The bad news is that after a few back-and-forth emails between me and “Eliza” at Mint, I found out that, unfortunately, transfers to credit cards do NOT trend as “spending” transactions on their little graph things, so I still need to shave down my budget somewhat. If all goes according to plan, however, I’ll at least be making a couple small changes in August, one to my phone bill and one potentially to my cable provider. Fingers crossed that one works out, because I love free stuff — but more on that later.
The good news is that — fingers and toes and legs and arms crossed! — I may pull out ahead anyways this month, even though apparently my numbers are still a bit wonky. I’ve adjusted them a bit already, but at least now I know there are more bars and lines I need to watch other than just how I’m doing in each category, and the want-versus-need theme will hopefully shine brightly when it comes to shopping, at the very least. I don’t want to have to take money from the “baby supplies” category OR my meagre “personal care” fund, but any cuts will certainly have to come out of there before I start getting really creative with gas and other necessities. Not even a month has passed, and yet this has been an incredible learning experience already. Learning about myself and my tendencies, strengths and weaknesses as well as learning about exciting ways to save without sacrificing has been almost like a game — it keeps you on your toes and, although it can be tedious and nerve-wracking at times, it can also be fun and interesting.
Budgeting also seems to make the days and weeks go by more quickly. Not that any of us need to be reminded of how quickly time flies, but I do need to be reminded every so often that the best things in life are free — whether it’s being invited to a last-minute baseball game or going for a morning walk with your kids, sometimes I personally need to get out of my head a little bit to remember that life does not revolve around trips to Tesco. I have to find that perfect balance between being a bargain hunter and remaining confident that whatever happens, we’ll be fine. And I work at it every day — so even if I do get a little too excited about scouting sales on maple syrup and agave, the bottom line is that everyone in my house is safe, happy and healthy. That’s a plus whether the day is just packed or you feel like time is standing still, and with summer already winding down, I seem to have suddenly gotten over my longing for fall and am desperate to enjoy the dog days.