Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let go of the financial guilt

There's something that can happen to you if you read a lot of personal finance blogs: you can start to feel incredibly inadequate. Whatever your goals may be, there's plenty of people out there who are doing it better. There's the person who's making thousands of dollars of their blog ads when you aren't even making ten dollars. There are people who are managing to save 40% or 50% of their income to retirement. Other folks have budgets so clean and no unnecessary expenses you marvel at their self control. And lastly you keep reading about the people taking European trips you really envy or maybe buying a home when you realize they are decades younger than you and you still don't own a home.

Well I'm giving you permission to let go of the guilt. You've set your budget. You're trying to pay off that debt or save up for that goal. Then you realize you forgot it was your niece's birthday this month so you have to buy her a gift. Then maybe you didn't pay a bill on time and now owe a late fee. Don't sweat it. Stuff happens unexpectedly. We all make mistakes. And none of us are superheroes.

If you've got your plan in place on how you are going to get to your goal (or even are just thinking about the early stages of your plan) you are so far ahead doing nothing. It's sort of like wondering whether marathoners look down on those who don't run but just walk. Of course not! By getting out there and walking you're doing better than people who aren't even trying. And making the effort to try means you're admitting you can't keep going on as you have been. That's sort of like admitting a little fault. Like maybe you really want to travel, but you haven't been saving a dime for it. Opening your new travel savings account and trying to figure out how you're going to save more money going forward is such a big step.

You can't get all caught up in the competition. Keeping up with the Jones's is what got us all into this mess to begin with. So don't make the same mistake with frugality or savings or retirement planning. Just do what you can, what you are personally capable of. And don't berate yourself so hard when you slip up. It's a journey not a multiple choice test. So let go of the guilt and take hold of taking some pride in the fact that you're moving forward.

(Photo from aLindquist)

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes financial matter is so unbelievable, and unlike the weather where you can make a week forecast, sad to say you can not follow your own budget. But I am trying on my own little ways, I have a really small savings and try to deal with binary options and found out that traderush broker review sites are one helpful tool for my trading, I make it a point to check on with it to get some returns on the money I invested. I hope I continue to have this good vibes on my investment so at the end of the year, I will be able to be proud of myself for an additional investment.