The Ebb and Flow of Financial Life
I've been thinking about my financial life a lot more these past few months, and one thing I've been noticing is that there is an ebb and flow when it comes to positive changes, and negative backsliding. Things go in spurts.
For example, I recently read up on saving for retirement and decided that I was going to make some positive changes in that area. I set it up so that I was saving 15% of my income towards retirement, and I started reading up on how to make good investment choices. I gained some knowledge, applied it and made some positive changes. I was moving onward and upwards towards my goals.
And then we backslid. We recently set up a zero-based budget at our household, which in itself was a positive step. We stuck to it for a couple of months, and things seemed to be going pretty well. And then this past month instead of sticking to our budget we kind of just blew by it, allowing our spending to go back up in certain problem categories, and just thinking to ourselves, “hey, we'll do better next month”. So far this month, we haven't done better, but worse.
There Will Be Ups And Downs – Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
I've come to realize that when it comes to our financial lives, it isn't going to be all up or all down. Some days will be up, others will be down. The key is to keep in mind where you are, and where you want to go. As long as you're moving in a positive direction overall, you're doing better than most.
On a daily basis try to take stock of where you are, what your problem areas are, and where you can improve. Set goals, and keep them in mind when you're having those down days. As long as you acknowledge when you're having a down day and resolve to fix it, you're well on your way to turning things around.
Have you noticed an ebb and flow in your personal financial life? Tell us about it in the comments!