• Like a bad penny, debt always turns up…

    unless we change how we interact with money, of course!

    The Bad Penny is dedicated to two pursuits: getting out of debt and staying out of debt! It recognizes that frugality and caring for our planet go hand in hand, and that our unsatiated need for stuff is hurting us in so many ways.

    Easier said than done!


    I am not a finance professional. I write about the world as I know it, and my advice may not be the best course of action for you! Please seek qualified advice for your particular situation.

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A little extra money never hurts

This month, we find ourselves in a much better financial position. Our Ebay sales have been great and we’re moving a lot of product. This means that we’ve been able to pay all our credit card minimums and more just from that money. Previously, paying the minimums and a few hundred extra on our personal Citibank card was all we could manage, and it took almost the entire second paycheck we get each month. So for us, liquidating our business inventory and equipment has been a really wise move for us. It also means we’ll pay off the cards that much sooner.

Because our paycheck didn’t have to go completely towards bills, my husband and I splurged a little bit. Last Saturday we spent $100 to pay for a babysitter and a nice meal at a Hibachi restaurant – something we haven’t done in literally years. And since we haven’t had a night out alone in almost a year, it was well worth the unnecessary expense. Could we have done it cheaper? Probably. Would we have? Well, let’s just say I think the money was well spent!

The extra money coming in was also perfectly timed with the arrival of our bi-annual car insurance premiums, so that $330 will come painlessly out of the paycheck – painlessly in the fact that we don’t have to figure out how to come up with it! (And yes, our rates are very low. We got that rate – about $330 a year per car – due to not only our clean driving records, but a good credit score and the fact that we have our Homeowner’s insurance with the same company. Plus we live rurally, so rates are generally lower.)

We’ve been thinking about how to best take advantage of the fact that through our business, our credit cards are basically paying themselves. And we’ve decided that for the next couple of months, we’re going to put as much of that extra paycheck towards our emergency fund as possible, and build that up. We’re also increasing our grocery budget to $150 a month, especially because pregnancy has made me very hungry all the time. 🙂 To be honest, I’ve been working with a “don’t spend anything” or $100 budget for so long, I’m a bit overwhelmed by how much extra money I have this month to use for groceries!

To be honest, that is where there is a problem.  I’m realizing that the urge to spend – when I have the money – is still there.  I’ve improved – a lot – but it still worries me.  Today I’ve found myself thinking it would be fun to go shopping.  But the thing is, I don’t need anything.  If I go to the store today, without an immediate need, it is very likely I will find something I “need.”

I do have one suggestion that works for this – it helps to make a list of things you will need in the near future – light bulbs,  towels, etc – things you need but you keep putting off.  When you get that urge to shop and give in, go shop for the things you will need, rather than shopping just to browse.  That way you waste less money (only the fact that you might not buy on sale will cost you) and you buy a need rather than an impulse item.

The only thing I can think of is yarn for a baby blanket.  But I need to put that off until I know whether I should get pink or blue!


2 Responses

  1. That is a great idea, and it works for me too. I never would have thought buying comet or paper towels or cat food would satisfy my shopping impulse like a new eyeshadow, but it really does!

  2. I know exactly how you feel regarding the urge to browse shop. I often walk into Barnes and Noble just to browse, yet find something that I ‘need’…

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