Scary Money Confessions

Our October Budget Has Been Scary!!!

Our October Budget Has Been Scary!!!

Happy Halloween, everyone.  Today marks my very favorite holiday by far.  And although this year’s Halloween may be bittersweet because of our upcoming move, I’m still looking forward to it.  Actually, I’m looking forward to taking my kids trick-or-treating tomorrow, not today.  Why?  Because there’s a big storm moving in with lots of rain and yuckiness in the forecast.  So, my town decided to move trick-or-treating to Friday so that the kids could get out and enjoy it without getting soaked.  Sounds good to me!

With our move in only a few days, we have had some scary money situations going on.  Lots of cash going out the window in all sorts of directions…with no end in sight.  So, with that being said, I thought that I would share some of my scary money confessions from this month.  Oh, and check out my kids in their Halloween costumes from the past few years.  Here we go……

One of my favorite pictures of all-time, Halloween 2011!

One of my favorite pictures of all-time, Halloween 2011!

Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012

I love this picture!

I love this picture!

Scary Money Confessions

Confession #1: Selling our house cost us almost $15,000

It really makes me feel like shit to put that out there, but that’s the cold hard truth.  First, it cost us $9,600 for the use of our realtor.  Then there were other fees involved in the sale, like the fact that we offered our sellers our portion of our 2013 property taxes as well as a few state-required bullshit fees.  We also offered a home warranty ($325) and will pay approximately $1,000 for movers.  Those numbers are frightening!

Confession #2: We ate Subway eight times this month, McDonald’s 9 times

Well, to be fair, we didn’t eat fast food a total of 17 times!  We always get the kids Happy Meals if we’re eating Subway.  This is mainly because the kids won’t eat anything from Subway and we won’t eat anything from McDonald’s.  So, in total, we ate fast food a total of 8-9 times.  However, we didn’t go substantially over our grocery budget….which is awesome!

Confession #3: We bought $350 in gas this month

I know that this probably doesn’t like a lot, but it’s a lot for us!  Greg has a Prius and I work from home.  We usually fill Greg’s tank once or twice a month and mine every other month.  But, since we’ve been driving back and forth all month, our transportation costs have shot through the roof.  Fortunately, this will all be over in the near future since Greg will have a short ten-minute commute from our temporary rental home.  Whew….

Confession #4: I found an $800 error on the HUD statement for our home closing

It never fails.  Every single time we’ve closed on a home because of a purchase or refinance, I’ve found some sort of problem with the HUD statement.  This time, the error was huge…$800!!!!  And, it was totally in our favor (it always is).  Basically, they had an $800 credit to our buyers for our property taxes due next month.  But, when I checked my mortgage statement from this month, I saw that our escrow account had already paid them.  So, had I not caught the error, we would’ve lost $800 to our buyers for absolutely no reason at all.

When I called the closing company, I got this response:

“Well, you’ll just have to work it out later.”

That’s when things got scary because I had to turn my absolutely frightening bitch switch on.  The closing on our home was originally scheduled for the next day, so she didn’t feel that she had time to fix it.

“Ummmm….that’s why I’m calling.  To work it out.  And, I refuse to close on my home until it’s fixed.”

After some hemming and hawing, she decided that she could make the extra effort to confirm that my property taxes had been paid.  Shortly after that, I got a new HUD statement reflecting the $800 change.  Winning!  Even scarier is the fact that our closing has been rescheduled four times now….and is now supposed to close at 4:30 today.  Fingers crossed….

So, that’s about it.  Scary shit, indeed. 

Do you have any scary money confessions to share?  If so, please do just that in the comments below.

 
About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. There has been an error on every single HUD statement we’ve ever dealt with – 4 now. How ridiculous is that! And major errors! Do people not proof these things?

    • I don’t know. And it wasn’t even an error in the closing company’s favor! It was us just giving an extra $800 to our buyers for no reason.

      $800!!!

  2. Cute pictures! This is the first year we can take our son trick or treating. It probably won’t last very long but we’re excited. Good luck on the closing.

  3. Holy crap the HUD thing is scary to hear. What the heck were they talking about “work it out later?” Wow….And yeah selling a house is definitely expensive. In Minnesota the seller almost always pays closing costs for the buyer so that’s something that I have to kep in mind when we sell.

