Alternate Title: That Escalated Quickly
So, it’s been a month! Everything started off according to plan, with a nice relaxing vacation followed by a quick work trip. That was the point at which stuff started to go crazy — and I fell off the blogging map. I was going to get back to it quickly, but then more stuff happened: I went on a last-minute job interview, and my best friend started having trouble with her pregnancy and I decided I really had to go see her, even though I could only afford to take a weekend trip, time-wise.
Here’s the full disclosure part: I probably spent about $600-700 more than I had to, all told. First of all, I ended up paying for more food than I’d planned at a few points. I estimate about $200 of overage there. Then I did a really dumb thing. When I booked the tickets to go see my friend, I was exhausted from all the travel I’d already been doing, and I somehow managed to book the wrong date. OH MY GOD. I’ve never done that before — I always triple-check, and I thought I had this time, but apparently not. So that meant change fees, and also because I needed to go a week earlier than the tickets I’d booked, it was also more expensive — that’s where the rest of the overage comes from. They were going to be expensive anyway, because of the last-minute trip, but they went from “expensive, but within my travel budget” to “expensive, and even with cleaning out my travel fund and spending all my accumulated gremlins/slush money, I still am going to leave $350 on the credit card.”
I thought about hiding that, because frankly it’s really embarrassing to have made that booking mistake, but nope, we’re all about the anonymous total transparency here.
As for the debt, no big deal. I could easily have taken the $$ out of the emergency fund, but I just don’t want to: I want the EF to grow, not shrink, right now. Plus, I feel so dumb about the overspending that I want paying it off to hurt a little more! My plan is to use next month’s travel fund contribution (my normal $250) plus any extra income (I’m expecting about $100 through a combination of interest, credit card cash back, and Swagbucks), which ought to pay it off by the end of April, and then I can start refilling the travel fund plus the gremlins fund.
The upshot of all of this is that, while I thought I was going to shoot way past my $20000 net worth goal for March, I’m now not going to make it at all! But you know what: it’s ok. I’m glad I went on both trips, even though I overspent minorly on one and majorly (through stupidity) on the other. During the month, I continued to grow my retirement and emergency savings, and I have a clear plan for paying off the small debt. Plus, when my friend offered to pay for part of the tickets, I told her no, but did say that if she needed me to come out again, she could pay for those tickets, so there’s a plan in place for how to fund future travel if she continues to need help/presence.
I think I may finally feel like a financial grownup.