This summer has been amazing. The Teenpreneur Conference went off without a hitch, I visited my brother in Chicago for a week, and did all sorts of other fun things with friends. Movies, coffee, a day at an amusement park.
The fun has just been non-stop.
That is, until I did my budget a couple of weeks ago. I had been so busy having the summer of a lifetime, that I didn’t bother to do my budget every week like I normally do.
I have to admit that I panicked a little bit when I realized that I was seriously behind in many of my envelopes. My ‘spending’ envelope was in the red. And by that I mean that it was going to take me quite a long time just to get back up to zero.
Not a great place to be in when you earn your living sharing tips for people to NOT do exactly what you just spent your summer doing!
At the same time, I’m human, and I make mistakes and bad choices just like everyone else. And to be honest this has been a good reminder for me that I have to do my budget every week, no matter what.
Where did I go wrong?
First of all, I was preoccupied with the conference for the first half of the year. I was so focused on doing my best to make sure it was awesome that I didn’t plan ahead very well.
I knew I was going to Chicago in June the week after the conference. Normally I would have created a special envelope and started saving up for the trip at least six months in advance.
Did I do this? Of course not.
It wasn’t intentional, I just thought everything would work out. I also knew that I was responsible for all of my expenses for the trip. I had enough money to buy the plane ticket (thanks Frontier for reasonable prices!) but didn’t set aside enough money for paying for meals and fun stuff while I was there.
Another example of how a lack of planning can derail your budget plans involved me going to Wild Adventures with friends. We decided we would all go for the day. I eagerly agreed because it isn’t that expensive to get in.
It’s only $29 for the day so it isn’t like you are spending almost $100 just to get into the park like you would at Disney. What didn’t I think of? Food, parking fees, and helping pay for gas to get us there.
By the time the day was over I had spent almost $100 when I was thinking that it was going to cost less than $50 to go. My spending envelope was in a sad state of affairs after the trip. At least we had fun!
Between my trip to Chicago, the day at Wild Adventures, a few too many meet ups at a local coffee shop plus eating out way too much I really messed up my budget this summer. How did I fix it? I did nothing in August. Okay, I take that back. I had one outing with a friend for tea and met another friend for a taco. That was it.
It’s the price I had to pay for overspending and to get back on track.
What Do I Go From Here?
To be clear, I regret nothing. Having a spending budget of about $15 for the whole month of August was totally worth it. At the same time, I won’t be doing this again next year!
I’m really committed to making sure this doesn’t happen again next summer. Now that my brother and his wife live in Chicago I know I’m going to want to visit them regularly. I will have to start a travel envelope now so when I go I can be prepared.
So there you have it. Sometimes personal finance bloggers aren’t that great at personal finance.
I’d love to hear about one of your money mess ups if you have time to leave a comment and are willing to share.