Say, I want to establish a payment channel with an individual, Jim. I want to make 10 monthly payments of 0.01BTC to him for a total of 0.1BTC. I don't want to spend 0.1BTC at once, but in order to create a payment channel with 0.1BTC capacity, I have to send a 0.1BTC transaction to Jim to create the Payment and hope he doesn't close the channel. If he does, then the 0.1BTC is sent to the main blockchain?
If all I have is 0.01BTC to start with, all I an send to Jim is 0.01BTC once. The only way I can send more is if there are already other funded payment channels between myself, Jim, and another node that have remaining capacity?