Mood Troughs

I’m in one! There are a few external reasons why I’m a little more anxious than usual this week, but it’s definitely playing out in money worry (as usual lately.) Objectively, I know things are just fine.

  • My net worth is not only still positive, it’s grown by a few hundred dollars from last month (and I expect it to grow another $1500 or so before the end of the month)
  • My retirement account is still tiny, but I’m making (relative to my income) nice big contributions every month, and have made it impossible to change that easily by having most of it deducted from my paycheck.
  • I have a solid plan for what to do with my income this year (debt repayment, short and long term savings, and some planned spending in the travel and car-improvement categories) and reasonable confidence that I will also have income a year from now, although I’m not quite sure where it’s going to come from yet
  •  I’ve kept my basic expenses for housing and transportation about as low as they could possibly go unless I were living at home for free
  • I’m going to be “living on last month’s income” as of August 1. (This is a YNAB thing where you save up enough money to be equivalent to an entire month’s income, so that you can use July’s income for all your August expenses, August’s income for September’s expenses, etc. It makes it easier to budget with their software, and also gives you a month’s cushion in case of things like job loss. I realized a week ago that I could manage this right now if I didn’t make a debt payment or put anything in savings during July except for the scheduled paycheck deduction for my 401(k), so I decided to just take the plunge.)

And yet, here we are, being anxious.

  • I can’t quite get my numbers to line up in YNAB vs my online bank account records, and even though the discrepancies are fairly small, they’re still worrisome. Where did I go wrong?!?!? 
  • Even though I think it’s a solid decision that will make my budgeting life easier going forward, the idea of not making a substantial debt payment in July makes me a little crazy. I want to see that slider going down, not staying stable or even going up a bit.
  • Also making me crazy: the number of not-quite-planned-for expenses that have either appeared, or are looming. These include: buying plane tickets for a wedding (and whatever expenses I incur while traveling); the electricity-related food expenses for this month; some car stuff (registering it in a new state, and it’ll need an oil change soon and possibly some more work, some of which is optional but would really improve my life, and some of which might not be optional); an unplanned trip into Nearby Really Big City that included two meals out, gas, tolls, etc); and an impending visit from a friend this weekend, which I’m really excited about but which means probably one meal out and also buying groceries to have mutual friends over for a nice meal; medical co-pays for upcoming therapist and dentist visits. I’m hoping to start a “slush” savings fund sometime this fall (separate from my emergency fund), to handle stuff like this without so much anxiety, but obviously I’m not ahead of myself enough to have done that yet.

Well, I don’t know if typing all that out made me feel better or not, but I think it does help to just share the “blah” with the universe sometimes, so…here you go, universe! You’re welcome!

4 thoughts on “Mood Troughs

  1. I can relate to not being able to line up your accounts with YNAB. I bought it on sale 14.99 (16.47 CAD) I thought about it for the longest time since it didn’t make sense to spend money on something when you are trying to save money. I have heard good things about it, it’s just not the most intuitive program or maybe it’s me. I think it’s me. I started on July 1, it’s all screwed up so now my plan it to start on August 1 anew.
    The slush fund takes some tweaking because there are always things that you forget and something else always pops up. It definitely gets depleted before it gets a chance to grow though. sigh.

    1. Yeah, I really like YNAB — it’s so pretty — but these minor discrepancies are going to drive me insane. I think I’ll do what you’re doing and just reboot it on August 1, and try to be more obsessive about for a while 🙂

      I would LOVE to have a nice big slush (as distinct from emergency) fund, but I have a feeling that’s not going to happen anytime soon because you’re right, something *always* comes up!

  2. Woohoo to having big retirement goals, getting everything going right, and getting a month ahead! I am half a month ahead, but am slowly trying to get all the way ahead. I could do it just by rearranging part of my emergency fund, but since I don’t use that software, I am fine with the way I currently do things.

    I totally understand that even when things are all going as expected (it’s a boring update… things are chugging along) it doesn’t feel awesome. It should, but it doesn’t. Go dance all silly in the living room – I do that to try to shake away the funk. It might only be temporary, and I look like a goof, but I fake it until I make it sometimes.

    1. Yeah, it’s all mostly accounting fiction — the money is the money, but I think it’ll make my life a little easier to just declare all my July income “for August.” I would love to be even further ahead. Maybe sometime in the future 🙂

      Dancing is an awesome idea. I’m going to substitute a bike ride I think but still 🙂 Thanks!

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