Making mistakes and learning

November 8, 2007

Sometimes to learn you have to make mistakes.  This is a reflection post.

We’ve been doing very well on our spending plan for the first two months, not perfect but much better than I thought we would.  The only problem was getting receipts from my wife to enter into the spreadsheet; this was both of our faults.  Here it is the middle of August and I’m getting very frustrated with this and our combined lack of planning our meals, very well…if at all.

I’m frustrated about that one night and something else has made me pissed off so I just say we’re going to McDonalds.  Of course the kids are VERY excited about this, we had probably eaten there only once in two months after it being almost a weekly occurrence.  Off we went, wife protested a little bit but nothing horrible because I think she was fine with not dealing with dinner.  To make matters worse I don’t remember that we used cash; instead put it on our debit card.  That isn’t so bad just making one mistake.  Or is it?

Communication could have and should have fixed the problem of being upset with each other, but it didn’t.  We didn’t talk about what was going on and it turned into a problem over the next few days.  We ended up eating out probably 3 out of 4 nights during the week, racking up around $190 worth of dining out.  The end of the week came around and I finally entered the amounts into the budget to find this total, WOW!  I didn’t bring this amount up to the wife; she instead started talking to me about getting back on our plan and not eating out.

We paid a stupid tax (as Dave Ramsey says) to the tune of $190 just because we let our communication go away.  This was used as not only a learning tool for us but for our kids, talking to them about how eating out a few days would be enough to feed us for a couple weeks.  That was an eye opener to them, and us.  In the almost 3 months since that week we’ve probably eaten out a combined three times.  As a result we’ve been paying our debt off much faster and are communicating very well.

We stumbled but in the end we learned from it.  Mistakes will happen for everyone, trying to minimize them is what we’re striving for.