So you’ll be seeing a few exciting changes around here, but one very exciting thing is that I will be writing again!
*pauses for cheers to die down*
Okay, so maybe it’s not that exciting. But it’s a good thing for me. Since I bought my house, my budgeting hasn’t been as great. I’m not sure why. I think that there were so many unexpected expenses at first that I just stopped keeping track. For example, when the fence decided to all but fall down, I had to replace it right away or risk it falling onto the neighbor’s car, which would have been a much bigger expense. Rather than pull this out of the emergency fund, I opted to pull it from my regular spending accounts. But that threw everything out of whack.
I’ve not put myself into debt or anything – the only debt I have right now is the mortgage payment. Credit cards continue to be paid off each month. But I do need to do what I can to reduce the spending.
My other big expense has been my latest obsession – triathlons. While I’ve been running races for a number of years, I picked up triathlons last year, and that’s meant more spending. Some of it was one-time spending, like my bike purchase (her name is Ethel). Some of it is more occasional, like my pool membership. And then there are race registrations. Triathlons are much more expensive than most road races. It makes sense – there’s more permitting required and a lot more safety elements. This year, I’m registered for four triathlons, with a potential for one more.
Unfortunately, only one of those races is close enough that I can sleep in my own bed. That also means hotel stays. Thankfully, those get shared with a friend. But again, it’s another expense.
Of course, all these fitness-related expenses are optional, so cutting back is easy. Maybe not easy emotionally, but it’s not the end of the world if I decide I can’t afford to do a race.
So step one is getting better at tracking my expenses. I’ve been using YNAB all along, but I’m trying to be more stringent about it. I update it at least once a week, which has been helpful. I can see where my money is going and where I can cut back in order to fund the fun that I want to have.
I’m also trying to build up my “big house expenses” fund. Not an emergency fund, just money put aside for the big things that I need to do for the house. Thankfully, getting a new fence is no longer on that list.
Still deciding on next steps. Stick around to see what happens next!