. Don’t Borrow Money to Stay Ahead
I can’t tell you enough how much motivation you gave me to get my house and life organized. I’ve never known where to begin, but you’ve done a great job of making that clear. You were very inspiring and I’m amazed at how organized you are! I never knew people like you actually existed!
I do have a question about our budget. My husband and I live on his paycheck month to month, and we’re always a month behind. He gets paid on the 15th. But mortgage is due a couple of days before, and car payment and utilities before that, so he actually borrows from his best friend to cover us for the week and pays him back the day he gets paid. I know this is a no to borrow first of all, but I don’t know how we can get ahead when we are already behind. We don’t have debt on credit cards…just car and house but feel we’re always one step behind. Any advice?
Thanks! Anonymous Anne
Dear Anonymous: I hope that you are willing and ready for an interesting ride. You are one month behind, right? This equals a certain amount of money, right? I would like to suggest that you:
1) Make up the graph paper chart (graph paper pads are available at office supply stores) just like you would if you had consumer debt (yeah, for not being in debt that way – keep it up). You see, you are in debt to yourself. Keep up the same pattern of borrowing and paying back just as you have done in the past. At the same time begin to save up money to get ahead. Let’s say that you can knock off $20/week off your food budget, $10/month off your clothing budget, and $5/month off your spending money.
2) Set up a new savings account. Put any extra money you can save into it. Let’s say that you decide to not eat out one time a month and save $30.00. Let’s say that here and there you decide to save instead of spend. Put that in the new savings account. In other words, slowly but diligently build up the amount of money that you will need to be on time.
3) Tell your “lender” friend about your plan. Let him know of your progress, for he will appreciate your diligence, and soon you will be free to pay your own debts on time.
4) When you have the total amount needed saved, begin paying off your bills from your own accounts. I know that it will take some time, and that it will be hard because you have been doing it otherwise, but know it will be well worth a “small” sacrifice now for the bigger benefit of being completely independent later on.
I would really like you and anyone else in your situation to try this plan. I believe that because of your restraint and diligence in not getting into consumer debt, you can tackle this challenge. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
Find more helpful ideas in the House of Order Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission.