One of the biggest things about getting into the groove with our new budget is planning for the big expenses.
This will be difficult for me because I have always been an instant gratification type of person (which probably also explains my weight issues) and putting off spending on the little things to make sure we can afford the big things has never come easily.
We know that the dog will need to go to the vet, we know we’ll need to get snow tires for the new car when winter comes around again, and we have to maintain it, we know that we both need to get to the dentists and the baby is going to start wearing glasses, sooner than later, we know that if we’re thinking of moving across the country or buying a house (or both) then we need to build up savings to do that.
I need to remind myself when I’m looking at things I want in the moment, that it will not benefit me in the long run. I need to go to the library instead of the bookstore, and search through my yarn stash for forgotten projects instead of heading to the store. I need to remind myself that every new tee-shirt I buy that I don’t end up wearing is $20 or $30 that can no longer help us make a deposit.
The rule that Mel talked about in her comment on the last post is a great idea – not putting anything on credit cards unless you can pay it off before the next pay cycle. It’s a lesson I wish I’d learned when I was 18, but once you start it’s difficult to stop. The one thing I have done is kept my limits low, and I’ve transferred my balance to a card with a low interest rate. Now we just have to keep making payments and make them stick. We’ve also been looking into consolidation loans or a line of credit so we have a bit of security in case of emergency. Such a thing would mean that our entire debt payment would be going into the same account and paying it down faster, and it would also mean a lower interest rate.
Before we can apply for such a thing, we need to start getting things in order to prove we can, so we will keep examine our budget and figuring out what works and what’s wrong.