At the beginning of the year, I posted our 2015 goals, and one of them was that I would find ways to earn extra money and save money. What I didn't anticipate was that life had many surprises for us that will test us to the point of not caring about finances. That saving money was the last thing on our minds, and how close we were to blowing everything we have worked so hard for financially.
We are not perfect, and though we have been able to continue to live below our means, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to reaching our goals.
This year, we are learning to deal with emotional rollercoasters, and honestly, I seem to be able to handle financial messes much better than what we have been going through these past months. Why? Because finances are controllable, life isn't.
Thanks to great family and friends, and one person that seems like God sent to me, we are getting through this tough road and moving ahead. But it wasn't as easy as it sounds.
The reason I am telling you this is that your emotions can really affect you financially. For these reasons, we have been trying to stick with our money saving goals we set for ourselves, and thanks to support from family and friends, we have been doing pretty good keeping our emotions from ruining what we have worked so hard for.
Honestly, thinking about this blog and money was the last thing I wanted to think about with what was going on with our lives these past months. Our daily routines were changing. My son was now attending early intervention, and other personal family matters that were really affecting us, especially me, emotionally.
Life isn't fair and we never expected things to get this bad; and when things get this bad, it's when we tend to do stupid things that we regret, like ruining what you have worked so hard for financially because you are letting your emotions get the best of you.
Did we get ourselves into debt? No, we didn't. We just lost the drive and the passion we had at the beginning of the year to save money. Again, we are not perfect. No one is. We don't have a magic ball and I am the kind of person that has a hard time dealing with situations when they don't go my way. It's a fault of mine, and I know this.
As hard as our situation was, I am thankful that we didn't let our emotions overcome us. We decided to go through this together and with calmness. The reason why is because I am impulsive, and my first thought was to leave far away. Take all the money we saved and LEAVE far away. RUN!
This is when I have to grow up and face what life is throwing my way and accept it.
This is when my old insecurities would have gotten me in a financial mess.
This is when I learned that I have grown as a person thanks to my debt journey.
The Joyce from back then would have let her emotions overcome her and she would use money to cope. I would have spent without thinking, without caring.
The older version of me has learned that this is not going to solve my problems, but will create more problems; not just for me, but my family as well.
During these hard times, we are still managing to save money. It might not be a lot, but it's happening. We are continuing to increase our savings and increase our blog income through all this.
Money was the last thing on my mind, yet we managed to save money without really thinking about it, and it was all thanks to our years of budgeting and financial planning (and the good advice of friends and family).
How are we managing to save money when things were so rough with us? How can it be possible that when we wanted to run, and our emotions were high, we continued to save money? How can this girl manage to do this and not go back to her old self?
We follow these tips to help save money that really didn't require too much work from us. When you start taking charge of your finances, and you start taking responsibility for your messes, you learn to grow as a person. This financial journey is not just about money, it's about learning to grow as a person.
The best thing for me was that during this financial journey, I did it with my now husband. We both learned so much about each other and we both learned to have each other's back.
The reason I am opening up about this, is because if I could help someone financially by being somewhat opened about my rough times, then I did OK. Everyone has rough times. Everyone has their ups, and their downs. It's how we manage to come out of the situation and what we learned that is important.
When you are in a financial situation and things go wrong, going back to your old ways of managing money is not the solution. You have to keep going, saving money has to continue. This is important in good times and in bad times.
Tips To Help Save Money When Money Is The Last Thing On Our Minds
Go back to your goals – When you seem like you are lost and need motivation, sit down with your husband/partner and go back and read over your goals. This will remind you as to why you created them in the first place. The reasons you created these goals matter, they were important to you. This will give you motivation and remind you of better times.
Go over your budget – Every month, you should go back and look at your budget. This helped me stay focused financially. It actually helped me take my mind off my other problems. I think I looked our budget more because I was so afraid that I would mess up; also, because it seems like looking at it gave me some sort of control.
Set up an automatic transfer – Every Friday, we have set up an automatic transfer to one of our checking accounts. It is not a big amount, but during the weeks we were dealing with our situation, it sure helped our savings grow. Not as much as we would have saved had we been focused on saving money, but enough for us to notice.
Take a 24 hour break before spending – When I feel an urge to make a decision that will affect our finances, I will wait 24 hours before making any decisions. I learned that if I let my emotions get the best of me, I will not think straight. With a good night sleep, things look differently.
Know yourself and accept yourself – I know that I spend money when I am emotional. I know my own faults, I do things to prevent myself from spending; like having an online checking account with a debit card that is hidden. The reason why I do this, is because it is hard for me to get to that money. I am thankful that we have one vehicle, because I know that if I have a vehicle available, I would go out more often and spend money.
I know these things about myself and I have accepted them. Have I changed? Yes, but I have also accepted that I am not perfect, and I don't have control of everything.
Stick to your routine – As you can see, having a budget and goals has created a routine for us. These have become a habits for us. Things like putting loose change in a jar, using coupons when we go shopping, are habits for us now. We followed these small things that really helped us to continue to save money regardless of our situation.
Life goes on – No matter what happens, always remember that life goes on. Just because I'm upset and angry right now, doesn't mean that this will be forever. The situation that I am personally going through right now, it's not forever. It will get better.
Surround yourself with support – Sometimes we surround ourselves with people that just don't get us, or our lifestyle. The good news is that I am so blessed to have some family and friends that get us and have been in our situation. Sometimes all we need is to hear encouragement from others; to tell us that we will be OK, that God loves us, and somehow it makes everything much better.
Life is not always easy. Life is not fair. With our situation, I was reminded how easily I could have gone back to the way I was and ruined everything I have worked so hard for because I was letting my emotions cloud my vision. I can't control everything, I'm not perfect; but because we have been living this way for so long, we have learned that there are no excuses for us to fall back to our debt days.
No matter how bad the situation gets, staying calm and following these tips to save money when money is the last thing on our minds, will help you save money so you can focus on you!
Featured at Thrifty Thursday