When You Stumble

It’s really easy to write about personal finance when things are going good. When you’re saving money, watching your net worth grow, and all around feeling satisfied with how things are in your life, it’s really easy to blog.

When things start going south, however, it can be harder to sit down and write up a blog post about it.

You may have noticed I’ve been missing in action lately. Or, well, you probably haven’t because I think only about 8 people read this blog regularly and they’re just trying to be nice. But, I digress. It’s been some weeks since I’ve posted a new blog post or a new podcast.

We’ve had a string of bad luck lately… both our dogs have been sick which has cost us quite a bit of dosh at the vet. We’ve sold our rental property but the closing keeps getting pushed back meaning we’re paying an extra mortgage each month that’s usually covered by a renter. All in all, we’re just not saving as much money as I’m used to and we’re even running into the red the last two months.


I mean, I’m sure everyone hates that feeling. But I really hate it. I know that people set up emergency funds for just that reason, but watching my emergency fund decrease sort of leads to me feeling all around panicky.

And DUH. The whole point of an emergency fund is so that you don’t feel panicky when shit happens. But I do. I feel super panicky. And I hate it.

So what am I doing to combat the feeling? A few things actually. And just the act of sitting down and typing this -ish up is making me feel better. But I have a plan.

1.) No More Restaurants

We immediately cut out eating out. No more quick stops at Chipotle or mid-week Chinese food deliveries. We’re eating what we have at home.

2.) Meal Planning is a Must

I took inventory of our pantry and freezer to figure out what we have at home that I could build meals around. With some planning and a little fresh produce, it will help reduce our grocery bill.


No non-essential spending. Did I ever tell you guys I like candles? I burn them a lot and I like to buy candles pretty much everywhere. I’m not picky. But this month my personal spending allowance is going down to zero. I don’t need anymore candles or any more books. I’ll make due with what I have.

4.) Been putting off some returns or exchanges? Do it now!

I had about $100 in clothes for my husband that I had picked up for him at the outlet mall. Most of it he didn’t like, so we needed to return it. That bag full of clothes had been sitting in our bedroom for a few weeks now and it was basically just wasted money. By getting off my ass to return them I got another $100 in our checkbook that we can use to pay off our vet bills.

5.) Clean the House

Okay, I know this might not be intuitive. But there is nothing that makes me feel more grateful than spending time cleaning my house. The hands-on nature of it, means that I am moving from room to room and dusting and de-cluttering and being forced to interact with all my possessions. This just makes me feel so blessed and secure. It’s like, yes, the last two months have kind of sucked… but I have a beautiful home and a wonderful marriage and those things are worth more than all the money in the world.

All this being said, it’s kind of hard to want to talk more about my personal finance journey when I’m not exactly killing it lately.

Maybe that sounds a little whiny or mopey but I was thinking to myself that no one would want to take my advice or be like me if I can’t even get it together when shit hits the fan.

Then I had to remember why I started this blog in the first place. I started it because I wanted some accountability for my journey. And if I just run away whenever the journey gets hard then that’s no kind of accountability at all.

So there you have it – the good, the bad, and the ugly about personal finance. Some months you don’t kill it. Some months it’s all you can do to not be killed.

But as long as you keep on plugging along. So long as you don’t GIVE UP entirely. You can do it.

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3 Responses

  1. ZJ Thorne says:

    Accountability and showing the hard moments and the embarrassing times is where I’m at, too. I hope things have improved (since I’m commenting so late).

  2. Basic Sue says:

    GREAT tips. It’s also been an emergency fund-type of hear at the Ingram house, so I definitely empathize here. I’ve been good about eating at home most of the time, but should definitely put this house-cleaning scheme into practice. Wishing for good health for you two and the doggos! xoxo

  1. July 9, 2018

    […] on the blog in over a month and it’s mainly been because I’ve been struggling with money. I wrote about that here – how I felt like we were stumbling when it came to saving because of some unexpected […]

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