In case that you did not notice it from my last post, I have been in a “financial funk” of sorts as of late. Well, it is mainly financial, but also spans beyond that to lifestyle.
Part of that may be due to the upcoming holiday season. Very quickly do I start feeling stressed and concerned about the societal and familial expectations to spend money that you really don’t have to spare on presents. This year, we are down a significant chunk of money due to cuts that were made in our state that affected our household income. Unfortunately, nobody cares, and the expectations will remain unchanged. Many of the birthdays in our family also fall during the holiday season, so add that into the equation.
But a major part of it is what I mentioned in my previous post about the barrage of expenses, wants, and desires that are waging war against my attempts at simplicity and budget restraint. Being in this sort of battle is exhausting and frustrating all at once, and I have already experienced a few setbacks in the last few days that have made me wonder if defeat is inevitable.
It is in this context that I began reading an article from LearnVest that ended up having a lot of meaning to me in general, and at this time in particular. Here it is:
Now, this article is directed at those of us that “fall off the saddle,” and then find every reason to not get back on track. That can be and has been me at times. However, sometimes what is even more difficult than fighting yourself back is fighting others back, and that is my situation. This onslaught that I have been experiencing, which will only increase in the coming months as the holidays approach, has been bringing a feeling of lack of control that borders on despair and panic. It is the type of feeling that makes you wonder, “Why bother?!” And that is what the referenced article addresses and attempts to nip in the bud.
Also mentioned is the concept of sunk costs (a.k.a. “what’s done is done, so get over it”), which I have discussed previously in a post. The article made me realize that, despite some setbacks that had been weighing on me (regardless of if I spawned them or not), it could be worse. And those setbacks are not reasons that I should give up and die, or in this case, give up and let my budget die. The early birthday gifts that I was conned into buying over the weekend were at least purchased at a rare sale price, and I saved $40 per item. I have to count that as a positive, since I would have been buying gifts eventually, anyways.
And I guess this is where balance comes in. In my good-intentioned effort to show restraint and spend less, sometimes I forget that it does not mean that I will never have to buy anything. Rather, living savvy means that in any circumstance, you have the knowledge and motivation to do things as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. If I have to buy a gift, then I should be happy if I bought it at an opportune price, even if the timing was not quite what I had intended.
Long story short, I am trying to work through my issues here. You may hear about this topic again, but at least reading the mentioned article made me realize that all is not lost, and that it is very possible to get back in the saddle again heading in the right direction.