Using Vacation as a Financial Reboot

I did a self-audit of my finances a little while ago and found that over the past year I have made some tracking mistakes. In total I spent more than my tracking systems say I did and I had to correct. This basically wiped out the quarterly bonus I got. Luckily I was not underwater.

The problem stems from my system of tracking expenses that are not directly in my budget. Items like car repairs, extra medical costs, and so on are hard to budget for. I use a spreadsheet to account for these against my remaining monthly budget. This lets me know how well I did overall.

It took me the past year to hammer out the details of how the system should operate. The problem came this past month when it appeared that my checking account balance would not cover all of my credit card balances. It gets complicated with work expenses thrown into the mix that are reimbursed. Turns out I forgot to transfer some money from my irregular bills savings account. Other than that it was simply bad record keeping in the beginning that caused the issue.

Now that I am leaving for Asia in a few days this will allow the dust to settle. I will be almost exclusively using cash while abroad. During this time my credit card balances will clear out and I will have a better picture of where I stand when I get back a month later. At this point I will start my monthly budget versus spending tracking over with good numbers. I am going to be much more attentive to the spreadsheet and tracking this time around!