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Breakpoints – Budget Perspective

We all need breakpoints in our budget in case something goes wrong, because it usually does.

Recently, Seth Godin had an insightful blog post about breakpoints as a metaphor for business.  I consider Seth one of my virtual mentors in marketing and sometimes his metaphors can be used for other areas of our lives.

A great example of breakpoints was used by Seth in his post.  Concrete workers will put in a line about every 3 feet of concrete.  The purpose of this line is to prevent unsightly breaks as the ground shifts due to natural or even man made (someone drives over the walkway) events.

This line prevents an uneven break and will help maintain the look and feel of your walkway even as time decides to break it.

Our monthly budgets are very similar.  Kellie and I put breaks in our budget on purpose.  The breaks are not the line breaks you see in concrete, but they are things we can break in our budget if necessary.

Here are some example of the breaks in our budget:

  • Cable and Internet bill
  • Eating out
  • Entertainment
  • Phone

These breaks in the budget are items we can turn off at any point in time if we needed to.  We cannot turn off taxes, utilities, groceries, but we can turn off fun and unnecessary expenses as needed.

In order to do this, we need to avoid contracts with companies.  Tracfones are great, because there are zero contracts.  If you pay for a regular cell phone, I believe T-Mobile lets you pay monthly vs. a contract as well.  I know some folks need more airtime for work than is reasonable for a tracfone, so just check with your provider.

Using a budget and an envelope system to track expenses we can stop our fun and unnecessary buckets if we run into any issues requiring our emergency funds.  We can also protect our family against the loss of work for any reason.

Breakpoints help protect us against Murphy moments.  Where are the breakpoints in your budget?

Have a great day!

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