I feel like shite
Today we overdrafted.
That's right. We were at a negative balance for about 5 minutes before overdraft kicked in and I transferred more cash over to our checking account.
So, look. I want to remove this veil of secrecy we all feel about our money. I mean, it's just money, right? I'm not telling you some deep, dark secret; I'm not telling you anything personal or disgusting; I'm not telling you anything that you, yourself, probably haven't gone through already. I'm tired of always speaking in tongues about my finances.
I want to just be honest about them. I've attempted to do that with the menu plans and my weekly financial goals.
I'm not an idiot: I have a very complex spreadsheet outlining every penny we need to spend, save, and have fun with. It's projected out until the end of the year. I can tell you exactly how much money we have left to pay on our credit cards. I can tell you which bills will automatically draft. I can tell you how much cash is left after bills are paid. I can even estimate the cost of living in another city based on city financial data and my past spending habits.
Sadly, even with all this preparation and diligence me and money are like you and your old college buddy after a long separation: you go out, think you can handle it, but end up with a raging hangover and gory details about your friend's divorce you never wanted to know rattling around in your head. In other words: I over do it and have no boundaries.
Anthony dies a little every time I say, "Um... we need to talk." Like this morning. I got a Wells Fargo notification that our account had dipped below $150. I immediately went to my online banking and checked in. Not only were we below $150, we were at exactly -$10.
What. The. Fuck.
Last I knew, we had approximately $250 in there and it wasn't supposed to go anywhere.
I checked my trusty spreadsheet and sure enough, we should have that money. The bank, however, told a different story. Our insurance had automatically drafted two days earlier than I had expected (I expected it to draft out on 4/3 (payday), but it drafted yesterday, even though it drafted 3/3 last month). So, there you go.
To make matters worse, we were supposed to have $1000 buffer (to avoid EXACTLY this), but I had spent it on tickets and hotel to Phoenix (to visit my ailing grandmother - and it's somehow important for me to include that she's "ailing" and this isn't some selfish "I'm gonna go visit my grandma, cuz I want to" kind of trip), landscaping materials, a mistaken additional $112 to Citibank instead of the City of Austin, and groceries (by the way, my $50 trip yesterday ended up being $95 for those of you keeping track).
And POOF, that $1000 is gone.
To make matters worse, I, quite literally, counted my chickens before they were hatched and spent money we are expecting from Anthony teaching a motorcycle safety class last weekend.
As a housewife, homemaker, SAHM, WHATEVER, it's my JOB to do our finances. I take it extremely seriously, and yet, I routinely get us into this financial situation. It doesn't matter that come Friday we'll have our buffer back or that we'll have plenty of cash for food and fun. The fact is that no matter how hard I try, I fail. And it's humiliating and frustrating and and and...
Anthony says that he wants to take over the finances for a while. I cringe at that. I have to have access to our monies since I'm the one spending it all the time (right or wrong). But I'm going to have to let go a little on this and see how he does it. Obviously, my way is NOT working.
And why is this all so hard to admit to? Why does everyone shroud their cash situation in such hush-hush privacy? Even people who are doing well and know what the hell's going on don't talk about it. It ruins marriages, friendships, relationships. Lottery winners lose all their friends because everyone else starts hating them for their good luck. Well, I guess everyone should feel better about themselves knowing that I'm fucking up, right? I mean, I do when I hear about the dire financial situations of others. I think, "Thank God that's not me!"
Thankfully, I haven't ruined us financially. We're still on track to be credit card debt free by mid-summer and all bills are paid, etc., but it still fucking sucks to be so damn back asswards about this. Why can't I just get this right? It's just like diet and exercise for me: I start out with incredible intentions, but then fall flat on my ass.
I feel like I'm taking such an incredible risk by posting this, too. I feel like I'm leaving myself open for criticism and judgement. I so wish this weren't my reality, but it is. And I'm willing to air my dirty laundry if for no other reason than to let others know they're not alone.
I have dozens of really great sources for being frugal: blogs, newsletters (thanks, Bri), and books. I'm not ignorant about what to do, I'm just not doing what I need to do. Just like when I have that extra helping of food. I know better, but do it anyway.
I am going to start listening to all the good advice in my big, fat brain and I'm going to let Anthony step in and help me out in this (I think that might be the hardest part of this). I'm not going to try, I'm going to do.
As the ever wise and all knowing Yoda says, "Do or do not. There is no try."
Props go out to Mommy Confessions for her confessional posts. That takes serious guts.