Sometimes I forget to keep count of things. My debt, how many days I’ve been primal, and other things jump to mind. Today I was reminded that this is the last week my two older girls are in summer camp. It’s a day camp I drive them to bright and early every day and then go back and pick them up in the afternoon.
It’s been hell on the gas budget, let me tell you.
For a couple weeks I’d go over to a friend’s house as well and that added another 30 minutes to a 40 minute journey. I didn’t realize it until I noticed the gas tank was full sooner than I anticipated and when I asked my husband he told me it was almost empty. I did some mental math and – after almost fainting – realized that going to hang out with friends during the day wasn’t the best option. Plus, my husband was frustrated that I hadn’t even thought about it before going there. He has every right to be frustrated by this because I’m the money manager in the family. I’m the Dave Ramsey fan. I’m the one who reads Man vs. Debt and Get Rich Slowly.
So how did I miss something so obvious?
- I don’t go to the gas station. No, really. Gas isn’t one of my household duties. I may throw in five bucks if I’m really low, but I never keep track of which car has how much gas or how much gas even is.
- I don’t stare at the gas gauge. Unless I am traveling a long distance (say, to Michigan to visit family) I barely pay attention to the “range” info in the car. My car has a really cool little thingy that tells you how many miles you have left to drive before you’re out of gas.
- I’ve never been strong budgeting gas and food. These fluctuating expenses are like trying to herd cats for me. My husband has a better handle on these because he also does the food shopping but he’s not great at tracking and I’m not great at picking a random number and telling him, “You can have this much cash for food for the week. Don’t screw us over.”
Here’s how I’m planning on solving the issue:
- I already told my friend I can’t come over after summer camp every day. So the extra gas expense is no longer an issue.
- I keep the little gadget thingy in the car turned to “range” so I can pay more attention.
- I look at how much gas is in the car when I start the car, as my normal “seat, mirrors, gagues” check.
- I now have X amount of dollars set aside for gas and food for the week, we’ll adjust if necessary.
When I say I’ll adjust what I mean is that money will have to come from the food budget if we’re short on gas. That means less money for food. Less money for food means rice with a meal or two to make up for the difference.