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Jenniffer's Journey:

Where did all my money go???

I’ve been doing pretty good with my budget since starting Project Money. I’ve got money going into my 10 (yes, 10!) savings accounts as soon as my paycheck posts. The left over money goes to bills and “extras” like gas, groceries and the occasional Starbucks. Like the quiz from my last blog noted, I’m coasting along.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to the grocery store last week and realized that I didn’t have enough money left in my checking account to cover the bill (fortunately, I realized said deficit PRIOR to arriving in the check out lane lest I stand there in a stare down with the checker thinking that if I don’t move maybe I will become invisible). There I stood, at the grocery store pretending to pick out the best looking kumquat, when all I was thinking about was, “Where did all my money go?!?” and “Which of my 10 savings accounts do I pull money from and still be on track?” Soccer savings? No. Veterinary bills? No. Medical? I feel like I might have a mild heart attack right now, but no. Wedding??? Heck NO! And so, I transferred money from my emergency savings into my checking account. I’d say that not having food would be a mild emergency and the awkward silence at the checkout if I didn’t have the money would have felt like a bigger emergency. And so it was….money coming out of the emergency fund. Ugh! If only I had a Starbucks mocha to take the edge off.

I left the grocery store with a tinge of rumination and decided that to cure the bewilderment, I needed to go through my expenses line by line to see where things went awry.

Meanwhile, fiancé Scott as a new Summit member himself, was interested in a tutorial from me on how to manage your money with two checking accounts. I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. Show Scott the magic of two checking accounts (see last week’s blog!) AND figure where I went wrong with my spending. Ironic huh?

As I was explaining to Scott how I pay bills from one checking account and buy groceries from the other, I noticed that I transferred money to bill pay but didn’t actually submit the bills. And then, when I went to submit the bills, I realized I didn’t transfer enough money. Great. Now I have to use the extra emergency money I transferred at the grocery store to cover my error in bill pay. This is just a comedy of errors. I take back everything I said in my last blog about how I’m coasting along managing my money.

I thought that maybe this week I’d look to all of my blog readers for a financial fun fact, but that’s not really fun. At least not for me. And this is my blog. So, here’s this week’s financial fun fact:  every once in a while, your budget goes haywire. If that happens to you, take a deep breath, take some time to find where you took a wrong turn and learn from your mistake. Enough said.

I’m still working on figuring out where I went wrong. My Starbucks card balance is zero and I’m left with less than $50 in my checking account. But I’m going to use what little money I have left from my emergency transfer and get that mocha I’ve been longing for. And then figure out where all my money went. 


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