Monday, November 14, 2011

Mistakes are not tragedies...

"Mistakes are not tragedies. Please higher power, let me learn from them". I am feeling sick. I have known this fortnight that I was pulling out the credit card more often than was reasonable. Especially since we have a strict household rule that the credit card is just for emergencies. REAL emergencies, like, haven't built up enough savings but someone needs critical pain relieving dental work. Not, oh my, theres no good food in the house and we have no money till pay day.
Usually I am so good. I don't do debt! It's my cardinal rule for myself. But with the concert just over yesterday, I kept pulling out the credit card to pay for little things that seemed so necessary. At least $100 on takeaway in the last fortnight (takeaway is another thing I don't "do"). New pair of shimmer stocking for Miss M because I left her old ones at home and we live too far to be ducking home to get them ($25) Oh, and a pair for someone else who also forgot (another $25). Munchies and a crate of water for backstage ($14). Fabric to whip up a couple of troll doll wigs ($50). $34 on fabric for our photo of the month (more on that later) because I didn't pay attention to the price and the lady had cut it already before I realised and I was too embarrassed to say. $311 on dreamworld tickets because I had a 15% off voucher and we are going anyway in January. Some of that is for another family.
There is so much more. I am so disgusted with myself, especially since so many of these costs were 100% avoidable if I planned better, which I normally do. Takeaway? Forgotten stockings? What is wrong with me? I am on maternity leave, and while I realise that my gorgeous little Lolly does take up alot of time and attention, being home during the day, I should have my act together better than this. Usually I am juggling the Christmas rush at work when the concert comes around.
The end result is: $853.11. I know alot of people who would roll their eyes at that amount. It wouldn't seem like much to them. But it feels like a tragedy to me, because I don't have the means to easily repay it. There is no room in my budget for a monthly credit card payment.
So, game plan time. No point continuing to smack myself around.
1. Calculate how much money other people will be repaying me for credit card purchases on their behalf
2. Take the cost of our dreamworld tickets from the eBay holiday fund. That one at least feels like a decent expense since I have raised the money and planned for it anyway.
3. Check which of our bills are paid far enough ahead that they could not be paid for at least a month (I transfer payments weekly and often end up months ahead).
4. Completely empty the week-by-week account to make a small payment to the CC. We have full petrol tanks, and there is food in the house. We.will.manage.
5. Remove credit card from my wallet. Even a real emergency should leave me time to get the credit card from home to deal with. Day to day pretend emergencies I will just have to deal with the proper way. Do.Without.
All that brings me down to $359.61. Better. But still not OK. I have given myself a deadline of 1/12/2011 to find a way to pay it, or it comes out of the holiday fund, which was only skimpy in the first place so it will leave us very tight for the holiday. Hopefully I can skim the weekly grocery bill a little this month by planning well.

I'm not happy with myself today, but the shock of logging onto the credit card site and seeing that disgusting balance will teach me a lesson. My family will do without fun things/food/activities this month as a result of my spending recklessly. Back to the business of being myself.
Have ever squandered your money as badly as me? Can you make me feel better? In case you were wondering, the opening phrase is a line from an AA scene in a Ringer episode I was watching last night. Not sure if they use it in real AA meetings or not, but I liked the line.

4 comments:

  1. I hate how all the little amounts add up so quickly!

    Credit cards are evil! We use ours fairly regularly but make sure that we can pay it back in full at the end of every month to ensure no interest needs to be paid..

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  2. I admire that this isn't a regular occurance for you like it is for me! I believe being organised is the key to being frugal!

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  3. I wish I was so disciplined Aneets. I think the concept of living on a credit card and paying it off each month is fabulous, I completely see the benefits of having salaries sitting in the mortgage in waiting. We just do not have the right mindset for it :( Completely there with Wyl on being organised - so many of this fortnights expenses are because I forgot to plan

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  4. i have learnt the hard way just like you my sweet sil on how to use my cc wisely (only recently too). BUT my biggest flaw wasnt using it in person it was using it online. to buy the "little things" that add up so quick. now we are paying the penalty and well im affaid to say im still paying off about 5000k but i have a plan and its working. this time next yr i will have no money on my cc fingers crossed.

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