You all know pretty well that I've been freaking out about finances for a while now. Today, the freak-out reached a new high as I waited for news from my mechanic. I needed a 100,000 mile service, a smog check, and a new headlight. I spent most of the morning gritting my teeth.
The car passed the smog check, new headlight is in, service found no major problems. It went as well as it could have gone. Still, it did cost money, and became the last thing that will fit on my credit card for a while.
I have spent the week getting set up on ExpenseRegister, inputting my expenses and income, credit card payments, etc. The site helps me categorize my expenses, and then it can run various reports for me. With just a week's worth of information, it's a little too soon to get a clear picture. Still, I've cut a few costs by a few dollars each a month, and I hope that the picture helps me set clearer goals. (My one complaint with the site: one of their handy-dandy calculators lets you input your income and then it tells you how much you should be spending on each of the categories. Great idea, but it doesn't take into account that the SoCal housing market just doesn't allow me to spend what I *should* be spending on rent, and the calculator doesn't let me adjust that amount to get the rest of the percentages make sense. If that makes any sense.)
As I waited earlier, I stressed. Still, it wasn't just the dollar amount I was stressing. I was mad at myself. I want to take responsibility for my actions, and I want to make things right for my family, and I was stressed and frustrated that I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.
I still have no answer there, but I did finally figure one thing out. The car is done now. My registration will be paid on time. I won't be in danger of getting a ticket for the headlight. My car got the TLC it needs to run smoothly for me for another 3,000 miles (*knocking on wood*).
It's not like I spent $175 on a spa treatment! This was a necessary transportation cost. The expenditure was indeed a responsible thing to do.
I think it's time to relax my jaw a little.