Bills, Bills, Bills

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Drew made a “big purchase” yesterday.

And I use the quotes because the more we talked about it, the more I realized “big” doesn’t mean the same to everyone.

For me, any one item over $200 is a big purchase. I spend $40 on jeans, maybe just as much on a sweater, if I really like it. I’ll spend more on shoes ($100+) if I know I’ll wear them a million times – like good winter boots. Flats or heels never exceed $60.

A new iPhone? I’ll plan to have it for at least 2.5 years. I’m fortunate in that I haven’t had to purchase a new computer since my sophomore year of college, because my work provides a new one every couple of years. But even the one purchased in 2008 is still going strong.

As much as I want a smartwatch, I can’t justify the cost.

BUT DON’T WORRY. I still manage to spend anywhere from $10-50 a week going out to eat. It makes zero sense.

I’ve been aware of this habit for years. And as often as I see those small purchases add up to a big one, I still haven’t managed to reconsider every one the same way I second-guess a nice new watch or purse.

2017 Resolution #43: *Spend less on small things for a chance to enjoy the big things. 

Never has that been more relevant than right now, as we plan a trip to Europe. (I’ll talk more about that once an actual plan is in place.)

((Or sooner, depending on when I break from the stress of international airfare.))

For what it’s worth, his “big purchase” was actually a new car, so the quotes probably aren’t needed. I think cars, homes, boats and hoes are big for just about everyone.

Regardless, it’s another monthly bill. And bills are the worst, because no matter how well you think you’re doing with that so-called budget, the due dates always sneak up on ya.

So, if anyone has budgeting tips or money-saving habits worth sharing, I’d love to hear them. 

Just don’t expect me to pay you. I had to borrow the dollar in this cover photo.


Title Credit: Destiny’s Child


*As I write this, I remember a similar resolution from Brandi. Girl gets it.

6 thoughts on “Bills, Bills, Bills

  1. Allie Pane, we should definitely talk! Cacy and I went through the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover plan when I was just feeling too tired of having all of the bills we had, back in 2012. We had just purchased my Camry and I was feeling overwhelmed. I found the program and read the book; we started the program on December 28, 2012 and became debt free (with the exception of the house; that’s a separate step) on February 18, 2014. It was one of the best days of our lives.

    The program always talks about facing the red-faced child in the mirror (yourself) and recognize when you are spending money you could be putting toward other things. Like you, I had no problem spending $15-20 a week going out to eat when the same meal would cost a tenth of that at home. So we started pinching our money and paying off our debt and it really revolutionized the money that we spend in our home. In combination with You Need A Budget, an online budget program that costs $45/year we have really given every dollar a name and a job. The stress and overwhelm money used to have before we started the program has been gone since we became debt free, or even if we just finally got it all out on “paper.”

    My advice to you would be to track your spending for a month, identify where you have been exuberant (going out to eat, shopping more than needed, throw-away purchases…) and where you should be spending more (savings, tithe, Europe…) and begin to shift your mindset. I would be more than happy to give you our copy of The Total Money Makeover if you’d like to read it, and I’d even be happy to sit down and talk money with you if you’d like (to whatever extent and detail you’re comfortable). It’s odd. I’m more focused on “giving” where I can in these ways. And money doesn’t have the same “value” as it once did. It truly is “living like no one else so you can live like no one else.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! Allie congrats on blogging! My husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course and it seriously changed our life with how we think about and use money!! Also, a good place to start is a free app called every dollar, where you can create categories for home expenses, eating out, groceries, etc. and based on each month’s income you put each and every dollar into a “bucket”. Europe would even have its own “bucket”.
    Hope this helps and I wish you the best!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Here’s a good start for all things personal finance: The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. This is a very approachable book, as opposed to Dave Ramsey, nothing against him but its a time commitment and a way of life, which isn’t for everyone.

    And when you’re ready to start monthly budgeting, I suggest YNAB, which is essentially Dave Ramsey’s envelope system but on your computer and mobile: It’s a really great, well designed budgeting software, great community, weekly enewsletter, lots of helpful videos, etc.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As noted above, the first and most vital step is to track every last dollar you spend. I still suck at this but I’ve started using Mint and connected it to my accounts (If they’re ever hacked, I’m screwed). I avoid using cash whenever possible because who really keeps receipts. Two months was enough for me to identify where I can save *cough* Scooters *cough* and how much is reasonable to budget for discretionary activities.

    Have fun in Europe and if you need suggestions on anything Venice, let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

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