clothes, so I'm not too torqued over that, I went a little over budget but got some much needed new clothes that will last a long time. I was not finding clothes at my local consignment and thrift shops and said to myself, just buy what you need. Sometimes you have to buy retail! The money spent on clothes was done guilt free.

I was loaned $600 by a friend to get my real estate fees covered way back in January. Since the market has been so slow and I have no upcoming sales (or any real estate related income). I wanted to start to repay the money. This money was a loan/gift, it came from an old friend who out of the blue gave me the money with no set repayment date until I sell my first house (and that is in writing from him to me). I wanted the "bill" gone, so I sent him a check, which, I might add, he cashed pretty quickly, like the day he got it.

I have no explanation as to why I felt the need to spend $185 on hobby expense and misc. I just went out and bought crap with money from this check instead of budgeting into my monthly expenses, which would have been the smart thing to do. I have some upcoming medical bills that need to be paid from my last round of doctor visits (things not covered by my insurance), I need to do an oil change in the Escape before I take off on a mini break the end of the month and I will need some additional cash for the trip as well.

Part of why this outflow of cash happened is because of the following reasons.

1) I got my economic stimulus check.
2) I covered my car payment with my extra work and did not have that payment hanging over my head.
3) I've picked up some mortgage photo work (like 6 properties in the past week alone, that's two tanks of gas).
4) I deposited the check to my E Fund checking account instead of my credit union because that bank was closer to me than the credit union.

I was feeling flush with cash and I spent it. What would have been the smarter thing was to stick it into my credit union savings account instead of my "so-easy-to-use-the-debit-card-emergency fund-checking account". I had that debit card in my wallet for some reason and I used it. I usually only carry it when I have to travel long distances and may need access to that account, that was not the case this weekend. I was fairly local. Had I put the check directly into my credit union account, I doubt I would have blown through $385. I would have split the deposit and still made the $200 payment back to my friend.

I guess I did exactly what the government intended to do with the stimulus check, which was to spend it on consumer goods. My plan was to save it. I HAVE to get over that I've got cash flush feeling and remember I have upcoming bills to pay. Had I not gone crazy go nuts, I would have met my goal of $2000 for my Emergency Fund like today.

Yes I am kicking myself, I know better. I know that I have flush with cash feeling and I need to get better about recognizing it and I need to think three times before spending my moola. So close, yet so far, I feel like I sabotaged myself and undid a lot of fiscal re-training I've been working on.


Fabulously Broke said...

Other than the $185, the rest were justifiable. Paying a debt back is really important, especially to a friend...

Don't feel too bad. It was only $185, not $18,500...

And besides, you know better for next time. :) I do that too when I get my paycheque which is why I budget and MAKE SURE that the day I get the cash, I look at my sheet and I pay who needs to get paid FIRST before I look at the balance with all the cash in there.

pennypincher said...

Don't kick yourself too hard. We all have setbacks. I wanted to save my entire stimulus check into my emergency fund and ending up blowing the entire thing of new suits for my upcoming job. Life happens.

Bouncing Back said...

FB you are 100% correct, paying back friends is key and had to be done.

Pennypincher: life does happen and I have to remember that as well.

And yup, I'm sure glad it was only $185 and not $1,850 or $18,500...