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gradually, then suddenly

February 13th, 2008 at 09:53 pm

Tuesday
Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $3 coffee

Wednesday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $0

Attended a workplace all staff retreat with breakfast coffee and lunch provided, so I managed to have a no spend day today. Yesterday I brought a lunch and I knew that I would have a no spend day the next day so I splurged and had the delicious $3 drip coffee. Averaged out over two days, its just a bit more than my usual.

The retreat was interesting as these things went. I had a minor epiphany during the retreat with the concept that relationships usually succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly. It came from a Hemmingway character, when asked how he became bankrupt, said, "gradually, then suddenly."

The speaker at the retreat generalized it to all relationships, but since this is a financial blog, I much prefer to keep it in its original setting. How many of us got into serious debt gradually (through denial), then suddenly?

For the bloggers here wrestling with their debts, please remember that denial is a powerful, long lasting emotion. It makes the gradualness of your financial situation so easy to take ... much easier to take than facing the sharp shock of reality. And who among us remembers exactly all of the items we got into debt over? Wonderful or necessary, it doesn't matter - only the denial remains.

All of us savers, though, saved our money gradually, then suddenly. Compound interest is the classic gradually, then suddenly situation. Our 401Ks didn't just magically get big, it took time for most of us to start our 401Ks, decide on the amounts, increase the amounts over time.

Several of the new bloggers here talked about the courage it took us more established bloggers to blog about the mundane. Money management itself is all about the gradual, then the sudden, all about all the little mundane choices to save small amounts consistently over long periods of time, the fact that putting $44 into savings while taking out $40 from the ATM is somehow different, and better than just saving $4.

Right now its all about you all out there discovering the same thing. Try it. Saving will be gradual for a long while, but when it turns sudden, it becomes amazing.

1 Responses to “gradually, then suddenly”

  1. scfr Says:

    Great post!

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