Dave Ramsey has coined a term the "Idiot Tax." Basically, the Idiot Tax is the true cost of an item after all of the interest you've paid is added into the original cost. One example is a$400 sweater that was originally on sale for $14. Another example is the $70 dinner that ends up being $568. All of this because many people do not pay off their credit cards every month.
While I don't follow Dave Ramsey's program and I disagree with him on some of the advice he provides to his audience, I do tune into his radio program in the evenings when I'm driving and you can't argue with the numbers. Families following his program are successfully getting out of debt and learning about fiscal responsibility.
So how does this all tie into announcing my newest goal? First, most articles you read on setting goals say that you are more likely to succeed if you let people know what your goals are. Telling people what you are working towards holds you accountable. If you let your support network know, they will even help you work towards those goals, cheering you on in victory or supporting you in getting back on the horse.
My personal Idiot Tax has not occurred yet... but the deadline is coming quickly. I had LASIK surgery done a little over a year ago. I signed up for my flexible spending medical savings account through work, but could not pay it all in one year. I was offered financing at 0% interest if I paid it within 18 months. After 18 months, all of the interest will be tacked onto the bill. Unfortunately, things always come up when your emergency fund isn't adequately funded. I have been making payments faithfully every month, but I'm coming up short by about $1,600. Essentially, I have to earn an extra $400 per month for the next four months in order to avoid $1,200 in interest. It's not as difficult to do as it sounds. During the summer I have a delivery job that brought in an extra $2,300 last year. My challenge is, thanks to the recession, this year is slower. I will be working on my creativity in order to meet the challenge, but I'm determined to do it. I'll be posting updates regularly and feel free to post any challenges you may be working on.