So, I’m going to sound a little like a broken record here…but please bare with me. If there is anything I hope that you can take away from my crazy life lessons it is this…
If you want help then ask. If you are seeking a sign or a message or something that helps move you in the right direction ask for it. Then let go of any idea about where you think it should come from and just be open to receiving the answer that you need.
This time it came by way of trying to manage my financial affairs.
There isn’t one single area of my life that doesn’t need some work. I need to get into better shape, I need to manage my money better, I need to find a better job, I need to work on my relationships, I need to be a better parent….and so on. Most often I find myself trying to tackle everything at once thinking I can chip away at each area and make some progress. Problem is…it’s exhausting and ultimately I find myself overwhelmed and not really any better off at all.
One of the things I wanted to do this year was read more. So I set an intention to read at least one book a month. Not overwhelming myself but just pick one. The first book I chose was Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I could use a little guidance in the area of finances and I thought I’d take a chance and see what I could learn. What I got was a little more than I bargained for.
For starters…I did learn what I need to do to get the money thing under control. So, I’m on a temporary spending freeze, with a budget in place, a small emergency fund open and I’m chipping away at my debt. The lesson was to start with one thing, the emergency fund and do whatever it takes to get a foundation. I’m lucky enough to have been given a nice check for Christmas and decided a part of it needs to be set aside inaccessible unless necessary. Done.
After step one, then you move to step two. Establishing a budget, and start chipping away at your debt. Start with the smallest and work your way up. Makes sense. Work on one piece of the problem until it has been eliminated and then you move on to the next. Since this is going to take me some time…I’ve decided to stop there and work on this till it’s done. Thanks to the public library, the book will be there when I’m ready to move on to the next step.
Um…didn’t you mention something about a lesson??
Well yes I did. In that book Dave emphasized the importance of working on one step at a time. Yes we all want to save for retirement, pay off our debt, take care of this need at that need…but ultimately you need to stay focused on one single goal before you can move on to the next. If I’m putting money away AND trying to pay off my debt, it’s going to take longer to pay off the debt, and I’m not really going to be saving a lot of money in the process. So, pay off the debt FIRST.
One step at a time. One project at a time. Stop spreading yourself so thin that you take longer getting to the finish line on any one of them. If you’re like me…you end up giving up on all of them cause you feel like you’re never going to get to the end. Right? So thanks Dave! Financial lesson = life lesson. Work on one step till you reach the end.
I’m not going to give up on all my endeavours. I’m still working on getting healthier, being a better parent, and cleaning up my finances. I am going to give up on the dating thing though. Not because I’m still holding out hope for any particular situation to suddenly change…but because I have a lot of work to do for me, and right now Me needs to be at the top of the list.
I cannot change any area of my life if I’m just putting minimal effort into all of them. Nothing will really change for the better…and I’ll be tired and bitter. So for now the main focus is my finances…which actually kind of spreads its self to other areas of my life. Keeping on budget means being creative with dinner ideas and teaching my kids how to use what we have and be less wasteful. Spending freeze means no eating out and no poor food choices making the progress on getting into better shape easier.
So I took out a book to help me with my finances and I learned how to manage my life as well. This time I’m not going to get overwhelmed and give up on everything. This time I’m going to stay focused on one small goal till it’s met before moving on.