Monday, 6 February 2012

Sometimes You Just Gotta Start Over ... Again.

So you're all jazzed because you've found a budget that works.  You're saving money, you're paying your bills on time, you're making your debt go away faster than ever  before.  You have totally got this thing NAILED.  Feels good right?  Totally.

Then your sister/inlaws/bff/etc show up for an unexpected visit and you want to celebrate, let's go out for dinner!  You wanna treat them so you pay.  Then it's a trip to the spa, shopping & lunch with the girls, and what the hell ... you have EARNED those new boots.

Before you know it you are totally off your clever little wagon and feeling the shits because you've got a balance on your card, no cash left, and the fridge looks like it did when you were 20 and in your first place. (mustard with that pickle?)

It's OK.  It's going to happen.  We all fall off our plans/resolutions/diets/exercise regimes - we're human!  The important thing to remember is that failure is temporary.  Let's just not even call it failure ... we'll call it a 'slip'.  Slips happen.  It's what you do after your slip that determines if you've got what it takes to live smartly when it comes to finances.

You pick up where you left off before the unexpected threw you for a loop.  You go grocery shopping and brown bag those lunches, maybe you save on gas & parking and take the bus for a few days.  You dig through the freezer, cupboards, and pantry and get creative and see how much you can cook without a big trip to the store. 

Most of all you don't beat yourself up too bad.  Think about what happened and try to figure out where things went sideways.  Do you need to tweak your budget a bit?  Maybe you should set aside $5 or $10 a payday to a 'spa fund' so that when your best buds roll into town you've got some cake to spend on yourself.

My friend calls V. New Years Eve "The Big Mulligan".  She says it's time to start over, no epic fails (yet), clean slate.  I love fresh starts, but New Years is only once a year.  So I take Monday's as my "Mini Mulligans" and see if I can make each week better than the last.  Maybe if you're working on a really aggressive budget and debt-repayment plan you have to take it day by day.  That's fine too.

Find what works for YOU ... and your chances of sticking to it will be even greater.

Happy Monday!

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