About once or twice a month I go into super OCD mode and have to know where every penny of my money is and where it is all going. I keep track of our monthly expenses in an extensive spread sheet, in my check book register, and I frequently check my bank account online. If the balance in all three of those places gets even a little bit off, I can’t stop until I figure out why. Most people would stop after checking their account online, many people keep a written budget and some still use a check register. I would venture to say that very few use and rely on ALL 3 simultaneously! I am aware that this makes me a bit of a nerd but I’m okay with that.
Today, I sat down to enter expenses into my spreadsheet because I had been putting it off for a week or so and I hate for it to get piled up because it makes it harder to sort everything out. As I look at our budget, if we are over budget in one area, I move money around from other areas to make it all even out. This month has been tricky because we paid for Dustin’s summer class AND his fall semester classes which we haven’t had enough time to save up for yet. At the same time, we are trying to pay off his truck so we are making much more aggressive payments than normal. So there was a lot of money moving to be done in order to make it all work. This part of budgeting stresses me out and at the same time gets my adrenaline pumping. It’s like a challenge to see if I can beat the numbers and come out on top! This month, I was VERY close to losing the challenge and even had to take some money out of the extra payments on the truck to make it all work. I hate doing that because it means that we will have at least one more month of truck payments. =(
So I was feeling a bit bummed but there was nothing else I could do. I had moved money around as many places as I could, got all the bills paid including Dustin’s school and was able to make the truck payment plus an extra principal payment. But in the end it still felt like we were barely making it in many other areas in our budget and that makes me anxious. Just as I was on the phone with Dustin, talking to him about how I was bummed that we weren’t doing as well as we had planned this month, I got a completely unexpected surprise. I opened what I thought was junk mail, and instead found a property tax refund check! It was completely unexpected and exactly what we needed. It covered the amount that I had taken out of the truck payment to move into other budget areas plus the extra travel expenses we are going to have this weekend (gas, food, and tux rental for a good friend’s marriage blessing ceremony).
I am so thankful that God works in such wonderful ways in our lives! Now, I just need to remember next month (or next week perhaps) that there is no need to stress because it always works out in the end.