Friday, July 15, 2011

Time to get my shit together

I started this blog as a way to get some thoughts down on paper and out of my head so I could concentrate on the important details that I knew I was neglecting. I am a terrible procrastinator and admit it. Whatever my least desirable task or chore to do will always be the last to get done. The thing I've been putting off the longest was getting our finances in order. My husband has a good job, and earns a very good salary with bonuses. Unfortunately I have never really stuck to a budget and it's catching up with me. Once we had kids and I was able to set up all those autopayments, I just let things take care of themselves.  I figured I had more important things to do like taking care of my children, but that's a lame excuse as they all sleep well now and I usually stay up a couple of hours after they go to bed. Usually around this time of year things get tight as our tax refund has been spent.  My husband usually gets a bonus around now so if I wait it out a pay check or two, things usually work out. I have to start hunkering down and I find myself charging things like groceries because otherwise we wouldn't eat.  Not a responsible way to do things, I know.

I recently started setting up an account on mint.com, but haven't finished it. I do most of our banking online and all but the biggest payments are autopaid so I don't forget to pay them. The big ones I like to be able to control so make a point of entering those as a one time payment every month.

We are finishing up putting a nice deck in our backyard after having finished a large remodel last spring.  Construction is supposed to be done on Monday with the balance due upon completion and I hate to say it but I don't have the money.  I thought one of the bonus checks would have arrived today and it didn't.  My back up plan was that I would draw from a credit line that we used to help finance our remodel.  Unfortunately I just found out only the company who did our remodel can draw from it. It's not a true credit line. I will be spending the rest of the weekend figuring out how much I can give the guy and when I can promise the rest.  I've already paid 10% and think I can give at least another 50%, with the remainder payable within 30 days.  I'm hoping the contractor will agree.

The worst part is that my husband knows none of this. I handle all the finances.  I started doing the bills when we first moved in together after college, and have done so ever since.  The problem is that I while I am handling the bills, I'm not really taking care of the details that make up the big picture.  I pay the bills on time but haven't been looking into lower rates on things I could, paying off debt, keeping an eye on our IRAs etc. Unfortunately the credit card debt is the worst part, and we're almost maxed out on multiple cards.

And yes, my husband has no idea about all of this. He trusts me and I have lied to him. I stopped contributing to our kids 529s last year, I make minimum payments on the loans so am not really making any progress on paying them down. I did finally tell him recently that his bonuses are also used to pay the monthly deficit, but he has no idea how bad it is.

Ok time to log off of here and figure out how I'm going to pay this contractor.  Stay tuned.

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I love all your comments, but admittedly have been a slacker about replying to all your kind words. I've recently received a bit of spam on my posts so will now be moderating any comments - and not allowing anonymous commenting. I hope that will help me stay on top of replies.