I listened as a CEO of a major organization discussed how she had helped save their budget. She said an employee would say, “It’s only $20,000.” She replied, “Exactly, it is $20,000. We aren’t going to spend it.” Bit by bit the budget has improved. Since she has taken over the position, profits continue to rise. Two years ago was a record earning year for the company. Last year, she beat her own record.
I was thinking about this in our own homes (on a way smaller scale of course). Instead of saying, “It’s only $20.” We should say, “It is $20. I don’t need another beach towel.”
The little bits are what can make all the difference in the world.
When Chris and I were first married I went nuts! I was out of my parents’ house with a whole new source of money. Looking back, we weren’t making that much, but I thought it was at the time. I remember I went to Express back in 1995 and spent $124. I didn’t think anything about spending the money. I was too excited thinking about all my new outfits. Chris wasn’t so excited about all of my new outfits. Right then and there I understood that it wasn’t going to be as fun as I thought.
It was an up hill battle for that poor soul. We had a lot of fights. I’m not even going to try and say they were discussions. Money was our source of contention. We both tried to give in a little. He has always been crazy conservative with money as where I was a free spirit.
We ended up in a Dave Ramsey class. In fact, Chris taught the class (who better?). I attended and half way listened. As the weeks started passing, I began seeing the light. It all began making sense to me. I wanted my cars and house paid off, and Dave had a plan to do it. Chris did too, but I liked listening to Dave better.
We began getting serious. Really, I began getting serious. Chris was already way ahead of me. Instead of going to lunch with friends, I would talk them into bringing a sack lunch. I would ignore the awesome aisle of stuff (you know exactly what spot I’m talking about). I would not believe the Macy’s ad that would say, “Our Biggest Sale Ever.” In fact sometimes my best line of defense was to just stay home and not go into a place where I could purchase things that were so cute, but I didn’t need. These were all the “little bits” that added up for me so quickly.
After years of doing this, it has literally paid off. Our roles have even seemed to change somewhat. Many times now I’m called the tight one around this place.
The best part of all of it is what it did for our marriage. We are a team now when it comes to financial issues, and that is worth all the “little bits” in the world.