As far as money goes, August was a financial massacre. I spent three times my budgeted amount. If you’re curious how such a thing happens, let me show you. I am not in any way going to attempt justifying what happened last month. It was pretty much a perfect money mess martini- shaken, not stirred.
The Money Mess Martini Recipe
1 part Irresponsible Spending
- There’s no way around this. When money matters go bad, there’s always something wrong with the way you spent your money. I didn’t track my spending on an almost daily basis the way I did in July. 21% of my original budget went to fast food alone while another 37% went to restaurants. That should give you a pretty picture of the kind of irresponsible spending I’m talking about here. For me, food is a complete money drain.
1 part New Job
- Starting a new job often brings new expenses, especially in the first month when unforeseen necessities crop up. Take for instance the unexpected switch in transportation costs. I have to take the train to work now versus driving in. While this should bring a significant drop in gas expenses, it is yet to be determined if it will save me, cost me, or pretty much balance out. Either way, 27% of my original budgeted amount went to footing the monthly passes and the in-between days since I started my new job mid-month. Throw in the simple fact that I didn’t own one pair of decent walking dress shoes evidenced by my swollen and blistered feet the first week at work, and the new job related expenses kept climbing.
1 part Medical Bills
- Thanks to changing jobs, my medical insurance is a thorny issue at the moment (I’m facing two monthly COBRA payments of $1100 right now). Because I knew it’d be in a state of limbo, I took care of the most pressing medical issue I had before me—my vision. And so I shelled out 39% of my original budget to pay for very uncomplicated glasses and an eye exam. Yup, this is with medical insurance “benefits”.
1 part Problematic Ex-Husband
- ExMutant and I have weird vehicle registration issues. Even though both vehicles are currently registered to both of us, I appear on his vehicle registration first. So when ExMutant decided to run lots and lots and lots of tolls and not pay for them, I got the tickets. And when he failed to make payments on the bargained amount the judge came up with, my license got suspended. In August, 82% of my original budgeted amount went to fixing my license. By the way, he went and screwed it up again and there is currently a pending suspension order on my license which if he doesn’t pay by October 4th, will cause my license to be suspended yet again. Is everyone taking notes on the millions of things not to do MutantSupermodel is teaching you? Hope so kids. In case you need it spelled out clearly for you, make sure your name is never listed on a vehicle registration you do not drive. By the way, I should also add ExMutant is problematic in a financial aspect because he never has the money to pay for things upfront. The only money he ever has is his monthly child support bill. Everything else goes on the “I’ll pay you back” tab which is nearing $7000. He was supposed to pay me $2000 of that about three months ago and then pay $200 a month. Has not happened.
Dash of Software Glitch
- As if all of the above wasn’t enough to complicate my month, I had a really stupid glitch in my tracking spreadsheet. To put it simply, I wasn’t summing all of the rows. So I kept adding transactions and the amount of money I had left never changed. I didn’t notice until it was way too late. This goes to show you—when you don’t pay attention, things get nasty.
Garnish with an empty savings account and overdrawn checking account.
Shake with maddening frustration. Strain. Serve and drink in shell-shocked position.
Swear to god you’ll never do it again while you hold your head over the nearest toilet.