Looking over what I did with my money this month, I'm... shocked?
I think that's what it is. But, in truth, I shouldn't be surprised at all.
Confession -- since I paid off my credit card and am officially credit card debt free, for some reason, I thought that gave me license to use my other credit card to pay for purchases I knew would be in my budget and, thus, I could pay off in full at the end of the month.
No, DH, no.
So let me tell you what happened. Everything I spent, I put into my spending spreadsheet. I accounted for every dollar. I knew exactly how much money I would have left by the end of the month.
It looked like I had plenty of cash. My checking account was thick (well, thick for me!) and so was my regular savings. I used my bonus to replenish my emergency fund. So I had money!
Because I was using another credit card that I didn't check frequently, the balance was slowly building on that card. All the money in my checking account was already spoken for. It wasn't "extra."
In fact, it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to have extra because I still put my monthly $600 on my card this month, like I had been doing. It wasn't like I suddenly had that $600 available, free and clear.
I couldn't understand it. I spent the last three years teaching myself about money and debt, publicly listing my foibles and my triumphs in a blog and preaching the gospel of Debt Hateration to anyone who bothered to listen.
So why the heck was I doing the same silly things?!
I learned a WHOLE lot about money and I thank God for the knowledge. But I still HATE dealing with money. I didn't like it back when I was making a mess of my finances and I don't like it now. I don't really like talking about money -- not about money as an exercise or a topic. Even now, to me, money is a means to an end. I couldn't care less about the money itself.
I still am not motivated by money. Seeing money grow in savings or investments is the next goal in my financial journey, but, I'm not going to lie, I'm not excited about it. Saving for the sake of saving does not excite me... not right this minute it doesn't.
I think that's why I've been acting up this month. It was like I did back when I was deep in debt. I would work so hard to pay down so little that it got frustrating. Sometimes I wanted to "rebel" and spend just for the sake of breaking free of the discipline. But then, I always felt guilty because all I was doing was postponing my goal.
So now, it's like I'm thumbing my nose at my card. "I paid you suckas off! You work for me now biatches!" But, duh, it won't be like that for long if I totally slack on the discipline I spent years building.
I made some decisions. NUMBER ONE -- the cards are gone. All but two have been cut up and I put those away. So long as they're not in my wallet, I don't use them (I noticed that when the cards are out of site, they're out of mind for me. My problem was that I continued to carry the AMEX. Why? No idea.)
NUMBER TWO -- yes I said I was on financial vakay for the rest of May, but I need to really consider my passions and find some new goals for myself and my cash, otherwise, it's just going to burn through my pockets.
Now, don't get it twisted, being in debt scared and sickened the bejeebus of me so much that I'm not gonna backslide like that! But, why just stay where I am when I can finally get ahead? Now that's motivating.