A Thousand Charges


Many of us are familiar with the phrase "a death by a thousand cuts." This phrase describes being hurt many, many times by a small pain that itself is not life-threatening. However, the small pain is multiplied by the many occurrences that then become life-threatening.


Your budget or Money House can suffer a similar fate.


Consider your spending habits. We all make trips to the grocery store and spend relatively significant amounts of money there periodically. This is normal. We need to have the essentials of food and other items in our houses for daily use. This is also true for our regular visits to the gas pump to fill up the tank of our car.


What about the daily routine of visiting your favorite coffee place for that "necessary" caffeine infusion?


What about having meals ordered in and delivered multiple times a week?


What about quick visits to the office vending machines?


Each of these little transactions doesn't feel like much in the moment. We can easily justify the behavior because we "have the money." The danger is, even if we are not tracking each of these small cuts, they still start to add up to significant expense. The money is still spent out of our hands. We still will wonder where all the money went since we won't remember each and every time we got coffee, a snack, or didn't feel like cooking.


As we continue through this week, I challenge you to track each and every expense you incur each day. No matter how small or how you pay, track the expense somewhere. If you have a budgeting application, I challenge you to track it there. Doing it all in a spreadsheet? Track it there. Just have a sheet of paper you use? Track it there.


This way you will see the full picture of how each of these small expenses can be contributing to your current situation. The good news is, if you track this information, it will be in front of you and you can do something about it. It is no longer a nebulous cloud of unknowns that you just don't want to look at. It's real, in front of you, and demands your attention.


Finally, now that you can face the problem head on, what will you do about it?