Sunday, December 9, 2007

Counting down....

And no, I don't mean " Christmas."

When my last paycheck arrived, I paid nearly all of my bills for the month[1] and looked at what I had left over and decided to make an additional lump-sum payment on one of my credit cards. Now, normally, I tell myself that I pay "as much extra as I can" while still leaving myself a nice-sized cushion in the checking account. Then I can always make another contribution later out of what's left of the cushion when the next paycheck arrives, right? But then you know what happens to that cushion. It shrinks a bit. And then a bit more. I'm still pretty tight-fisted when it comes to spending money, so I usually do have cushion left at the end of that pay period and can actually make another contribution to one of the credit cards. And I do! But along the way little bits of that cushion have been spent on things I probably could have done without, and that additional contribution is smaller than it could/should have been. Like I said, I'm not as bad as others, and I am pretty proud of how well I usually do, comparatively speaking. But it's resolution time right now, folks, so it's time to "nut up," as my brother would say.[2]

So, rather than leave a big cushion, I made a big payment and currently have $60 to last me the next 6 days.

Sounds scary!

I used to do it all the time when I was in college--in fact, $60 would have to last me a lot longer than that. I ate at the cafeteria, and I spent all my time studying so entertainment costs were pretty low. Plus, everyone was poor. Those were definitely helpful factors.

But there is no reason why I cannot do this now. First of all, it is only 6 days. Four of those days I will be at work all the time, and that makes it pretty easy. I've got a fridge (well, freezer) full of reheatable foods, so I don't even have to worry about eating cup-o-noodles every meal or something like that. I've even got a mostly full tank of gas, and no "Bring a gift under $x dollars!" holiday parties to go to. Luck is on my side.

If something disastrous happens, I always have an empty credit card as a back-up plan, although of course I am hoping it won't come to that. But as long as a meteor doesn't fall on my car or the roof doesn't cave in, I should be fine. And then I will have the satisfaction of having paid more toward my debt than I would have by playing it safe.

Wish me luck!

[1] There are two bills left to be paid after my 15th paycheck - one because it is auto-pay and the other because it is too big to pay beforehand. But fear not, as soon as that paycheck hits the bank--bang, bang! Down go those bills.
[2] Sorry, mom, he really does.

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