CNN Money posts about a woman who paid off $18,000 worth of debt in a year.
I ride the bus. A lot. Usually, twice a day. That has saved me approximately $1,400 over the past year.
In January 2010, I started what I called a spending fast. For a full year, the plan was that I would spend money on necessities only. No more eating out, no more movies, no more shopping, no more “wants”. I knew this was going to be intense, and I was also fully prepared for it to suck.
You see, I’m the type that buys what she wants when she wants because I work hard and I feel like I deserve it. I know plenty of people that have the same feelings as I do about work and money and spending and not spending.
But a funny thing happened: I also found myself in debt. $23,605.10 worth of debt, to be exact. I know that amount is not as much as some people’s debt, and I know it’s more than others. But the point is, it was bad enough for me. My debt was suddenly and horribly overwhelming.
I know why people don’t pay off debt. I know why it’s easier to pretend it’s not there. I know what it feels like to be completely convinced that the debt will never ever, ever get paid off, and that if it did it’d only be because I won some random game show or some Mega Lottery Jackpot that I don’t even play.
Debt is overwhelming. When the number gets to a certain point it’s kind of like, “Ah, screw it! I might as well enjoy myself because I’ll always have this debt.”
People who avoiding keeping track of their daily expenses are usually in for quite a shock when they finally decide to. The amount of money spent on things accumulatively is astonishing.
My personal example? I used to get Schwann’s Food Delivery twice a month. I’d usually spend about $40 each time, so we’re looking at $80/month. That wasn’t a huge deal to me, but when I finally started keeping track of my expenses and saw my total spent on that food was $3,000 over time, I stopped right in my tracks with a wake-up call.
Little expenses add up. They can either add to your debt, or they can add to your savings. As Captain Planet would say, the choice…is yours.