My Frugal Journey: Reality vs. Planning

Posted by Marianne Thomas | 4/25/2009 10:17:00 AM | | 4 comments »

Well, it's Saturday, not Friday, and I'm waiting for 3 yards of mulch and 1 yard of topsoil to be delivered to our house.

Cost - spendy, over $100, but certainly cheaper than buying it by bag.

I also spent some dollars (about sixty of them) on plants yesterday at Lowe's.

So, what's the point of landscaping spending confession?

Simply this: I have gone waaaayyyy off track for my April budget with all of our yard projects, both those we anticipated doing (like adding a yard drain to deal with the swampiness every time it rains) as well as the finishing up project we're tackling today, raised beds with ornamental grasses on the border of our yard where the water enters.

Adding to the extra cashoola we've spent on landscaping to *hopefully* create a drier backyard, we hosted Easter two weeks ago and are celebrating our daughter's First Communion tomorrow. While we don't go overboard in our festivities in general, any type of party means more spent than normal.

And I did not adequately plan for those extra expenses. Money that would have gone to our next debt payoff was instead allocated to the yard improvements.

I could beat myself up over this {as I smack myself with a wet noodle} but that's not going to move me forward is it?

Instead, I'm looking at that extra money spent on all the improvements as a smart investment in our property and setting plans to get back on track in May.

No matter how much we humans plan to win at whatever challenge lies before us, life has a way of throwing curveballs and adding extra innings to the game. You can choose to play them out and try again, or you can just sit on the bench.

{Can you tell it's baseball season for my kiddos?}

I'm going to keep planning and playing and working toward winning my goal: a debt-free financial life.

Has the reality of life thrown you off your financial plan? What steps did you take to get back on track? Inspire us!

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  1. Ann // April 25, 2009 11:07 AM  

    We invested a small fortune in improved drainage in our backyard. While I nearly had heart-failure writing that check, I get great satisfaction in no longer seeing ponding on the backyard when my neighbors have ducks swimming on their lawns!

    While a budget buster now, in the long run it could save you cash via a drier basement.

    Best wishes on a successful project!

    Ann @couponsdealsandmore.com

  2. ccbtoddlvsdisney // April 25, 2009 1:46 PM  

    We are trying to follow Dave Ramsey's plan. Just yesterday I got a bill for an x-ray my daughter had that went to our deductable. While it's only $100, that's $100 that we don't have in the budget. I'm not going to get discuraged. When we look at the budget for May we'll just take it from something else and pay it off and get back on track in June. Dave says that Murphy is always there and seems to be more prevelant when you're trying to get control of your finances. Just as long as you get ahold of things and don't let one setback set everything else back.

  3. Jane @ What About Mom? // April 25, 2009 9:41 PM  

    I discovered the IFA Country Store, and wanted to buy every plant I saw, and the mulch!!

    It's hard when you're doing the garden thing, thinking of all these nutritious, cheap vegetables -- hard to stop buying the seeds and the fertilizer and everything else. !!

  4. Jennifer // April 26, 2009 11:40 AM  

    I know exactly what you mean! Every time we get a little extra in the paycheck there seems to be another unusual expense (car repairs, unexpected home repairs, etc.). We just remind ourselves to be thankful that we had the cash to pay for each expense. Before Dave Ramsey, we would have used a credit card and not worried about it. Now we pay for it! So, don't sweat the debt payoff delay for things like this. You'll get to be debt-free --- and so will we!