Friday, July 8, 2011

Q2 2011: Stay Within Your Means Lesson

So when someone says live within your means I think about fixed costs: cars, house, bills, etc. I shouldn't be spending 40-50% of my salary on rent/mortgage. I've got that under control in my head and in my actual spending.


However, this year, I've been trying to pay back debt outside of my means. I told you all in this post that I was willing to not shop in order to pay down debt.



I've learned that my teaching/learning style is punishment rather than reward. I also told you that I received a financial blessing in June. My first thought was to put it ALL directly towards my credit card. And while that might be one responsible way to do it, it's not the only way. How content can I really be if I continue to deprive myself to pay for past debt/mistakes?



What's the big deal if I pay down my credit card debt on September 1st vs. September 30th (these are fake dates), if I've sacrificed every meal, frilly summer dress and vacation with friends to meet the goal.



So my "means" as they stand now SHOULD afford me a shopping allowance, a trip allowance, an eat-lunch-outside-of-the-office allowance. I already live in a studio box to continue spending below my means. I decided [the day I wrote this post] that I'm not going to keep cutting back to reach some arbitrary goal in my head. No ma'ams and sirs. I'm going to celebrate life and my accomplishments and my progress.



I'm learning that life is about progress, not perfection and I'll see those zero balances soon enough. Meet me at the mall. I'm about to do WONDERS for the economy!



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