Week 2.3: Well, That Was Predictable

This week, I managed to bust three of my four discretionary envelopes. The fourth one is the dog’s and that’s been depleted since the beginning of the month. I spent a lot of time with some pretty cool babies, and running around so much is not conducive to eating at home and tracking each dollar. I did some fancy accounting this week but basically I need to be benched till October.

Groceries: $19.41, which includes money spent on dog food. We ran out and the little guy has to eat. He doesn’t know it’s not October. This envelope is now overdrawn by $1.69, so we are on a Pantry Challenge till October 1st. It won’t actually be challenging. We have plenty of food in the house and our CSA comes every Wednesday.

Monique: I spent $72.43 this week on discretionary things for which I will take personal responsibility. You may recall much ado about my envelope being consumed by a rather large vet bill, but I forgot that I had previously borrowed some money from my envelope to pay for tuition (which is normally set aside in another envelope, but it was more than I anticipated this semester), planning on paying it back once I got my mid-month pay. So I did that. And then I spent it all. I took some food into the hospital for one of the new sets of parents; I had to get a birthday gift for a kid in my son’s class (this would ordinarily come from his envelope, but he didn’t have enough); I got some takeout coffee and I bought myself a fall-smelling candle. My envelope is now overdrawn by $9.19.

The Kid: $13.50 this week, mostly on school supplies. I am doing really well on my quest to keep his entire supply list under $20. He also wanted a fall-smelling candle and I was not in a position to refuse. His envelope is now overdrawn by $3.26.

The Dog: Still zero, other than taking from the grocery envelope for his food. We’re not due at the vet again for a couple more weeks.

Savings/Goals: I heard something this week that, while I’ve certainly heard it before, made sense to me for the first time: Pay yourself first. My goal has always been to pay off debt at the fastest rate possible, but I have all these other expenses that will inevitably come up in the meantime. I find myself scrimping on other things to avoid going further into debt, and I feel like I’m always having cashflow problems. This week, I decided to shift my focus to filling all of my annual and short-term goal envelopes as my first priority, while continuing to make my required payments on existing debt. Once the envelopes are full (which will take $10,100), I can pivot back to throwing whatever I can at those debt balances without worrying about property taxes or tuition or car maintenance. As of today, I have $1,580.70 of $10,100 saved.

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This week’s takeaway: Cute babies are a distraction from pretty much anything ever but we’ll forgive them.

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