Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bills vs. Life Brain Gap

It's always amazing to me how our brains shut-down, or narrow our focus in one direction or another. Let's say for example, you've been living a paycheck-to-paycheck life for a long time, always finding a way to pay bills eventually...but better late than never. Then you have some bills that you can let slide for a month or two, and then play the catch-up game; or perhaps from time to time one is lucky enough to have it all at once just when you need it.

Then, say one of the two people responsible for the bills gets a new job with a better salary. The bill-payer wants to stay on top of things, but at the same time not run us into the hole. We should, however, not go into the hole in the first place because our income is greater. However (and this is where the gap occurs), our brains tell us that since we have more income, it's O.K. to spend a little more frivilously. So you eat out a few more times than normal, only go to the grocery when necessary instead of planning for the week, buy that book and CD you've been wanting, factor in an eye appointment, and before you know it, you're right back in the hole again before the next payday!

Budget, you say?! Oh yes, let's budget, shall we?

After spending hours reconciling the checkbook, rewriting all ones expenses and income in a spreadsheet, making sure it all makes sense, you find you have X number of disposable dollars until the next payday. So you tell yourself, OK self, we have X number of dollars to spend until this date. No problem! For one of us anyway, now I just have to get the other self to remember that too.

So, while I think of a way to tell the other self how much is left in the account, and how many days that amount is supposed to last us, I must force myself to do the remaining items on our list of To Do's...

Now! Where is that list...?

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