And here we are in March. I’ve sort of recovered from the emotional burnout I talked about last month, but of course, there’s always something else to knock you down and take away any extra spoons but I’m at a point where I’m more aware of it happening, and can at least acknowledge it, rather than waking up one day thinking, “What the heck just happened to the last 6 weeks?!?!”
It’s a subtle difference, but important in terms of dealing with life in general.
That difference is sort of helping with what I’m choosing to focus on this month: Monitoring (money, mostly), and Making Things.
This year I’m participating in several Mystery Knit Alongs (MKAL), and 2 of them take place in the month of March. The other has a clue that’s released every other month, so clue 2 was also due to be released 03/01/19.
I got a bit panicked so I pulled out the planner and highlighters and scheduled them all out. The great thing about these MKAL’s is that it’s helping me declutter my stash by actually using the bits and bobs that have been waiting patiently in a bin. I know, I know… crazy talk, right?! Buying yarn and using yarn are two totally different hobbies. But once in a while they converge. It’s great to actually feel like making things again, as that’s the first thing to fall by the wayside when burnout, exhaustion and the resulting depression hit.
The second focus is a whole lot less fun. It’s monitoring our money. I hates it!!! We’ve been through this cycle many times and it’s exhausting and frustrating. We pay attention to our funds, be mindful of what we’re spending the funds on, etc. Then we get comfortable/tired/distracted then several months later realize that holy cats we only have $75 to get us to the next payday and we need this, that and the other.
There are usually some grumpy words shared back and forth as we try to work how to remedy the situation and it makes for some uncomfortable discussions.
But it has to be done. Even if we don’t go all in like some of the “guru” zealots, we/I need to start figuring out the bigger picture of why – why am I stuck in the cycle, and why don’t I break out of it?
One reason I can come up with – changing behaviors is hard and uncomfortable and frustrating. Any change makes you realize how strongly you’re rooted in place, and any changes seem to be fleeting. The more you grip on to the new, the more it feels like you’re trying to hold water with your hands.
A wise person once said that it’s not about fighting the old, but building the new. Think I saw that on Pinterest.
For me, in order to build the new, I have to acknowledge my old habits and pitfalls. So far, I’ve identified five things that I need to work on:
- I overspend. That’s a total duh! That’s usually the first lightbulb moment one has when looking at the bank account.
- I don’t pay attention to where the money goes Again, duh… you do any search on how to manage your money, and you will be told to track your spending.
- I buy too early. This is a bit different. For example: I know I need dental floss soon, so I went out and got a package of floss to have on hand when I run out. When I got home, I realized that I probably could have waited another 2-3 weeks before buying the replacement. So this is a $1.50 purchase, but what else am I buying now to replace an something that’s getting “low” but won’t be used up for another few weeks.
- I don’t account/calculate for usage. See above. I don’t monitor how fast or slow we use things to decide when we really need to buy things.
- I buy too much. This isn’t the same as overspending. This is buying more than is needed. One “trick” that is taught by the financial “guru’s”, especially when grocery shopping, is to pay attention to the per unit cost. Generally it’s less per unit to buy a larger quantity. But that usually comes with a lager price tag. For me, I need to focus on what we use, and buy the amount we actually need. Even if it’s “more” (per unit) right now. Doing it the other way was “penny wise and pound foolish”. We were pending more dollars to get a few cent discount per unit. That’s dumb.
So that’s what is ahead of me for the month of March: Learning to overcome the above habits/thoughts to stumble my way towards financial peace and security, and monitoring along the way. Oh yeah, and making stuff to keep my mind occupied along the way.
Pray for me! LOL!!!
What are the pitfalls you’ve overcome in your path towards financial peace?
What are you making this month?