Monday, February 1, 2010

Debit Card - Blessing or Curse?

Well, it all depends on how you look at it.

Yesterday morning, it seemed to be a curse. The reason was because last month a couple of large purchases had been made and not written in the checkbook register. When I balanced the checkbook, this mistake was found - a little more than a $1000 mistake! Yikes! How would we be able to cover this without dipping into our savings??

A little later, after having settled down, giving it some thought, and doing some research in our ledger, I was able to relax. We will only have to rob our savings for a couple of weeks, then it will be replaced and we can go forward with our lofty savings plan for this year.

How? Well, by doing such things as zeroing out the clothing budget. No clothing, shoes, or the like will be bought for the next two weeks. Same for the school budget, and on it goes. We have some checks (refunds and such) that need to be deposited, so that will be a big help. Any category of our budget that had excess or wasn't an essential was robbed of it's balance.

One way that we'll recover this debt is in our grocery budget. We'll continue to eat from our stockpile. We did this the whole month of January, buying things to go along with what we already had on hand, instead of me deciding what I wanted us to eat and then buying what we needed. Sometimes we spent less on groceries, and were able to use that money to buy things we don't normally buy - like a huge bag of flour and a large quantity of coconut oil. Other times, we spent the whole weekly budget. Overall for the month, we didn't go over our monthly budget, but were at the same time able to make some unusual purchases.

So, for these next two weeks, we'll be eating from the pantry and freezer, buying very few items in order to make meals, and I mean very few items. This morning, I went to buy groceries. Got 2 gallons of milk at Walgreen's, on sale for $3.19 each. At Target, I used a $5 gift card from last week to help buy sugar (that can rarely be found in 5 pound packages anymore!), two cans of corn, two packs of hot dogs, and Dawn so we can keep washing dishes. My total out of pocket for groceries for this week? $11.96. That means more than $100 can be put toward our sudden debt.

Today, the debit card is again looking like a blessing. Today, since I can see how it will all work out and the money will be replaced quickly, it's no longer a curse.

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