Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Timing Was a Little Off

Sometimes I take the money we have for granted. I assume it will always be there, sitting in my account, until I tell it where to go. My husband gets paid the first of the month. I get paid every other Thursday, and the last day of the month. Two months out of the year, I get 3 paychecks. Fantastic. And then there are the months where my second paycheck comes later in the month. Like January.

Our bills are all due by the 23rd of every month. Most of them fall in the first week (mortgage, car insurance, condo fees) and the rest are spread out... until the 23rd. It's usually nice to have a week or so at the end of every month where all our bills are paid and we're just cruising until the next month. We spend our money on regular expenses like gas and groceries, and put the excess onto the credit cards. Feels good to be "done" for the month.

In January, however, all of our bills were due before my second paycheck, which will be deposited tomorrow. This would have been perfectly fine if I had realized this in the beginning of January. I made a large payment to the credit card in the first week of January that could have waited. However, I didn't notice until I was looking at our projected balance in our bank account in Quicken last week. The lowest projected balance was $248.76, which doesn't include groceries or gas. Yikes! That's cutting it a little too close for me.

We talked it over and decided to play it safe. So, for the past week and a half, we have been using the credit card for our regular expenses. We have charged about $150 in that time for food and fuel. Which is in line with our budget. I just hate that we had to rely on the credit to "float" us until the paycheck comes in. It reminds me too much of the old days when we relied on credit for everything. On Friday, once my paycheck is cleared, the first thing I'm going to do is pay off that balance. It's still in the grace period, so no interest will accrue. And in the future, I'll pay a little more attention to our lowest projected balance and plan accordingly.


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wealthy_1 said...

It's not like the old days because you have awareness now. This is just a little bump in the road. I like the analogy of the pilot flying the plane. During most of the flight he is a little off course and always making corrections. Somehow he seems to land at his destination. Not always on time, but he does get there. So will you.

Sharon said...

January is a long month. I send about 250.00 to our ING account every paycheck. We are down to 73.00 until 1/31. Now that is cutting it close.

JvW said...

w1 - as always, your words are a tremendous help. I love this analogy!

sharon - January is terribly long - and cold! It's nice to know that I'm not alone.