Is This Really Working?


Paying my bills last week, I realized that I was paying down more or less the same amount on my credit cards as I had in the past.  Did I miscalculate my budget?  I thought that my brilliant plan was supposed to help me pay off my cards!?!  The beauty of the budget is that I’m not adding on to my debt (cash only!  no credit cards!), and I’m saving forward for the irregular expenses that I would normally incur on my card.  So although it doesn’t seem like I’m climbing higher out of the debt hole, at least the hole isn’t getting deeper.


I do have to make a few adjustments to the budget since I was working with net figures that did not include pre-tax deductions like 401K, insurance, and transit.  Because November and December are frolicking holiday months, I’m increasing my weekly fun money to 10%, while bringing down my irregular expenses to 5%.  Taking a sobering look at my expenses has been remarkably different from how I’ve handled money in the past, which was total denial.  I’m actually quite pleased with this new honesty and openness.  


In saving forward, I’ve been able to set aside some money for a trip to New Orleans later this week.  I don’t have to worry about how to pay for it, the money’s been set aside.  Enough to have a grand time and not think about the budget.  


Shouldn’t I use this stash to dial down the debt?  That would be the virtuous thing to do, but I need to live a little.  The budget is supposed to be practical, not punishment.


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