Some people make their own granola from scratch and grow every living thing possible in their backyard garden. These people, bless their hearts, save money and grow their own food. They brew coffee at home probably too. Jerks.
Most days I like who I am. But today I wish I were some people. I’d have granola in my bag right now. And I wouldn’t have this crushing feeling that I’ve spent ridiculously this month.
I made a goal of opening my bank account at least once a day. Granted, this objective was created because of the sinking, distressed feeling I feel every time I do open my bank account…even when there is nothing to worry about at all. I think I developed the mousetrap feeling in college and early working days. You remember those days when you’d open your online account and it would say $-0.01? And then you would go into a blind panic and return the new shampoo you bought from Target to get yourself into the black again.
For some reason this feeling has not dissipated after college–though I’m much more comfortable financially than I was previously. The result is that I open my account very rarely and therefore keep really poor track of how I spend my money and the coffee fairy has visited about $100 too often this month.
I decided it was high time to invade the fearful Mordor of budgeting and forever throw the ring of overspending into the fires from whence it came. My precious. Cough.
So Mint.com. That’s a thing. I signed up and let them have my banking info (yikes). All of the sudden I’m faced with my average spending per month and bars and graphs and pie charts of every thing I’ve been spending my money on each month.
Reality smacked me in the face and didn’t apologize for the sting.
How can I spend that much on coffee every month?
How can I not have realized that my restaurant budget is way off track?
Gah, truth hurts. Can’t I just live in the dream world of swipe, swipe I pay all my bills on time but not preparing for the future at all?
I set up a budget. And downloaded the app on my phone. And set up email alerts when my coffee budget is dangerously close to extended. I think secretly I just like living on the edge; the excitement of not knowing whether I’ll have enough for that Europe trip or to have a down payment for my new car. It’s like a game of Jekyll and Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is slowly making headway on one credit card while Hyde goes to Anthropologie and buys a new shirt.
So here are my budget goals people. Loud and proud.
1. Check my bank account and food/coffee budget daily.
2. Save at least 10% of my income per month.
3. Stick to the amounts per month and say no when I’m close to being over.
4. Ignore the feeling of being trapped in a basement financially chained to the rules.
5. Set up a weekly coffee limit…tomorrow. No. Right now. I promise.