I haven’t been kind to my bank account this month. (Insert EEEK emoji here.) And I know, the month isn’t even close to being over yet. (Insert shocked emoji here.) I may or may not have fallen off the savings bandwagon and hit every rock, speed bump and pothole on the way. (Is there a wagon emoji?)
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. I’ve had big projects and big stresses at work. I’ve used that as an excuse to dine out quite a few times, get my hair done and buy myself a few little gifts. At the time, I felt like I deserved it. Now I just feel guilty, disappointed and a little hungover. (Insert all applicable drink emojis.)
Towards the end of the month, George and I are going to a wedding and to Portland. I know it will be impossible to not spend anything for the rest of the month, but I’m determined to get back on the savings bandwagon. Here’s how I’m going to do it:
1. Relax: Overspending happens. It’s a fact of life. Some months I’m going to be looser with my money than others. If I relax and get over it, I’ll be able to learn from my mistakes.
2. Pat myself on the back: It might seem odd to be so kind to myself, but I’m improving. The old me would have just spent and spent until my balance hit $0.00 in my checking account. Then, I would have had to pull from savings to pay my bills for the rest of the month. At least I recognized that I was going down that old familiar road and corrected my habits before I did too much more damage.
3. Add “fun money” into the budget: One of the mistakes I’ve been making is that I’ve been so tight with my budget that I didn’t allow any fun. Too tightly budgeting has put extra stress on me and when I get stressed, it’s easy for me to have that all or nothing attitude.
4. Keep learning, keep researching: Learning new things is a big motivator in my life. Learning, more than anything, inspires me to keep moving and keep improving. To help me learn from my mistakes and learn more about money, I’ve checked out a few financial books from my library. I also participated in a recent professional development session about retirement hosted by my employer.
5. Prepare for next time: I’m going to have crazy days, weeks, months and years. I need to start preparing for those times. This weekend, I plan to freeze a few meals for extra busy weeknights when I don’t have time to cook. I also plan to schedule a few blog posts so I don’t end up writing at 10 pm when I get home from work.
How have you climbed back on the saving bandwagon? How do you prepare for the busy times when savings takes a backseat? Let me know in the comments!