At the beginning of this month, we went over 20 Things To Do On A No Spend Week. The point of having these No-Spend Weeks was to save money for Christmas. And Mama, let me be honest I FAILED with a capital F!
Here are a couple of reasons why:
- I spent the money that wanted to save on stupid things.
- I didn’t have an actual savings plan.
- Emergency expenses came up.
There’s a lesson in my failure, so let’s address each one head on.
I spent the money that I wanted to save on stupid things.
One day I was talking to my coworkers about getting new clothes for Gia. This talk leads to an idea and this idea lead me to spend a little over $100 in new clothes and shoes for Gia. While this may have been a need, it wasn’t in the budget and it wasn’t planned. I lost control and totally failed. I remember feeling yucky after I came home and looked over the receipts. I thought about taking everything back, but I didn’t. Gia needed new clothes and shoes, she’s a steadily growing girl. However next time I will be sure to add this expense to my budget and plan for it instead of spending on impulse.
I didn’t have an actual savings plan
I don’t know how many times I saw the phrase, “Make saving money a priority.” I’m sure I’ve seen and heard that several times, BUT I have never put it into action until now. Moving forward I am adding “Saving” to my budget with the amount of money that I would normally spend. SO instead of just not spending money that week, I am actually saving a definite amount. Not having a plan in place meant that I was planning to fail from the beginning, not this time!
Emergency Expenses Came Up
My car broke down and I ended up spending over $300 to get it fixed! This was an expense that I could not control and that I didn’t see coming. BUT if I had planned for emergencies earlier on I would have had money to cover this expense without breaking my budget or my bank.
So moving forward this is the plan for December and beyond. I plan to :
- Save at least $50 bi-weekly. I get paid every other week so I will be sure to transfer $40 into my savings right off the top.
- Exercise self-control. If it is not in the budget then I don’t need it. I also need to make sure that my budget is detailed and it includes things like “clothes” for Gia and me.
- Start saving for emergencies. According to Dave Ramsey, you should have at least $1,000 saved for emergencies. At first, I thought this guy was being unrealistic and that he wasn’t thinking about the single mothers of the world. However true or false that idea may be, I know that he is on to something. I know that I need to stash away some money for emergencies. Emergencies happen all the time, that’s a given, the only issue is that we don’t know when they will happen. So each month I am saving $100 ( check step 1 if you’re confused), and in 10 months I will have my emergency fund stocked up.
This is my plan, I will pray for it, I will be aware of it, and most of all I will stick to it.
Mama, let me encourage you today, don’t allow your finances to rule over you any longer. Take control of your money! I know it’s hard. But I hope that by me sharing my struggles with you that you’d know that you are not alone. Cause girl, I ain’t perfect and I mess up a whole lot, but I am working on it. I am working on becoming financially free.