2011 end of year blowout spending recap/2012 the year of change

January 19, 2012 at 8:54 am (credit cards, house, overspending, things I bought)

Warning. You’re about to see what amounts to a TON of excuses. It all starts with a story about changing our living room from carpet to wood floors. Back in the days when Mr. Maven was still in the picture, he had a serious aversion to our hunter green 12 year old carpet. He knew the old 1920s house we rented had hardwood floors underneath. He convinced the landlord (who is pretty nice) to agree to remove the carpet, provided the floors were good enough to be refinished. Part of that process involved moving ALL furniture out of thel iving room into the rest of the house. We live in a 700 sq. ft. house. The living room is by far the largest room.

Ok, that process took a solid 2 weeks. Then since the furniture was out, we used the opportunity to repaint the dingy yellowy-white walls with bad hole repairs done without touchups, and the one dark, wood panelling a bright, fresh white. Trimming, and marking off what not to paint. Multiple coats of primer, then paint, then drying, all with kitties running underfoot. It took a week. I felt like I lived in a hoarder house for 3 weeks. All that climbing over furniture every time I wanted to move around!

Ok, then we moved back INTO the refurbished room. No rug. no place soft to sit on or lie on. All of a sudden, the makeshift furniture I had didn’t quite do the room justice. I ended up buying 2 pieces of furniture. One a really really super awesome 1940s sideboard with mirror. It is soooo pretty. $800. Yikes. Then I replaced a makeshift curio/bookshelf cabinet thing with a better version – it had wide storage underneath to hide some larger art books and music CDs,  and an upper half that was shelved and had doors with decorative glass that kept my prized collection of art ceramics free from dangerous kittens knocking them over. Small antique glass-fronted cabinet? $400.

Oh, and about this time, my computer totally crashed. 3 year old HP laptop, kaput. I had to buy a new laptop, with, ahem, a friendly ex-Microsoft employee helping out with a cheap Microsoft Office (shhh, don’t tell) at seriously reduced costs, for about $750 total.

Add in the absolute craziness of living like a hoarder and the inability to stick to mundane tasks like regularly cooking meals at home because there was NO FRIGGIN’ ROOM to move in the kitchen, and there were some overzealous spending in the grocery/restaurant/pizza front. A few hundred here, surely.

Then finally, oh yes, was a relatively unhappy trip I allowed myself to be talked into going, against my better judgement, and with, unfortunately, a lot of resentment – going with mr. maven to visit his family for thanksgiving. In North Dakota. With our cats, which meant driving, not taking a train. Mr. maven refuses to fly, and no cats on the train, so driving it was. I used 3 days of vacation. I paid for 50% of the gas and motels. I used my car and had to spent a ton of money on maintenance in advance. I had to get an extra oil change, since the whole trip was like 2300 miles (and do you think mr. maven paid for any of the car maintence or chipped in towards wear and tear? I’ll let you deduce that yourselves). Anyway. The whole reason I said I would go, was so that I could meet his mom. His mom lives in Texas but was going to come up to visit the rest of the family at that time. 2 days before we were to leave, we got word she wasn’t going to go. GRRRRR. But at that point, unfortunately, I was committed. And even more unfortunately, I didn’t want to go, didn’t relish the trip, and felt really resentful about spending the money and using my hard-earned vacation time for someone else’s family. Sorry for the big hateful venting here, but I couldn’t say any of this to mr. maven. I can’t say I was a thrill to be around, and you now know how this ends (mr. maven has just moved to ND and I’m now single, which was not because of the trip, but happened chronologically soon after). The cost of this whole trip was about $550.

Anyway, tally up all this spending, and you’ll notice a lot of discretionary spending. This went onto my BECU credit card. I HATED it there. So I paid a ton towards it. I used up my vacation savings. I stripped my EF to pay for it. I used the remaining xmas spending to pay for it (I had a little left over). I also fully raided my kitten fund (at $930) to pay it. I got it down to zero. I was expecting to start refunding the kitten fund, when I he told me he was moving to ND to find work. And taking the kittens with him.

Well, I guess I don’t need to fund for the kittens any longer *sniff*, but you’ll notice, all my mini-funds are fully wiped out. I am starting 2012 from a very low place. Emotionally raw (I’ll get over it), financially drained (at least no credit card debt!), and with a renewed vigor to tackle my remaining debt ( hopefully an average $300 extra per month).

It’s odd to start this year off, when normally you hear people taking stock of their lives, and reflecting. Instead, I’m responding and digging out. I’m gearing up, and figuring out. I have a lot of changes ahead, but I’ll at least be more focused on what’s good for me…and my finances. Maybe that should be my them for the year…CHANGE.

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