Monday, November 24, 2008

Be Wary of the Little Things, They Add Up

Image by Michael Henderson

When you're working on debt repayment, every little counts. Normally, this is applied to paying off the debt. Many small amounts eventually add  up to large ones. The same can be said of putting the debt back on, though. 
It may just be a little at a time. $2 here, $10 there, but eventually all that adds up and either impedes getting out of debt, or sends you straight back down the rabbit hole again. 

I'm guilty of this. I've done really well sticking to my plan and my budget, but I've been spending money that I don't have with the intent of "paying it back". I've not been able to get my budget back in the black for a couple of weeks, though, and I need to be pretty stern pretty quickly. 

Some examples of my backsliding:

11/23 $4.26 - Dinner and a drink at work
11/22 $2.00 Morning Bagel
11/21 $13.67 Smoothies
11/20 $6.24 Smoothies
11/19 $37.79 Video Game
11/17 $8.80 Brunch
11/13 $6.21 Lunch
11/13 $3.25 Coffee
11/12 $6.00 Lunch

Basically, in 11 days I spent $50.42 on miscellaneous edibles and $37.79 on a video game. My weekly discretionary budget is $25, so I was $38.21 over budget. I also put more gas in my car than I had budgeted for. 

These are all small items that have put me over budget. So now I'm about two weeks behind in my spending account and christmas is coming. 

So don't forget that it's not just about paying off your debt or saving in small increments, it's also about keeping your small increment spending down or eliminating it entirely. 

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