Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Budget: Pad Thai Fiasco Saved by Natural Gas

It could have been a disaster story along the lines of "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" or at the very least a tragedy reminiscent of Octomom's recent yard sale.

October - a fresh new month with new paydays. A sudden influx of money into the empty bank account. A sigh of relief that we got through September with $80 leftover and immediately socked away in a spanking brand new Gifts account at ING Direct. The euphoria derived from a 4 digit bank balance and a clean and tidy budget spreadsheet.

I'm rich!! ...or so I thought... even after I filled in my budget sheet and found myself with $176 for miscellaneous spending until October 15th I felt confident in my ability to make it last. After all, I had just spent over a week successfully stretching out a measly $40! But over the course of a few hours I watched in horror as my $176 dwindled away:
  • my service charges were $2 higher due to using a non-TDCanada Trust ATM - down to $174
  • oops - my Line of Credit interest was higher than my projections - now down to $146
  • paid $27 off on my $97 Visa balance - yikes, now down to $119
  • withdrew $40 cash as my wallet was totally empty (spent my last $10 on supporting the Run for the Cure) - now down to a precariously low $79 but sure that the $40 would last me for at least a week so still feeling smug
  • paid $8 to see a movie with a friend; afterall I should get a little pleasure from my freshly deposited paycheque (oh yes, and $6 for popcorn but $0 for a drink as I brought my own water) - feeling like I've handled things well so far
  • went to Jambalaya after the movie to pick up partner who was working there over the dinner hour & succumbed to a huge helping of the best pad thai in town washed down with a Sleeman's Cream Ale
  • CRAP - my share of the bill came to $26 - exactly what I had left in my wallet - there goes my $40
  • now I have $0 in my wallet again and only $79 for the next two weeks.....oh dear.
  • got my natural gas bill today and it was $28 less than what I had budgeted for it (thank God I haven't turned on the furnace yet!) so now my misc. money is up to a more respectable $107...sigh
Today I have spent $0 so far. I have relied on my partner to buy me coffee at Starbucks and a newspaper, not to mention a chocolate and caramel covered pretzyl:) Had the leftover pad thai for supper (so very thrifty of me). Going out dancing tonight but hoping that since my wallet is empty and will remain so for as long as possible that my partner will cover the cover charge ($5) and buy me a drink.  If not I'll be drinking water!


Maureen said...

I love Pad Thai, so I call that money well spent.
And you have over $100 to last you for 2 weeks, another success.
You have nothing to worry about your budget sounds manageable.
And you call me brave.
Off out today with friends for Lunch and Coffee I budgeted $30 for this big day out, now how to get through the day without mentioning I,m not spending any unnecessary money, wish me luck.

Jane said...

Best of luck Maureen! $30 sounds like a reasonable amount - do your friends need to be frugal? If not that does make it more difficult.
I managed to get through my evening last night without spending any $. Luckily my partner got paid Friday so covered my costs. Weekends are when I spend more $, during the week when I'm at work it's easy not to spend anything.