This month has presented itself as monetarily challenging; our car needed a major and unexpected repair, a tax bill showed up, and my sister’s wedding is just around the corner. Needless to say, I’m not going to make my savings goal this month.
Thinking about all of this on my bike on my way home from work the other day, I started thinking about “treating” myself to an extra coffee. It was hot, I was sweating and riding up hill, and I thought, “It’s only $4.00, I can afford that.” (I only drink cold coffee, so it sounded refreshing on a warm day.)
Then, bingo! It hit me. I tend to want to “treat” myself when I’m feeling stressed about money and $4.00 seems a whole lot less than a $700 car repair. This was a revelation for me. The truth is I didn’t need another coffee nor did I need to spend $4.00 on a drink. So, I skipped the drink and decided to become more aware of these feelings of “treat time” during stressful moments.
If anything, saving the small amounts here and there should keep me in check. Saving $4.00 doesn’t seem like much, but the small amounts do add up and can act as a nice cushion during cash-strapped months.
I’m sure I can catch up on my savings goal in the coming months. But, I have to form a new car repair plan. Since paying off the car this year, I see that annual repairs are going to be inevitable since the car is now an “older” vehicle. Saving even $150 a month towards repairs should help alleviate the surprise when the next repair comes up (which are the struts that need to be replaced this year. Fun times.)
At least I’m aware of my spending habits and can reign them in when I must.
Do you have spending patterns that you recognize? How do you prepare for large expenses?