To be honest, it’s a bit dramatic to call these personal finance confessions.
When I started Our Bill Pickle, the first thing I wrote about was the importance of being transparent when you write about money on the internet. At the time, I focused on being honest about privilege when it comes to personal finance.
That idea of privilege is relevant to this post, too. These “confessions” stem from one thing: how my privilege allows me to change my financial plans without disastrous consequences.
And heaven knows there were times this summer where my original financial plans went out the window.
So, in the spirit of keeping it real, here are a few personal finance “confessions” from the last few months.
Life lately: my personal finance confessions
Coming into the final quarter of 2019, here are four personal finance confessions from the last few months.
Our emergency fund is not at $5K
I touched on this in our August budget update: right now, our emergency fund is sitting at $3K.
This was an intentional decision.
Reality is this: while I did put aside money for vacation this year, we also had things pop up. We did some car repairs this year, and, in July, my laptop died. These are just a couple examples of things that took priority over saving for vacation.
So…we’re borrowing from our emergency fund for now. Thankfully, we keep this account at $5K usually, so we have a bit of wiggle room. This is honestly one of the reasons I prefer having an emergency fund that’s bigger than $1K.
Once we’re back from Newfoundland, we’ll focus on getting this account back up to $5K. Looking ahead, I’ll try to be more realistic about how much needs to be saved for travel!
Adjusting to the new pay schedule has not been easy
Jeff started his new job in February. More than half a year later and I am still adjusting to being on a bi-weekly pay schedule.
For the first year or so of our debt-free journey, Jeff and I got paid on opposite weeks. I loved this schedule; it might sound strange, but only having one pay cheque each week made it a lot easier to manage our budget.
Now, I get paid on Thursday and he gets paid on Friday. And while most weeks it’s been alright, some weeks…well, it’s a bit of a challenge to keep track of everything.
I’ve implemented a few new things in terms of how I colour code our budget spreadsheet and it works fairly well…but only when I remember to do it. That said, I imagine this is something that will become more normal as time passes.
Just got to stay optimistic about it for now, I suppose.
I’m not where I want to be re: Christmas planning
Usually by now I have a solid idea of what I want to get for people and a good start on our savings.
This year…uh, not so much.
Realistically, I know this is not the worst thing — there’s still a lot of time! But as a person who prides herself on being organized when it comes to these things, it’s strange to feel so far behind on Christmas planning!
I have been spending a LOT of money
Although I am pleased with how I stayed on budget during my vacation, my non-vacation related spending has felt a little…less controlled.
Some examples of things I have purchased lately:
- athletic shoes
- a black pencil skirt
- a $75 hoodie from a concert (budgeted, but…worth mentioning)
- a new MacBook (and an external hard drive)
- hair products
Just to name a few things.
I don’t regret any of the things I bought — after all, the purpose of money is to spend it — but my goal for the last quarter of 2019 is to slow down the spending.
Being transparent when you write about money on the internet is important. If you’re struggling, it is my hope that by sharing some of my personal finance confessions will be encouraging.
What’s something you’ve been struggling with lately when it comes to money?