    • I know….work it out later? LOL

      We actually didn’t pay our buyer’s closing costs, which was nice. But the state of Indiana has like $700 in mandatory sellers fees that we couldn’t get out of.

  4. Hope the closing goes smoothly! Maybe it’s waiting for Halloween to be over?

  5. I bet they’re not used to people knowing enough to be able to interpret the HUD and double check things. That’s ridiculous.

  6. Cutest pics, Holly! Amazing job on catching the HUD mistake – we will be looking more closely in our next move! I remember when we moved last year too, the food situation was not good. Lots of going out to eat as we struggled to balance all that needed to be done. I’ll bet you’ll be glad when you guys are in and unpacked.

    • Yeah, exactly. We haven’t wanted to buy too much fresh food since we’re moving. Fortunately, we didn’t blow the grocery budget. At least McDonalds/Subway are cheap!

  7. Scary money confession – I still haven’t gotten my s–t together to get paid for my work at school. That’s $80 waiting for me, which is a huge amount to a student.

  8. I’m glad you caught that mistake on the HUD paperwork! It would have been even scarier had you NOT seen it. Good luck on closing, and I hope you and your kids have a very happy Halloween :)

  9. You can’t do much about realtor fees. Otherwise, it might have taken forever to sell your house. We are about to spend about $600 for ski passes and lessons. Scary indeed, but what else can you do in winter? Love the Halloween pics. Hope you have fun trick or treating. I wish it were always on Friday.

    • I definitely didn’t want to sell my house on my own. The house across the street from us took 6 months to sell…and that was with a realtor!

  10. Awesome pics Holly! I can’t believe (well maybe I can) that they told you that about the HUD mistake. But, glad you got it worked out. It sounds like you may be getting the weather we just had, so I can understand why they’d back up the trick or treating by a day.

  11. $380 in gas is a lot of money! Moving is so stressful and expensive to boot. Your kids are adorable in their costumes – it’s cool that a town can decide to move trick or treating to the next day. I didn’t even know that is possible!

    An $800 error is huge. I’m glad you got it fixed.

  12. The little gnomes are adorable! Confession: I never know how much cash I have so you can rob me super easily. Which the maid just did. But BF knows to the penny so he fired her when she did his wallet too…

  13. After touring the USA for several years and having to chose between Subway and McDonalds as my only two food options, I now avoid them (and really all fast food) like the plague. I understand the convenience though, especially with kids. I’m still waiting for the day there’s a healthy fast food restaurant (beyond sandwiches).

    • We usually don’t eat out that much….but things have been crazy since we’re moving! Subway is the only fast food I can tolerate really!

  14. Well, I bought my oldest daughter two different Halloween costumes because she changed her mind after we got the first one and THEN the ex husband declared he was going to take them trick or treating because I’ve had them on every other holiday. It’s supposed to pour down here today too. So we may get rescheduled to tomorrow too. I think you and I must live pretty close.

  15. The Halloween pics of your girls are so adorable, especially the gnome costume!! That’s so frustrating about the HUD error – I wonder if there’s some that don’t even take the time to catch the errors!

  16. Scary money confessions indeed! I’m coming back to this series in the future when I am looking for a house. Great wealth of information/warnings.

  17. Cute pics. This is how out of touch I am with the home ownership thing..I have no idea what an HUD is. How about that for a confession. OK really my money confession is that with fincon I probably spent way more than I should have, and I really shouldn’t have purchased my iceland trip at all considering I really hadn’t saved for that specific goal. I took it out of my efund. I know….THE WORST!

  18. $380 in gas is quite a lot. I thought I had a good amount paying $250 each month. I don’t have any scary money confessions that I can think of (at least recently). Nice eye on the HUD statement. Bunch of idiots!

  19. Wow, selling a house is expensive. Don’t understand why the transaction costs are so high.

  20. The gnome – the gnome – such a fabulous costume and picture. You have some pretty gorgeous kids, Holly! Moving is a pain and it is expensive but hopefully it will be all over soon … well, for a little bit at least. :) I can’t believe she wanted to “work it out later”. Glad you stood your ground and got it taken care of now. Happy Halloween!

  21. $350 on gas this month, I would love to have a bill that low. Currently I pay around $500 a month for gas and for the most part that doesn’t include any extra driving to work and back and running the kids to various places during the week.

