Add it and forget it, then add some more.
That's what I call steppin' up.
It causes money trouble in the subtle kind of way that money trouble is usually caused.
Here is how it works...
1. You want a hamburger. Cost $2.59
2. You decide if you want cheese for thirty cents. After pondering it for awile...
3. ...You decide you DO want cheese. Cost of burger (now cheeseburger) is $2.89.
4. You eye the Bacon Cheesburger. Cost: $3.49. You debate the bacoon and...
5. Decide you DO want bacon.
6. Final cost of bacon cheese burger after 8% sales tax? $3.77. It's 97 cents.
That's what I call Steppin' Up.
The same hamburger at first would have cost you $2.80.
That is a 26% difference. It's almost a full dollar. (This will lead to a future post called "Buy three get one free.")
In your mind there is no way you'd go from getting a hamburger all the way to getting a bacon cheeseburger. You see the full dollar there. But by deciding on cheese first and getting that in your head it is much easier to go ahead and get the bacon. At that point adding the bacon only looks like an extra sixty cents. Not a full dollar. Steppin' Up is easy on the conscience.
Now with a hamburger dash cheeseburger dash bacon cheeseburger the harm is minimal (until multiplied out) but what about with a car?
1. Decide you want a new car.
2. Decide that you can spend X number of dollars (in reality most Americans decide what minimum payment they can afford.)
3. Find a car for let's say $17,300. BUT...
4...for $799 you can add a "Sports Package". That only adds $15 to your monthly payment.
5....and for $300 you can get a better stereo.
6 ....upgraded wheels and tires- $400.
8....Extended warranty- $600.
and now your $17,300 costs you $20,299! Plus additional interest plus taxes.
In the matter of minutes on a showroom floor or parking lot you have spent a good portion of a down payment on a house.
Speaking of houses- If you are not careful you can "step up" an additional THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS without even blinking.
That is the cost of "Steppin Up"
Other examples of "Steppin' Up":
...buying a washing machine with more buttons.
...buying a couch because it's "...alot nicer for not much more."
...buying large food instead of medium food.
...buying two for the discount instead of just one. (especially when the second goes to waste.)
So, next time you have ANY spending decision, no matter how small then think about it and fight the urge to "Step Up" that purchase.