What I am about to confess to you is very embarrassing. I realize I'm confessing out of my own free will, but that somehow doesn't make it better. I received a check in the mail yesterday for a good deal of money. It was from our previous mortgage company. I was both excited and suspicious when it arrived. Mostly because it was the third check we've received from them since closing that old loan and refinancing our home in December.
I decided to call someone who is much more intelligent with these things than I am: our mortgage broker. After having a good laugh with me about the debaucle, she asks, "You didn't have the account on auto-payment, did you?" Apart from an error on the side of the mortgage loan company, she could not think of any other reason why they would be sending us check after check.
I laughed back at her and said, "I think we'd notice if THAT much money was moving out of our account on top of our new mortgage payments!" Or would we...
I'm no financial wizard (obviously) because as it turns out, she was exactly right. How in the world we have been paying two mortgages for three months is beyond me! (The punchline, just to be clear, is that the mortgage company was trying to pay me back for these unnecessary payments, but I didn't know what to do with the checks!) But it reminds me of a fact that I have always believed to be true and now I have concrete evidence (no matter how ridiculous it may be): you will always spend what you have.
Here's what I mean. If that money had been sitting in my checking account, I surely would have spent it on something else. I would have made a mental note and said to myself, "Oooo, I should go buy such and such this month since we have the extra money." This also validates the saying I've heard time and again, ALWAYS PAY YOURSELF FIRST. If you automatically deposit money into some kind of savings account, you never see it and therefore never miss it! Before you know it, you've saved up for the vacation you've always wanted or started the college savings for your kids, or put away enough money to build a well halfway around the world.
If I've learned anything today it's this: if you can live within your means, you can always find enough to save for something that really matters. Maybe it won't be a second mortgage (believe me we won't be keeping that up another month!), but it may be that date night you and your hubby are longing for. Don't let your money rule you. Show it who's boss.