On Passover Bondage & Credit Card Debt

matzah On Passover Bondage & Credit Card Debt

This is the bread of my affliction.

As you guys probably know by now, I am a big proponent of budgeting.

Not only do I think it’s critical that you have a budget – but also that you have a reliable method for tracking how much you’re spending each month. You know, so that your budget isn’t merely hypothetical.

Hopefully you are already living on a written budget — so you are telling your money what to do, and not the other way around.

Even so, I’ve noticed that for some reason, come Pesach, even the most disciplined budgeters among us seem to throw caution to the wind. (I’m not judging… I’m writing from my own struggles with this, believe me!)

It’s like we’re subconsciously thinking: “Oh no! Eight whole days without chametz! I might starve! My precious children might starve! I’d better go shop. NOW!”

And so we rush off to the store, with nothing more than a credit card in one hand and a mile-long list in the other.

If you have truly unlimited resources, then I guess it won’t really hurt your pocketbook to stop paying attention for a few days.

But the vast majority of us can’t afford to throw all shopping sense out the window just because Moses told us that the dough didn’t have time to rise!

If we do, we might be paying for this Pesach until next Pesach. And you know, I don’t think that’s what they mean when they say, “B’shanah Ha’ba’ah…“!

The best way to avoid over-spending for Pesach is to sit down now, together with your spouse if you’re married, and take a look at your finances.

If you decide you need to spend an extra $1000 on Pesach, where is that going to come from? Can you cash flow an extravagant seder? Or will the Master Card be footing the bill?

In our eagerness to do Pesach “right”, let’s not fall into the trap of celebrating our liberation from Pharoah’s bondage by enslaving ourselves to the credit card companies.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Rivky W. says:

    we are currently snowballing our debt. this year when my husband got his winter bonus besides refunding our emergency fund we also put away $1000 for passover and $1000 for sukkot. the passover fund also has to fund gas for our going away for the second days. we realized that we always end up using the cc and are trying something different.

  2. Orthonomics says:

    I’m smiling at your last sentence. I wrote a post way back and ended it with avadim hayeinu l’Mastercard b’America. Same rules apply.

  3. Orthonomics says:
  4. We are trying to use the credit card as little as possible. In the past (ie when i wasn’t really keeping track), i would plan for the first and last days, this year i am menu planning pretty much for the entire week (well attempting to), so that we can really watch what we spend.

  5. I wrote about this several years ago: http://boards.fool.com/lbym-at-passover-20556303.aspx (slicha in advance if posting links isn’t allowed)

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