Great Expectations Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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Describe Pip’s spending habits. What do Pip and Herbert do when their spending seems out of control? Explain “leaving a margin.” How helpful is this practice?

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Once Pip receives his fortune, he immediately begins to spend money lavishly with his friend, Herbert Pocket. Pip becomes a spendthrift in order to keep up with appearances and proceeds to purchase expensive furniture, fine clothes, and high-class meals. Pip also hires a servant he names the Avenger and continues to accumulate massive amounts of debt without batting an eye. Pip recognizes that he cannot afford his lavish habits and attempts to economize to no avail. Despite Pip's spendthrift ways, he does not feel any happier and the stress regarding his finances begins to mount. In an attempt to organize his finances and begin paying his debts, Pip and Herbert take time to look over their bills on a regular basis. Pip employs a technique he refers to as "leaving a Margin," where he simply rounds up his purchases. By rounding up each bill, Pip hopes to have some money left over that he initially allocated to pay his debts. Pip acknowledges that simply reviewing his bills and rounding up his purchases gives him a feeling of satisfaction even though he is not making any headway to pay off his bills.

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