- I can sit around in self-pity, moaning and groaning about what I don’t have and wishing away life as I run up credit card debt; or
- I can embrace my current financial status, appreciate it and create a financial strategy that lets me live well and get out of debt.
I choose the latter, and I hope you will too because it’s really the first step to create and keep a good budget.
Embrace where you are.
– Your life is perfect. That may be strange to hear if you’re in a stressful financial position. But if you have a job, then be grateful. If you are unemployed continue working towards the goal of getting a job. Be willing to accept something – even if it is not your dream job right at first. Getting a job somewhere will be better than no job and no income. Always be grateful for where you are and what you have in life. Focus on the positive aspects of your current circumstances and remember the glass is half full. Count your blessings which include more than just your income.
Appreciate what you have and enjoy it!
– You have a roof over your head. You have food to eat and provide for your family. Instead of buying things, pull out the things you already own; put them to use and enjoy them. These might include books, music, instruments, games, etc. that are collecting dust in your closet. Make use of the things you already own instead of mulling over a wish list of the ‘other’ things you want.
Don’t compare yourself (or your possessions) with others.
– A writer once said of her younger growing up years that she didn’t know how poor she was till she befriended a rich girl. If we stop comparing ourselves to others and what they have, we might find we don’t even miss those extra things. Things are not as fulfilling as the media makes them out to be. If you own “this must have item” it still won’t bring you true happiness.
Keep life simple so you can save – every penny counts.
– Even the smallest of luxuries can be cut back to make way for other uses like getting out of debt or saving for a rainy day. Small luxuries include specialized coffee drinks, soft drinks with lunch (get ice water), or vending machine items for snacks. Making even the smallest sacrifices, will allow you to put money left over toward reducing your debt or increasing savings.
Once you embrace your current financial position, appreciate what you have and are content with the here and now, it will be easier to stick to a budget and make it work. You may also be surprised at how leading a simple financial life leads to enjoying a richer life overall.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – The Simple Monthly Budget
Find yourself… keeping it real.