So it's midway into the pay period, but more relevantly, it's in the last bit of the month. Almost all bills have been paid and almost all money has been spent. The envelopes are getting a bit thin.
Friday night I sat down to re-look at my envelopes. I've had numerous unplanned expenditures, and no, none of them were really needed or required. Well, maybe the black cardigan can skootch into "need" area, but the $38 I spent at the Bath and Body Works sale cannot. I was feeling out of sorts. I have enough to pay everything - it's the saving that suffers.
In looking at the envelopes, where as I mentioned I write down all transactions (including money deposits from the bank), I realized some were thin or empty because I had not added the budgeted money as I had decided on my 2nd paycheck of the month. So I was short here and there, just on the cash on hand. The money was still in the bank.
I looked at every envelope and wrote a list of amounts that were short, added in one bill I had yet to pay, and basically realized I needed $150 in cash to get everything back to where it should be.
I then went to my bank account online and checked my balance. I looked at my transactions there at the same time as I looked at my budget spreadsheet. I was then able to see that I also had 3 auto withdrawls still up coming for bills that had not gone through.
So I added those to the $150 and came up with a total. Subtracted from my remaining bank balance. The end number was $67.00.
In case it's not clear-- the $67 was What Was Left. Meaning it was supposed to go in some category and I didn't put it there. So if it was still there at next payday I would move it into savings.
I had that $67 cushion bopping around in my head Saturday morning. I had been meaning to buy my cousin Dana a little present for her last semester in college. I drove to the art supply store and spent a happy 45 minutes shopping. I did have an envelope for Gifts with money in it, but for some reason (because of lazy money, that psyches me out!) I decided to *swipe*, and thus pay out of the checking account. My next stop after the store was a block or so to the bank to withdraw that $150 anyway. I didn't spend $60 or anything like it. I spent maybe $20.
Left the store, drove to the bank. Keeping in mind, the night before I did all this math and I knew what should be in there. I also knew, from my budget, the dates of the auto withdrawals to come.
So I went to the bank, withdrew my money, got a receipt. Looked at the receipt... almost had a heart attack.
You know what I saw, right? My account was down several hundred from the day before. It was down to like $40. And I had just spent $20.
So that is the moment where I had this PTSD flashback to My Previous Life. Where I would call my bank, or look online, get my balance, think I had remembered everything outstanding, relaxed a bit, went shopping, looked at my account balance après-shopping and realized I did not have enough money to pay the rest of my bills. Or buy groceries. Or gas. Cue: hyperventilation.
I'm just reflecting on that moment. That jolt. The adrenaline. The living-on-the-edge. The knee jerk ohmygodohmygodstupidstupidstupid thoughts.
I mean, that was my usual way of living. Do you know what I mean? Maybe it's just me. But I think not.
Instead of driving off and crying, with my thoughts racing, wondering how to get out of this latest pickle, and cursing myself for my bad math skills, my bad bill-memory, my pesky desire to actually buy things, blah blah blah... I just calmed down.
I moved, almost instantly, into mere curiousity. "hm, I wonder what happened here?" I tried going to my bank on my mobile app but my phone was dying. And the branch was closed for the weekend. Oh, well.
A couple hours later I got online and went to my bank account. I looked at my transactions, and what I had suspected did happen. The largest auto withdrawal, which usually would have gone through Monday, had gone through Saturday morning. And so had another one. Now most of those types of transactions only happen during business hours, so I was not expecting them on a Saturday morning. Then I went shopping. Then I withdrew a wad of cash. Then, I am at the end of the month and any "extra" money has already been moved to savings.
It didn't matter. I had money in my account. It was just weird to see the balance such a low number when the night before it was much higher.
I guess you would have to know me to get it. You would have to know how many times I have been royally screwed over by forgetting that a bill was going to be withdrawn automatically, and then I didn't have enough money, which means my $15 bill was going to have a $30 overdrawn fee on top of it. Or how many times I have done the math wrong in my checkbook. Forgotten a transaction. Added instead of subtracted -- one time, notably, by an entire $100. Then there were the years with TCF, a truly shitty shitty bank, where I would call for my account balance and it turned out that there was a 48 hour lag between transactions going through and being withdrawn and my account balance being adjusted. So I could never, and I mean never, rely upon stupid TCF itself to give me the correct amount in my bank account. All the weeks I have scraped down to the very dregs of my checking account to buy gas or groceries after an unexpected expense. Or because I went to the scrapbook store and spent $25 and I really needed it to stay in the bank for a few more days.
I also wasn't too worried because after all, I do have quite a chunk of cash in my savings account, and a quick online transaction would transfer money over to cover me, if I needed to. I just didn't want to do that.
Today I was at the university and I saw a posting for a townhome to share for $600 a month. Which is very very cheap, especially for this area. I wish I could move in January. Maybe I should go see it anyway. It did say the owner has an adorable dog. Big selling point for me.
Photo: Janet Leigh in "Psycho." From "Scream Queens." Biography.com. LINK