Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

February 15, 2009

I was already aware of the fact that I have always been irresponsible with my money. But before actually setting up a budget and “trying” to stick to it I have never really tracked my spending like I have been since the beginning of this year. It’s hard to ignore or forget all of your wasteful spending when you are entering it into a register and categorizing things on a weekly basis. This entire process has really helped me reign in my daily spending on the small things like lunch or unnecessary items at the grocery store, which is great. But the reason that we have over $35,000 in credit card debt, a nearly maxed out HELOC, and a huge mortgage is because of the BIG purchases that I have ALWAYS financed instead of waiting until I’ve actually SAVED the money to be able to afford it.

I had a brand new car right out of school, built a huge house as soon as we were married; bought a big HDTV with my credit card the day after our old TV died; bought this MacBook Pro that I’m typing on with my credit card when my old computer was getting “too slow” for me. Just this past December, before setting up a budget and trying to pay off our debt, we ordered furniture for my daughter’s “big girl” room and hired a contractor to upgrade our front porch instead of just making the relatively minor repairs that were necessary. I have lived way above my means my entire life and the more money I’ve made the larger the holes I’ve dug for myself. It is crazy to think that I have always spent practically every dime I’ve ever had before I’ve ever even earned it!

I’ve had it. I’m done with this crap. I need to be responsible with my finances and mature with my purchase decisions. Time to clean up this mess and stop being a moron.