Have you ever started something new that you really wanted to stay committed to?
Diets, budgets, exercise, prayer, earlier bedtime, more time with spouse/children.
We start off so great. We can't be stopped. In the gym by 5AM. No chocolate for a month. Asleep at 10PM. Prayed every day for a week.
THEN life happens. Our favorite show is on with a one-hour special. The ice cream truck came by. The snooze button was found. We get busy, life happens, and we fall off of the wagon.
I regularly counsel folks who have fallen off of the wagon with their finances. They are so crestfallen. So sorrowful. So frustrated. Maybe even depressed.
"What should we do?" they ask.
Get back on the wagon!
Put together a new spending plan. Recalculate the debt freedom date. Figure out what caused you to fall off of the wagon in the first place and seek ways to prevent it from happening again.
I know that YOU CAN DO THIS! I was able to do it. You can too! Anyone who has read I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. knows that I include a line at the end of each chapter that says "I believe in you!" You CAN do this.
Here are some common reasons for wagon bruises (develop when one falls off of the wagon).
- No emergency fund. This is the number one cause of wagon bruises. If there is no protection from "life happens" events, one will be highly susceptible to wagon bruising.
- Not saving for KNOWN, upcoming expenses. We know that Christmas is coming. That property taxes will come due. We know that the car WILL break down and that the tires will need replaced. Whether one saves for these expenses or not, the KNOWN, upcoming expense will still occur.
- Spouses not on the same page. If both spouses are not on the same page financially, it can really lead to some severe wagon bruising.
- Bad case of "I-Want-This-Now-Itis". If one can not say "NO!" when tempted to blow the spending plan, it will cause a financial mess.
- Lack of accountability. This really affects single folks a lot. There is no one to say, "Maybe you should reconsider that decision." It is really easy to overspend when there is no accountability.
Have you ever fell off of the wagon? Share how bad the wagon bruises were and what you did to get back on the wagon.