I have spent 3 years (or is it 5?) working on getting my spending to fit a budget. Truly. I am a slow learner. It is like trying to fit a size 9 foot in a size 7 shoe. I need to cut off toes and shave my heels, not just trim my toenails. My spending can be an ugly stepsister some months… really emotional, jealous, with an over-the-top-hairdo.
I don’t like to be told “no”, not even from myself. I admit, I am spoiled. Argh, that sounds awful! But- this month, I discovered that I really like paying for vacations before they happen even more than I like having new boots every winter. I was able to relax, laugh, and enjoy the moments without counting up the debt I was racking up. I even let my kids have a beverage other than water at our meals-a very special treat! And I drank a margarita. We were heathens.
Finances are hard for single people. No one gets upset when I buy clothes instead of groceries. No one but me sees my credit card bill. No one argues with me about my priorities. I have to be my own police.
So I do my best to abide by Dave Ramsey’s philosophies: don’t use credit cards (even for free miles); have an emergency fund; kill debt with intensity; and if I can’t afford it, don’t buy it, aka don’t buy things other than homes on time (and believe me, this is KILLING me, because I need and want new running shoes, but they aren’t in the budget this month). You can read all about his ideas on http://www.daveramsey.com. He has been broke, raised kids while broke, and is still married. So I figure he figured a few things out.
My neurosis about budgeting is a lot like dieting. If someone tells me I can never eat chocolate agin, then I beeline for the brownie aisle. But we are old enough now:
-We can floss daily
-We can eat healthy daily
– We can live on a budget (daily!)
Progress, not perfection. You can do it… You are worth it, and you deserve to live without debt!