Last week I wrote a blog post called "7 Things You Probably Forgot to Budget." I laid out, well, seven things you probably forgot to budget (hence the title).
Little did I know when I wrote that post I was being a big 'ole hypocrite. Let me fill you in...
We have what is called a "termite letter." This means our home is free of termites and if we needed to sell our house (we don't, we're not) this letter would be there ready.
Each year a termite inspector comes to our house to quickly look through and confirm no bugs. The bill usually comes in November and we have until January to sign back up for service and schedule an inspection.
However, this year that letter never came... or so I thought. I kept getting mailers from a national termite and pest control chain. I just assumed they were junk mail and threw them in the trash. Then one day Jason got an automated call from the same company to schedule a termite inspection. He assumed it was a sales call and hung up.
Then we got a personal call from a local number, one that said "Mr. Senn, we are in your area and need to do your termite inspection. Our company recently bought out your termite service provider."
Oops. We schedule a visit, got the all clear that our home didn't have termites and then immediately got a bill of $215 do right away. Double oops.
Sure I could make excuses and say that we weren't well-informed of the transition.
I know that the termite inspection happens every January. But I know that each year this is something we have to take care of to make sure our home is safe from pests. I know this is going to happen every year. And yet I forgot.
I know my tag renewal is due each September. Even if I don't get a notice I still have to pay this or risk getting a ticket.
I know my property taxes are due each December. Even if I don't get a bill it's still my responsibility to follow up and pay my taxes so I don't get a lien on my property.
This is part of being a financially responsible adult. It's up to me.
Now I don't tell you any of this to shame you into budgeting or to make you feel bad over your own slip-ups. I tell you all of this to remind you that no one is perfect. No one gets it right all the time. Even the bloggers who give you money-saving tips.
There are months where we are 100 percent. We have everything budget. We stick to our budget to the letter and we don't spend extra money that's not budgeted. I call those Septembers. For some reason September is always the month we get it right. It seems to be the month we save the most cash.
But there are always Januarys. January is the month where you play catch up, start over and set new goals. Goals that require revision and revision and revision.
One day you will have more Septembers than Januarys. You will have more months were you save more, spend less, and stay on budget. But know you will still have an oops. The point isn't perfect, the point is progress. So don't feel discouraged if the wheels fell off the train the second week of January. You have eleven and half months to get back on track.