For the last two weeks, Chef has been telling me that the next time I got paid, we’d have a surplus. The last pay period left me feeling rather stretched, so a surplus sure would be nice. However, I knew we had some expenses coming up, and I felt pretty sure that this two weeks would leave me feeling just as thin as the last two. Sure, the mortgage is already paid for the month, but we owe money to the doctor, and we’re taking two car trips in two weeks — one to visit Chef’s cousin and one for a mini-vacation. I couldn’t figure where this surplus was coming from.
Monday at work, I ran payroll and printed off the paystub that shows the amount that will be deposited into our account on Friday. Tuesday, Chef pulled out the form we use for our budget. Since we’re determined to get out of debt, we are very careful about how each dollar is spent. We wrote the income at the top and then started subtracting: tithe, medical bill, home repair, gasoline, utilities, vacation money. We had just enough for groceries, and I joked, “Hey, where’s that surplus?” Then we double checked the form and realized we’d left out the credit card bill. Shoot.
So we went through the form again and made adjustments. We’ll pay 2/5 of the medical bill instead of the whole thing right now. We’ll set aside a little less for home repairs than we’d planned, since Chef probably won’t get to it until after vacation anyway. (And thank heavens we got the air conditioner fixed without having to pay a repairman!) The grocery budget got even tighter, and I won’t buy all the supplies on the shopping list since we can get by without some of them for another two weeks. Finally, after two or three series of adjustments, we made the expenses fit the income.
It’s painful, but we know that if we diligently scrimp and save now, we will be free from our creditors in two years.
But I still want to know where he thought that surplus was coming from.