I overspent in my October 2020 budget by $454.68. There. I said it.
Let’s get to why I am not freaking out as badly as I might during any other month…
October 2020 Budget Review
YIKES! What the heck happened? I was so excited as I was creating this budget that I put a note for myself at the bottom of the budget! I had crushed it in September and then…this. October was one of those months where a lot of things (some predictable, some unpredictable but preventable) came together in a way that was financially costly. Like, locking my keys in my car and having to call a locksmith to get them out at 11:00PM at night 😳 I also got sick (Not COVID-19; I think we forget that there are still other viruses and bugs out there waiting to prey on our immune systems) and began ordering take-out soup and comfort food. I was bad. And the social-political tension in the United States didn’t help. (I work in a student affairs role and have to provide support to students who are stressed out, anxious, and experiencing mental health concerns. It can generally be a bit draining and this significantly increased over the past few months.) Over the last two weeks or so I had a low level of anxiety about work and all that is happening in the U.S. Unfortunately, food is my crutch. Working on that.
This should be freaking me out. I should be ashamed AND worried about no longer being able to meet my early December goal for a three (3) month emergency fund ($5,000.00). But…I’m not really worried. Why?
November 2020 Budget Forecast
I worked hard in October. And while this isn’t an excuse to blow my budget, it does mean that some of that hard work is paying off in November and cushioning the impact of my overspending…
1) I picked up shifts at my regular part time gig – I blogged about that in a post on the cost of earning more. Overall, the extra shifts I worked over these ten days resulted in approximately ~$181.94 in additional income. (That is not net income and does not include the increased fuel costs).
2) Activity referee – As I mentioned previously, I sometimes serve as a referee for an activity that has transitioned successfully into the virtual space. While this does mean the number of opportunities for refereeing are more limited, and I am now competing against a larger and more qualified pool of candidates for gigs; ultimately, when I do find a gig, they are still pretty lucrative. This month, I got paid for work done primarily in October and I was paid $300.00.
While some of the additional income was used to payoff my spending from October, and pad my November FDGM budget, most of the additional income went towards my emergency fund as planned. In fact, because of the additional November income, I now expect to have my emergency fund completely funded on December 1st when I get paid by University B, AND to still have a few dollars to restart aggressive debt repayment. I KNOW!
Part of me is like, you could have been done even faster if you had been more careful and disciplined in October. The other part of me is like, my debt repayment journey will be long. I will undoubtedly fall short sometimes. It seems like the most important thing is not to lose sight of the end-goal and to keep going.
P.S. Sorry it’s late Ellen 😓 I didn’t have it in me to write on election day. Hello to all my new visitors 👋🏿
6 thoughts on “November 2020 Budget Forecast / October 2020 Budget Review”
I don’t think you should beat yourself up over overspending in October especially since you’re on track to complete your emergency fund earlier than you’d planned.
You should be proud especially since your next thought is to immediately go back to debt repayment! I might’ve been tempted to splurge after such an accomplishment.
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Awe, thanks for the grace Avery. This savings respite has actually finally gotten me excited about saving. I think at the beginning it was hard to switch gears from debt repayment but now I get excited the closer I see my balance inch to the $5,000.00 mark.
As long as I am “good,” my emergency fund will be fully funded on 12/1 and on 12/4, when I get my first part-time job paycheck of the month, I can actually make my first extra/chunk payment towards the next student loan I am targeting. I’m actually really, really excited about that and in a weird way it feels like a reward. Like, I saved, so now I get to buy back a bit of my freedom.
I’m glad you’re not being too hard on yourself for your October overspending. Nobody can be perfect every month, and I think the hardest thing is to realize that and keep going, so good for you! You’re going to feel so good when you have a fully funded emergency fund, and then you can get back to hard-core debt repayment. That’s a great way to start 2021. And I get that you weren’t up to posting on election day – there were bigger fish to fry, that day. 🙂
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Thank you for the grace as well Ellen. Much appreciated.
I am really excited to have a fully funded emergency fund. I am even more excited to get back to debt repayment. As I shared with Avery, as long as I am “good,” my emergency fund will actually be funded on 12/1. My first part-time paycheck of the month will be on 12/4 so I will get to make my next extra/chunk debt payment pretty early in December. I don’t know why this feels like a treat but it really does.
LIke the others I think this update shows you in good shape. With a budget this tight I think you *have* to expect occasional overspending. You’ll have months when you’re perfect, but there’s not a lot of elasticity here so you’re also going to have months when you’re not perfect. And as you say, the extra work/income this month helped you both account for the extra spending *and* be in shape to meet your savings goal and get back to more intensive debt payment. I imagine you feel much much better with a few months of expenses in the bank, along with the knowledge via these jobs that if you had to you could cobble together some part-time income other ways.
I totally hear you on election stress.
Exactly, to all of this. I am trying to figure out if I should create a more slightly realistic budget for 2021 that includes a bit of wiggle room in the FDGM, or use the ongoing pandemic to possibly stay bare bones tight one more year and be really ambitious with my payoff goals… I find that when I have wiggle room I am no where near as careful and mindful of my spending as when I have almost nothing.