Once upon a time, there was a girl. Like many girls, she had hopes and dreams and worked part-time retail to pay the rent. When she came up with a dream that required a little bit of start-up capital, she became excited. She could do it, she thought!
Then, she took a look at her spending over the previous two months. Even with being as frugal as she thought was possible, she still came out well behind where she thought she should be. Three large (by her standards; none was over $30) impulse purchases set her back by several weeks, and none of her bids were working out on various freelancing projects. Despite having ten months to go, the girl began to lose hope that her dream could come true.
She scoured her budget, looking for more things to cut out. Gone was taking the winding, tree-lined scenic route home. Gone were the fancy color-changing nail polish she had wanted all summer. Gone was the notion of a new computer; of more summer dresses. But really, none of these were things she regularly bought anyway. This was sacrificing small hopes in favor of a bigger dream. What could she actually cut, that hadn’t already been pruned back to the bare basics?
She went through her budget again. When all things were considered, 24% of her last month’s expenses could have been avoided or mitigated. That’s a lot, and that gave her hope for the next month.
Next month, she didn’t have to buy pants, eye shadow, or nail polish. Next month, she could start fresh, and if she just tucked away a little bit more of her paycheck every week, she could be fine. And as she looked at the numbers, she breathed a sigh of relief.
It was a small setback. Nothing more. She could make up for it easily, with just a little more diligence.