RANT: Get Back Up!

As I have traveled the nation speaking and teaching on personal finances, I have heard countless stories about people who have started on the path to get their finances in order, but have fallen off the wagon again.

The stories go like this …

We put together a budget, but it was not realistic so we stopped using it.


We stuck to our plan for five or six months, but then life happened and we got busy.


I would do this stuff if my spouse would participate.


I wish I would have known this stuff sooner.  I wouldn't have to have a budget.

These types of stories drive me NUTS!  Why?  Because they are told with such despondency – like living in a financial mess is to be expected and inevitable.

Look, let's just admit that this stuff is hard, difficult, and challenging.  Let's acknowledge the fact that it is frustrating, perturbing, and annoying to face our own financial mishaps and failures.

But then … GET BACK UP!  Seriously!  I refuse to buy the lie that "I'll always have a car payment" or that "my plans, hopes, and dreams will not be funded."

Neither should you.

Or your children.

Or your parents.

Or your friends.

Or your co-workers.

Or your neighbors.

As Zig Ziglar says, today is the first day of the rest of your life.  It's time to get crackin'!

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  1. Jen on May 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I keep repeating to my husband…and myself…just keep trying!

    Such a simple concept but EXTREMELY important! Not just finances, but in all facets of our lives.

  2. Chris on May 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve always heard that habits are hard to break. In my life, that has generally proven to be true.

    I’ve also heard that research has proven that it takes 21 days of repeated repetition to form a new habit.

    Why then do people who do something for repetitively for five or six months always find it so easy to break the habit they have maintained for that period of time? Should it not be ingrained and hard to break?

    If we can find why something that needs changed is so hard to do, yet something so right is so easy to walk away from, we will be able to break the chains of bondage for so many people.

  3. Mark on May 27, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Excellent advice. Tough-love encouragement. I like it.

  4. Judith Castricone on May 27, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Thanks for the encouragement–it was most timely!

  5. Georgia Costa on May 27, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Joe came to our church in January (thank you, CCV, and God) and I listened to what Joe had to say and decided to try it. Because of life circumstances and also bad decisions our finances were a mess. I started this the last week of January and now have money in the bank (for the first time EVER!) I have paid off 1 credit card and 50% of another – all of my payments are on time now and we are well on our way to climbing out of the hole. We have had set backs – things falling apart with out enough in the emergency fund to cover it. But the very next pay check we get right on track with the plan. Here’s the deal – our finances did not get this broken overnight and they aren’t going to get fixed overnight. This is not a get rich quick or get fixed plan – this is a life changing path to freedom! The keys that make this work (in my opinion) is the emergency fund and the blow money – give yourself cushions – life really does happen. This works!!! Keep at it!

  6. TurtleLover on May 27, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I miss your Couple #1, #2 & #3. I often wonder if they are ok or if they fell off the wagon. If they did fall off the wagon I was hoping your readers would give encouragment to get back on …
    I haven’t seen a post about them in a long time.

  7. Phil B on May 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I started this a few years back, and fell off several times even though it was working. When I got to the point that I REALLY got sick of it, I started it back for the last time. Since then, We have paid off 5 credit cards. We have 7k in the bank. We actually can go out to dinner again. We end up with money to assign to other things we enjoy, like vacation. In 2 weeks, we are going to Destin Fla. and we have everything paid for.
    Oh yea. I came up to Newspring to get trained to be the financial counselor at our church in Suwanee Ga. I GET IT NOW. Thanks Joe!

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