Manage Your Spending, Not Your Bills

by Kevin on November 19, 2008

Last week I wrote “Let’s Dance! Who Knows the Bill Shuffle?“, essentially pointing out why living paycheck-to-paycheck is dumb and stressful. A few people left comments on the post talking about how they had lived through that in the past, but thankfully had moved on to greener financial pastures.

Envision Change in Your Habits

For those of you that are still living like this — still shuffling your bills on a day to day basis — imagine this. Imagine all of the stress and pressure you experience. Imagine the effort you expend on a daily and weekly basis to make sure you keep all of your creditors happy.

It’s a lot of effort, right?

Change Where Your Effort Goes to Control Your Spending

Take all of the effort you are wasting on shuffling those bills, stop for a moment, and then transition that effort into changing your spending.

If you control your spending…

  • your credit card problem would at least stall for a while (you still need to pay it off, but the problem will stop growing)
  • your eating out budget might dwindle to more reasonable levels
  • you might actually get some sleep and stop worrying every night

Alternatively, you could control your income by getting a part-time weekend or night job.

The end result? Your budget might show some money left over at the end of the month. Money that you could apply to your debt and past-due utility bills. Money to let you “catch up” for at least a week.

But why stop this week? Do it next week. Do it all month. Do it all year.

Make the change. Invest one night in getting things straightened out. Build up the habit now, and the future will be brighter.