Showing posts from June, 2010

Austerity Measures

I worked for a couple of years as a bookkeeper for a small company. I loved the way the numbers lined up, decimals all in a tidy line down my screen. I loved balancing the ebb-and-flow accounts down to the cent and the zen-like tranquility that came from reconciling a statement perfectly. So, even though now I just manage our family's money, I still am quite meticulous about keeping track of everything. And I've always preened a bit about our perfect credit scores and debt-free lifestyle.

But recently, to my embarrassment, I realized that we are --ever so slightly-- living beyond our means. Not extravagantly, not obviously. Just enough to make me feel financially arthritic-- joints dangerously creaking on themselves rather than swinging easily along.

Eating just a couple of hundred extra calories a day gets you 10 pounds heavier at the end of the year, but who has the self control to cut back just a little? Nobody. Similarly, a financial crash diet is in order. A money-habit pur…