Monday, March 7, 2011

Start Wherever You Are

I have a confession to make. I make it because I want you to know that despite my successes and knowledge in personal finance, I still continue to make mistakes and have not been translated to Personal Finance Heaven.

I really messed up in the month of February. I spontaneously decided to completely delve into the couponing world to figure out how the system works (that's a fascinating thing in itself on which I am writing a book) but I did not plan for the related expenses. Had I been wise, I would have pulled out the cash for the entire month's experience. Instead, I naively went in with a debit card, thinking it would be no big deal to reconcile the bank account with my budget at the end of the month.

Oh, what a mistake! I spent several days this week attempting to reconcile my purchases for February, and it has been mind-twisting. I finally said aloud to myself "I can only start from where I am." Here I am, starting from where I am.

Do you remember the VHS tapes rented from video rental stores of the 80's and 90's? (If you were too young to remember either of those decades, please do not be eager to divulge it.) These tapes each had a little sticker affixed to them, usually some sort of smiley face and the words "Be Kind, Rewind." In real life, we cannot rewind, no matter how much we pine for a "do over". Attempting to rewind is the least kind thing we can do to ourselves. Be kind, move forward.

So, kindly, I've got my new budget reflecting this month's projects and an additional cash envelope labeled "stockpiling". Forward, I go.

Choices Ahead

How about you? Are you ready to stop beating yourself up for past mistakes? (Do you think I'm only talking about financial misdeeds?) I hope you are so you can be present for new experiences. Start here from where you are, financially, spiritually, physically, and otherwise. If you have a spouse to confess your hidden purchases, get it over with. If you have a bishop to confess your hidden sins, do it. If you have a mirror to confess your hidden binges or starvations, get on with it. There is no use in beating yourself up over old choices, there are new forks in the road to face. Learn and move on. Free yourself, then move forward. Until the time machine is invented and approved by the U.S. Government for public use, start where you are.

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