What is spending creep I hear you ask? Well, we think we are doing a good job of keep our spending under control, but things just creep up on us without us really noticing, for example, our insurance comes up for renewal and it is just a little bit higher than last year. Or the price of a coffee at your favourite cafe goes up a few cents and you don’t notice it.
I had an interesting discussion with my personal trainer/nutritionist today that really got me thinking about how easy it is for creep to happen; not only in our finances but in other areas as well.
I am pretty diligent in my eating habits, I know a couple of glasses of wine goes straight to my back and potato chips head to my hips. So I very closely monitor how much of both of those I have. If something unexpected happens like indulging in a piece of chocolate cake, (it was birthday cake so that made it OK….) I know I need to do some extra cardio to work it off.
We did a review of my food plan this morning and I was horrified to see how I had let portion creep slip into my diet, I was still eating healthily, but my meals had just got that little bit bigger without me realising. No wonder I had hit a plateau and didn’t feel as if I was making progress.
So for the next couple of weeks, it will be a case of carefully monitoring portion sizes and exercise levels to get myself back on track.
It is the same with your finances, you have a plan, all seems to be going well, and then you hit that plateau and seem to grind to a halt and you just aren’t getting any closer to your savings goal. We can easily identify (and blame) the one off unexpected expenses like a car repair bill or a trip to the dentist, but unless we stop and take check, we can miss the spending creep in other areas.
My daughter related a conversation that she had with one of her girlfriends that really highlighted spending creep.
“Mum” she said “Six months ago we thought a $9.00 bottle of wine was good value, now we think $15.00 a bottle is. How did that happen? “
“Honey; that is spending creep”.
“I think we will go back to the $9.00 bottle” she said.
So what expenses have crept up on you that you aren’t aware of, that could be holding you back from achieving your goals?
It may well be time to take a step back, review, revise and get back on track.
Lynda Moore http://www.mymoneyseeker.com