Thursday, October 10, 2013

A quick thought on boats, cruising, and budgets...

Sanders making a good point, yet another sordid tidbit in the it's getting harder to respect the badge department, how you might want to reconsider what you're doing when you're less popular than a big pile of steaming dog poop, and in a happy making bit of news our friends at the Vermont Sail Freight Project are getting some well deserved good press...

I went shopping yesterday and cabbage was ninety-nine cents a pound. Which, you'll have to admit, is pretty expensive cabbage.

I mention this because folks tend to place a lot of attention on big ticket items like boats, dinghies, and other associated goods and services. As a result, they budget for the big stuff and pretty much ignore the small stuff, like cabbage and suchlike.

The small stuff will kill your budget just as effectively as the big stuff but it's more likely because it works in stealth mode.

Aboard "So It Goes" we always discuss the big stuff and by big I mean anything over $50. As a result, anything over $50 goes through the need/want wringer and this goes a long way to keeping the budget on track... I'm pretty sure you tend to do the same.

On the other hand, in the old days, as much as we kept track of the over $50 purchases, we still found we were struggling to get by on our budget. At the end of the month it always looked grim all across the board. In desperation we started writing down everything we spent and it immediately became clear that our hemorrhaging budget was not because of big stuff but was all about the little stuff.

I call it the cherry tomato and sandpaper effect...

For instance, yesterday at the store I looked at tomatoes but they seemed a bit expensive ($1.79/pound) so I passed on them but almost threw a teeny tiny container of cherry tomatoes in my basket until I noticed that they cost like $4.95 for way less than a pound... See how it goes?

Same on the sandpaper front... I just went through a whole lot of trial and tribulation buying a new palm sander finally settling on a cheap but excellent Harbor Freight model for $14.95 but the other day at the hardware store I grabbed a handful of sheets of brand X sandpaper without checking the prices. When I got home I realized I'd just spent more on the sandpaper than I did on the sander. Yep, you can color me D-U-M-B.

The lesson is that the big stuff pretty much takes care of itself and it's the little stuff that over the course of time can kill your budget stone cold dead.

Listening to Reel Big Fish

So it goes...