Falling off the Bandwagon
Posted by Jess | Filed under Jess
I eluded to the fact that I had some ‘fessing up to do. And I plan on delivering, because way back in January I told you that we would have our ups—and, of course, our downs. Hubby and I have been living *gasp* outside our budget now for a number of weeks. Not because we are suddenly rolling in the dough either, or because our debt has vanished. No we are much in the same situation we have always been in, and tacking on more debt with every passing semester, but we are just exhausted. It is one thing to be a student and ignorantly spend away your student loans because, “Hey, it’s for living expenses, right?” But its an entirely different thing to be completely aware of your money, where it should go, and to do the exact opposite with it. I am finding it so much harder to be living outside the budget, to pull out the visa or debit when we “forgot cash at home” when we know better. Who am I letting down? Well after all of you (yes I feel like I’m disappointing every reader, and Gail!) We are only letting ourselves down. Spending that money today, means its not there tomorrow, and tomorrow I really need it.
So there it is, the big secret. Of course I still get a pain in my gut every time we buy something bigger than we should be able to afford (some new summer clothes, books, professional soccer tickets at half price) But apparently it is not so much of a pain that we rap our wrists and smarten up. Our budget is currently a pile of misplaced cash, empty jars, and about six printouts of Gail’s online budget worksheet—the living room is a mess.
If this were an episode of TDDUP Gail would probably award us with no money with the way we have been avoiding the money lately. How do we get back on track? The answers in front of us are either:
A) Make more money and then make the budget based on that new income because the one we have no longer fits our needs.
B) Use the student loans for their intended purpose and live off of the surplus, slowly chipping away at it over the coming months.
And of course in good husband and wife fashion we have discussed both of these at lengths. Yes making more money is a great solution except—
Yes living off of the student loan surplus makes sense for students who are making a mad dash for the degree finish line except—
Except what? Excuses. Remember when I said we got really good at reasoning out of anything? It’s just a merry-go-round and then we go out and leave the cash at home. Again.
Time for a change, time for a plan! Husband is going to be done school before the year comes to an end, and I am not far behind him, then our big ugly debt suddenly becomes a lot bigger, and a whole heck of a lot uglier. I can’t say for sure how it’s all going to go down but in the next few months it looks like our plan is to put school before the rest of it and finish it strong, because ultimately that GPA will make or break the dream of grad school for both of us. Then in that glorious time between undergrad and grad school when most people would enjoy their free time, we are going to work our tails off, like we did in the year before our wedding, and turn our debt around. For real this time!
That is one thing I have learned from this big rut we have been in financially—you have to have a solution before you’re going to try and turn it around. It simply isn’t enough to say “hey I have fallen off the bandwagon, I should probably hop back on” We needed to address why we fell off, and what we were going to do to strap ourselves in this time. It is going to be an interesting year I can promise you that!