I have an envelope on my desk full of receipts from the second half of January. And last night I decided I am just going to file them and start over.
We all have the best of intentions for whatever we start out to do. I did very well last year maintaining a budget and keeping a detailed record of my spending. And I intended to do the same this year. And I still can – but I got behind in January for obvious reasons and the amount of work I needed to do to get back up to speed became insurmountable in my brain. Was it truly insurmountable? No, but the truth of the matter was, the amount of recordkeeping I needed to do to get back to square one was keeping me from doing anything currently. Consequently, I just got further and further behind.
So I drew an imaginary line in the sand, so to speak. Yesterday was February 1st, and I decided that February 1st was a new day, a new month, and the re-beginning of my 2009 budget. I sorted all my receipts from January out of my pockets and desk and put them all in an envelope, and then logged into my bank online and checked my account for what checks I had written that hadn’t been processed yet or online payments I’ve made that hadn’t been debited yet. I hadn’t used my debit card in several days so I knew that was up to date. I then looked through all the charges from the past few weeks to make sure I knew what they all were, and then took my balance from my account, subtracted out all outstanding items, and put the final total on my budget sheet as my new account balance for February.
Maybe I’ll go back in the future and get January caught up. But right now, hanging onto January was keeping me from moving forward into February and keeping a spending log at all. Sometimes, we need to let the past be the past and resolve to continue what we set out to do in the future. And for me, this was one of those times.
I entered the receipt from my spouse getting gasoline last night, and I am on my way to getting back on track with keeping track of our spending. One little step at a time.