The Lost and Found category is used when your cash account doesn’t reconcile with how much cash you actually have. I just wanted to put in a pitch for this invaluable, yet little discussed, category. I have yet to meet anyone in DA who has not had an issue with cash either disappearing or increasing mysteriously.
I came across this fabulous article on the YNAB blog that showed the power of the spending plan and the importance of revisiting it periodically (in our case, with a PRG) to modify the spending plan as our needs change. The article was written by Jesse Mecham, founder of YNAB.
Please note that this is not DA or 12 Step material, but I thought the concepts were valuable for those of us working DA.
You certainly don’t have to use the YNAB software to appreciate this article.
I have to admit to having a resentment about shipping costs when I order online. Despite the fact that my sponsor has worked hard to help me understand that this is simply the cost of doing business when you have a health issue, it still bugs me royally.
In AA, they say that New Year’s Eve is the night for amateurs. In Overeaters Anonymous, Halloween and Thanksgiving are both deemed as such. And for compulsive debtors, there is no question that the day after Thanksgiving, known as the single biggest retail day of the year, is certainly the compulsive debting, spending, and shopping day for the amateurs in the world.
What constitutes a luxury?
I was surprised that I came up against this issue the other day when I was buying clothes. This is embarrassing to confess, but I have slept in clothes for decades. Since I pretty much just wear sweats and t-shirts, I usually end up sleeping in them. But I’ve longed for nightgowns and pajamas, yet felt they were frivolous luxuries. I thought that if I have a limited amount of money for clothing, it needs to be spent on clothes used in the world, not to just slip into bed wearing.
How do you look at your spending boundaries? Do they make you feel free or imprisoned?
For me, it depends on why I am hitting my walls.
A spending plan must, by necessity, include categories, but how detailed and specific is really a personal preference.
Some people, like me, need the discipline of more categories. For instance, in the beginning, I lumped together all items I could buy in a grocery store and even eating out into one category called Food.
1. Personal care items like soap.
2. Household items like paper towels.
4. Going out to restaurants.
But I found that I was having problems every month having enough money in this category. So I had to split out some of these items to see where the money was going. Here is a screenshot: