With my upcoming trip to San Francisco, I’m getting a bit jealous about my projected snowflakes. I’ve got $200 in “fun” money to spend, plus I carved out another $50 from my monthly budget. If I only spend the $250, I’ll have about $100 left in my budget this month to send to my credit card debt. I don’t really want to spend that extra $100 on the trip, even though I know I can afford to spend it. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months as my big shopping reward for being so good paying down my debt. So, why can’t I relax about spending the money?
As I was reviewing my budget yesterday, I was a little sad to see money going for the trip rather than to the credit cards. Originally, I wanted to buy a new dress in San Francisco to wear at the wedding reception. Now, I have that sorted out, so I don’t have any big shopping goals. Part of that $250 will go for shuttle costs, parking, and eating out, but I’ll also get reimbursed some for that. I think I’ve hit that point in debt-reduction where your priorities shift. While I’ll always love shopping, I also really love that my debt is shrinking. I love that I’ve been able to identify some of the triggers that set me off spending on unnecessary stuff. I love that I’m creating new, more frugal habits that will lead to real financial security. I love that I might come up with almost $13,000 for debt and the wedding in six months.
So, I think my snowflake stress yesterday was a signal that debt-reduction has become my most important financial goal.What’s cool is that I didn’t start out that way. I started out with a very modest plan to pay things off in sixteen months with some fun money for myself along the way. Now that it is snowballing and I’m down to one card, the light at the end of the tunnel is bright enough that I just want to wait for the big pay-off. Part of the reason snowflaking works is because it is something small. Once you take a few easy first steps, it really does grow into something significant. I started out filling out a few online surveys and selling some stuff on Amazon.com. Then, I realized I could use the public library and snowflake my $50 book budget. From there, it all added up and has grown into $1000 to $1200 payments to my credit cards when I thought I’d start out with $650 a month. I think sometimes people get the advice that you HAVE to throw all your money at your debt and make it your top priority. I didn’t start out that way; I started out small. But now, thanks to my snowflaking success, I WANT to throw all my money at my debt and make it my top priority. That is a pretty cool feeling!