Confession: Our finances are a mess right now (and I’m okay with that)

I haven’t felt on top of our finances for at least a couple of months – a feeling that I don’t usually like, but have come to a weird sort of peace with for now.

First, our iPhone died randomly in California, taking with it all our US spending data (I tracked all our spending with Trail Wallet, and since we hadn’t backed up the phone in awhile, all our info was lost within the app). I have a pretty good handle on our average daily spend though, so at some point (hopefully over the Christmas break) I can finally tally up the total cost of our entire trip.

Then we got home, where I went straight back to work and T started job hunting. We stayed with my parents for a few weeks, which saved us tons (shelter, food, even some transport). But then we found a place and moved in, which meant shelling out a bunch of money, plus more spending on replacing a few household things we badly needed. With all the upheaval, plus a lot of busy weekday evenings for various reasons, we spent more than we should’ve on eating out.

With T not working, funds were tight and I dipped into our emergency fund, since my first paycheck was eaten up by all the moving expenses.

Then this week he got a job (!!!) which I will elaborate on later down the track, once he’s started and has a few weeks under his belt, and when we have a clearer idea of how it’s going. This means that we have to go shopping for basically a whole new wardrobe for him this weekend, which I imagine will cost about $1000. Ouch.

Also, my glasses broke in a Cheech and Chong-esque incident (where we literally butted heads) and will need replacing – that’s probably another $500 or so because I’m blind as a bat and need to buy the thinnest, most bankrupty lenses available so that my face can actually support my specs without collapsing in on itself.

Basically, money has been OUT OF CONTROL and I haven’t been tracking any of it. When things are in flux, it’s always terrible for our finances. But I’m okay with our slight overspending, for sanity’s sake

I’m hoping to get on top of things over the holidays, assess where we’re at and make a plan for 2014.

Going forward, my income will be the only steady one and T’s will be entirely variable, which is something entirely new for us.

Action plan: once I finish work for the year, it’s time to stop being an ostrich about things and take stock! I’m quite excited about that, nerdy as it sounds. Fresh starts always feel good.

19 thoughts on “Confession: Our finances are a mess right now (and I’m okay with that)

  • Reply Meghan December 14, 2013 at 13:28

    If it makes you feel slightly better, you are not alone. November through about Dec.7 was out of control! Then I went and bought two pairs of boots a couple of days ago while I was Christmas shopping for my Mom (I.e. my budget’s way busted and I can’t pay off the credit card this month so I might as well light it on fire). I’m seriously considering a major spending diet for January – March.

  • Reply Dear Debt December 14, 2013 at 18:58

    I know the feeling of everything being a bit nutty. My spending in November was like that and I am on a freeze now. I’ve only gone out to eat once so far. Trying to not go out or do much until Xmas. I am looking forward to the fresh start. Suffering from the holiday blahs and debt fatigue.

  • Reply adam December 15, 2013 at 01:22

    We all have bad months. Sometimes those months stretch into years. At least you are aware of the problem, and hopefully things will get back on track. Nothing better than nerding up your finances!

  • Reply The Asian Pear December 15, 2013 at 07:46

    Congrats to T with the new job! You’ve had an exciting year. It’s okay to have things be nutty. If you can’t find out about what was spent, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find it. Just know where you are now and start from fresh. Or you’ll go nutty trying to backtrack your spending.

  • Reply Michelle December 15, 2013 at 15:33

    Don’t worry about it! It will take a while to settle in and get re-organized. Take it one day at a time. You guys are getting back on track.

  • Reply Revanche December 15, 2013 at 18:49

    I’ve definitely done that – and confessed to it, I’m sure šŸ™‚ You can’t always have a tight rein on everything, it’s just not possible. But you know you’ll be able to pull it back together when you’re ready. Better than making yourself crazy over the unknown at the moment.

  • Reply Stephanie @ Six Figures Under December 15, 2013 at 19:27

    That’s so frustrating that your phone died along with all your data! Congrats on T’s job! The new year will be a great time for a new start!

  • Reply Cait December 16, 2013 at 03:21

    First off, the positive: congrats to T for finding work! That’s really exciting news šŸ™‚

    Second: I know you know this, but this is likely a “right now” phase. Travelling home, the move, the new job, etc. Once you’re both settled in, I have a feeling things will start to pan out. Purchase what needs to be purchased now, make a plan for the new year, and just be thankful you have an emergency fund to help when you need it. šŸ™‚

    I’ll admit, I’ve felt as though I’ve been failing my finances for a while now. Next month’s budget is going to look very, very different.

  • Reply Untemplater December 16, 2013 at 19:32

    Congrats on T’s new job, that’s great! I know how it feels when expenses go nuts all at once. Life is just unexpected that way. You’ll get things back in good shape in no time!

  • Reply Manda December 17, 2013 at 04:10

    My finances have been nuts in the last 2-3 months. I blame not curbing my spending impulses the way I should and just not keeping track of things as I should have. Howeeeever, I am getting things back into gear this month onwards, holiday spending be damned! So far, so good. Now if only I can stay atop my finances regularly in 2014…

  • Reply SavvyFinancialLatina December 17, 2013 at 05:02

    I think this always happens with a significant move or around the holidays. Our spending is the same! We’re moving around the holidays! Double whammy.

  • Reply Deia @ Nomad Wallet December 18, 2013 at 05:11

    You have nothing to worry about. There’s always all sorts of costs when you move, a lot of them are one-off expenses. And since you’ve both found jobs, your finances are only gonna get better from here.

    I’m curious about the “whole new wardrobe” for T. Did he get rid of all his clothes before the RTW trip or does this new job require him to wear special clothing?

    • Reply eemusings December 18, 2013 at 08:05

      This is his first white collar job (and it’s in sales). Never fear, I will go into every excruciating detail further down the track!

  • Reply Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life December 18, 2013 at 12:14

    Sh*t happens. Sometimes in one big sh*t storm. But the good news is, it doesn’t last forever and it looks like it’s turning around soon!

  • Reply KK @ Student Debt Survivor December 18, 2013 at 15:50

    I spent a lot of money this month and last. Between paying for the trip we’re taking in February with my grandparents, Christmas, and some birthdays, I’ve spent a pretty good chunk of change. I’m intrigued by your “cheech and chong” glasses malfunction, sounds exactly like something I’d do lol. I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but I’ve purchased glasses online (coastal contacts) in the past and I was really pleased with them. My eyes aren’t that bad though and I’m not sure how much the nicer, thinner glasses would be.

  • Reply Sally @ Tiny Apartment Design December 19, 2013 at 10:28

    I’m with you. It’s been a rough couple months but also a great couple months. I’m hoping the new year will get us into the flow of working more and spending less!

  • Reply Explorista December 23, 2013 at 06:28

    Fresh starts are amazing. I’m an expert on not having money, as a freelance journalist haha. I will assure you, you’ll get used to it, and you’ll learn you won’t need a lot to be happy anyway šŸ™‚

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