I have a confession to make. Yesterday, when I paid my credit card bill, I realized that my balance on my YNAB spreadsheet didn’t quite make sense. After some quick math, it was clear that I had forgotten to enter a few transactions. I hadn’t been reconciling YNAB with my credit card statement, so the mistake was easy to make. It wasn’t a lot of money – a little under $30. But it was also more than one transaction.
I went back through two credit card statements and found the missing transactions. Two small online transactions and one transaction where I distinctly remember not getting a receipt. So that threw off the budget a bit. Not a big deal, but definitely a reminder to make sure I’m logging EVERYTHING. Part of the problem was 99 cent iTunes songs. I need to either be sure to flag the receipt when it arrives in my inbox, log the purchase immediately, or just buy myself an iTunes giftcard and not have to worry about it.
I’m considering trying to tighten my financial belt for July and see how much money I can save. July isn’t the best month to be doing that, as I have family visiting and will need to spend a bit of extra money while they’re here. But I can always tighten my spending except for things related to their trip. But I think I’m going to try to see how many no-spend days I can have this coming month and how much I can pad up my budget for August.
Spending Spree – $800
With a spare $800 to toss around, I would buy plane tickets to Seattle to visit a friend who I only get to see about once every few years. It would be a cross country flight, which I hate, but with $800, I could likely get a direct flight, and it would be great to see her and her husband.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.