How NOT to manage my finances

Well, as I alluded to yesterday, control of our finances has been on hold while I finish my studies for the year. Now that I’ve actually dared to look at the figures, it’a not good … our money situation actually went backwards! It never ceases to amaze me how the moment I take my eye of the ball with our money, it all just seems to fritter away on not much at all.

To be fair, there are a few things going on at the moment. Here in Australia there is a sudden and nationally recognised trend in terms of the rising cost of living expenses. In a BAD week we used to pay $160 for groceries. In the past 6 weeks, it’s been just over $200 every week. Fresh fruit and vegetables have undergone the biggest rise, and these are a big part of our food budget. Fuel is also going up quickly, and I am finding that my budgets are probably lagging behind reality on this front. It seems obvious I need to start afresh with our budgets.

Excuses, excuses … well with that out of the way, now it’s time for the reality … Basically, our net worth seems to be about $400 LOWER after this three weeks that I have been off the radar. While I acknowledge I haven’t been working, I haven’t been paying extra repayments or saving any money either, so this is a bad outcome.

Luckily our EF is in place and we can use that to cover the shortfall. But that of course just means that the emergency fund needs to be rebuilt. As well as that, both of our cars need maintenance work and it’s nearly Christmas time. There’s no way our billpaying account will accumulate enough to cover all three of those expenses by December 25, so we can either put off the car servicing till January or have a very lean Christmas.

 I know I need to rework the budget because stepping back from this for a few weeks has made me realise that I have something of a pattern – full on saving for about 4 weeks, followed by one week where the reality hits and all the bills/expenses I pretended would be lower actually have to be paid. This leaves me feeling like I’m constantly on the debt treadmill, never actually achiewving much and having no life as well. I am going to really need to find a balance. I am going to rework the figures, with a bigger focus on saving money on expenses, and will let you know what I come up with.

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