Shrink Bill: Vol. 2 (or Staying Clean)

The saga continues…

Making their new financial discipline work required buy in and commitment to the program from both Bill and his wife. That’s the only way they could go forward and make it successful.

It was tricky at times during the month to deal with low balances in the checking account and resist taking the easy way out and using a credit card. Of course, their transition is ongoing so it’s not always possible to forego using a credit card.
Not all the month’s income comes at the beginning of the month so it was necessary to manage bill paying and other expenditures properly in order to match cash flow.

However, Bill and his wife found it kind of liberating (and a welcome relief) to get credit card statements with zero due or a very low amount due. There would be no more charging a bunch of things one month, then not having any idea what amount due they would find when the bill was opened the next month.

When something unexpected came up it was nice to assess the situation and know the large bill should be manageable. Income, and savings if necessary, should prevent having to tap the credit line that is in the process of being paid down.

Challenges remain:

The challenge of tracking spending in various areas in order to both manage spending and build a working budget grounded in reality.

The challenge of disciplined saving.

The challenge of making regular contributions to the annual expenses fund so they don’t find themselves in a bind months down the road when some large bill comes due.

The challenge of managing spending over the course of the month so cash is available through the whole month. Deferring spending when necessary in order to maintain their objectives is sometimes necessary.

The goals:
– Celebrate the small victories.
– Maintain these good habits.
– Get a good savings routine going besides the emergency fund.

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