  22. I don’t know that the closing costs are much to confess — that’s all pretty standard. The one variable part is the realtor fee, but you might watch your house sit on the market much longer selling it alone. I just factor that stuff into the cost of buying homes

  23. Eating out at Mickey Dees — who says moving is all bad?? :)

  24. Our scariest money mistake came from the first home we put an offer in on. We were wet behind the ears and didn’t realize that a small change the sellers had made to the contract put our earnest money at risk in certain scenarios. The lender we were working with would only provide funds if we bought our primary home under as a rental (it got complicated, since we were living in CA and trying to buy a home we’d move to in AZ). We’d have to come up with 25% down and pay a higher interest rate, so we decided to back out. Our realtor said that’d be fine…but only later did we find out we lost our $2k earnest money. No bueno.

    In the end we ended up with a much less expensive house (about $75k less) that we loved more and is the right size for us. But I still cringe thinking about that lost money…

  25. Scary money confession as of late? At FinCon, I dropped $60 for one dinner. Yes, I also write about saving money by eating less meals outside :)

  26. You want scary? We ALMOST came in under on our food budget for the first time in months…..but nope….just blew it up yesterday. UGH!

    Glad to hear the gas situation is shaping up. Bummer about the $350. We’re shooting for $150 each month….depending on how many times I can carpool during the month.

    And last but not least…my income dropped by $700 last month…not sure when it’s coming back….and we need that income to NOT dip into savings. FRIGHTENING!

  27. Cute pictures. I had the unfortunate situation of coming over on the grocery bill…again. You would think being provided a week’s worth of veggies that I’ve already paid for would help keep me under. Although, in fairness, there was a rather unique situation this month. B had a film crew over to help shoot a short film for a 48 hour horror film festival. I hate the idea of being a rude host so I went and got enough food to make sure they could eat while they were working.

  28. Nice catch on the HUD statement. I think more of us need a ‘frightening bitch switch’ when companies try to play games like this. Have fun trick or treatin’ tomorrow!

  29. Nothing scary! I managed to contact a few companies regarding product issues and received coupons or other credits to offset the problems.

  30. nice that you were able to catch the error and take care of it. sometimes the inner bitch needs to come out!

    hope the closing happens smoothly :)

  31. My scary experience when our developer approved the perimeter fence of our neighbor. They built it and encroach to our property. It is a long process of talks and emails. It’s almost two years, yet the developer did not come up with the right solution.

  32. Wow..that some scary confessions. We also had some important un-budgeted things come up this month so we are at a deficit.

  33. $800! Good catch! Your statements are always worth a second look. Glad you sorted it out! $350 is a lot on gas, but seems like your other months of once or twice a month fill-ups, will average it all out. :)

  34. I love that you are airing your dirty laundry, Holly. Moving is expensive, and it is a PITA, there is no do doubt. Great catch finding that error on your HUD statement. Like many others have stated, I found something similar at our last recent home sale closing.

  35. Gotta love McDonald’s! I got a cool shirt I bought in Venice Beach, CA when I was in college entitled “McShit” :)

    Gotta eat McDonald’s to support America to support Obamacare!
    Sam

  36. Scary post Holly and thanks :)

    Your children look sooooo cute and I’m sure they had a blast!

    I have no scary money items to report, but I did want to say that if you ever want to rent out your “bitch switch” I’m sure you could make nice side hustle with it, because it seems to work wonders when in full power on mode :)

    Take care and enjoy the weekend. My best to all.

    Lyle

  37. Hoping everything works out!! I ate out a ton last month too when I didn’t feel like cooking! Things will settle down soon and that pic of you and the kids is adorable! You are so pretty Holly!

  38. Subway 8 times! That had me laughing because I love Subway but I find it hard eating it more than twice a month. It’s better than McDonalds in terms of health – in fact, those burgers are the healthiest fast food I know of – so perhaps the Subway confession can be kept out of the list without feeling guilty about wasting money.

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  1. […] Holly is dishing about some scary money confessions! […]

  2. […] to get our financial situation back to a somewhat normal state.  As I shared last week in my Scary Money Confessions, we’ve been eating a lot of fast food lately because we haven’t stocked up on […]

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