Oh, November. Not only are you bitterly cold without the prettiness of fall leaves or the loveliness of new-fallen snow, you also financially blow. The only redeeming factor of November is that it is my birthday month. I turn 24 years old on Saturday.
Just how badly has November sucked? Well, it’s time to pay the piper on pretty much every major, unavoidable expense that has been coming down the pipline for the past thirty days. My credit card bill is a whopping $1,593.00. Meanwhile, I have about $80 left in my chequing, $300 in my savings. My next two weekly paycheques have to go entirely towards my rent and car insurance. My visa bill is due November 30th. Can we say FML?
How the heck could I let this spiral out of control, you may ask? Well, as aforementioned, pretty much all of this has been unavoidable.
The dentist cost $365 for an oral examination and two cavity fillings.
My Ironman enrollment wound up costing $220. No way that I wasn’t going to pay for that.
I bought a digital recording device to use for writing projects. I’ve been interviewing some first hand witnesses for a book that I’m eventually planning on writing. Since my notes look like chicken scratch, I wanted a digital recording of their testimony. That set me back $95, since the store only had the nice Sony brand available.
My car needed to be serviced and inspected for the winter. I opted for a 15 point inspection, since I wanted everything to be running beautifully before entering the season of ick. That cost $105.
I forgot about having to pay for webhosting. Money Rabbit is officially a year old as of Friday. So Blue Host added a charge of $112 straight to my credit card. This seems a little high, and I may transfer web hosts next year, since I have just paid for the entire year in advance.
I enrolled in my half marathon clinic. $80.
I enrolled in a 5k on New Years Eve, which cost $61. This may seem a little frivolous, given my current financial situation, but the run comes with a free winter running jacket, and I plan on using it to run all season. It’s also very special because the BF has signed up to do it with me. He’s not a runner, and every time I mention running he grimaces, but he wanted to enroll to prove that he could do it if he put his mind to it. I’m so incredibly proud of him.
Ah. Last but not least, my couch. My incredibly generous and lovely parents gave me a budget of $750.00 to buy a couch as a joint birthday/Christmas gift. I started getting antsy with my smelly old couch (it literally does smell), and I wanted the purchase to coincide with my birthday, especially since I am having a party on the 26th. The couch I fell in love with was $799.00. When you factor in taxes, and an additional sealing treatment, the final bill was $924.00.
Oh, and I still need to get my car rustproofed, and buy winter mats. It desperately needs to be detailed (the fabric and carpets are covered in salt-stains from last year and the whole thing is kind of gross) but that’ll have to wait until spring. I also will owe $98 for my cell and internet, which will be debited from my account on November 23.
Strangely, I’m pretty calm. Even though I’ve been meticulously poring over spreadsheets and tables, I’m resigned to the situation. I wrote a post on Rabbit on the Run about how my state of mind has improved since exercising.
I also have been excellent at controlling my expenses. We went down to Buffalo and upstate New York this weekend, and I was St. Marianne of the Church of Not-Spending. Even though we stopped at an insanely discounted outlet mall and they had incredible stuff, I didn’t spend a cent. My only purchases were food (my God, America is the King of huge portions for cheap), gas and lodging, which I will owe to my BF since we put everything on one card to be divvied up later. Even at duty free, I passed over half price alcohol and perfumes, and instead acted as shopping consultant.
Frugalistas may criticize me for taking a trip, or for buying a couch new instead of used. Was enrolling in a half marathon clinic and 5k really that necessary?
Truthfully, I won’t be able to pay off the entirety of my bill before the due date, but I’ll be able to cover 75%. I’ll be able to pay it in full as of December 2nd.
This experience has scared me so much that I am NEVER doing it again. I had anticipated a good bonus at the beginning of this month that would have allowed me to pay off the bill in full, while leaving a little extra for cushioning and savings. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I’ll instead be receiving the money December 9th.
Moral of the story:
- Sometimes you get smacked with unavoidable expenses (medical, transportation, education, etc.)
- In these situations, it is incredibly important to have an emergency fund.
- Cars suck. They are expensive money-pits that belch your precious dollars into filthy exhaust fumes. Starting January 1st, 2012, I’m going to be putting aside $40 a month into a car-specific savings account, so that all future expenses like detailing, maintenance, etc. are paid for.
- Don’t spend more than what you earn, regardless of if you’re “sure” of a bonus or windfall.