“It’s only”. This is the phrase that is going to get you in trouble.
I have found in my experience teaching budgeting and also doing one on one budget counseling that people who say this the most during our conversations have the most trouble.
I had a situation where I was doing one on one counseling with a couple. I was going through the budget with this couple and they were really struggling. When we got done going through their monthly expenses, I started looking over the numbers. I said “are you sure this is all you spend each month?” “yes, yes” they said “that’s it”. I sat there looking at them. The husband had a McDonalds cup and a pack of cigarettes in front of him. These things, as insignificant as they may be, were not accounted for in the budget. I brought this up. Then I heard the phrase that makes me cringe..’it’s only $x.xx”.
This is how people get in trouble!!! Buying the small dollar things here and there throughout the day. Those days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months.
Think about it.
If you spend $5 per day by stopping at the gas station to get cigs/soda/candy/whatever you are spending an extra $25 a week in junk that you probably can’t account for. That’s an extra $100 a month not accounted for or $1,300 a year!!!!!!! And that is just one area of the budget! What if you did this in say 3 different areas of your life (think Walmart trips, extra grocery trips during the week, lunches out) no wonder people are broke!!!!
If you find yourself thinking “it’s only” before you buy something, take a second to stop and think about if you really need item x. Chances are you wouldn’t miss it. After all “it’s only $x.xx”, right?