Every month, I know exactly what I need to do; I’ve created boundaries for my spending that somehow don’t make me feel restricted.
I have always struggled to manage my money. Even as a kid, for whatever reason, I never knew what to do with my allowance money. I always thought, “Well, I have this $1 right now. This means I can finally buy X. Right now. There isn’t anything else I need to think too far ahead about.”
I took much of this logic with me through high school, my first job, and well past college into my first and second careers. In the process I accrued thousands of dollars in debt from student loans, credit cards, and even personal loans to pay of the same credit cards. The shame that I carried with all of this was likely the heaviest, though. I consistently thought about the “advise” I’d get from people in all parts of my life, usually laced with some kind of criticism. Looking back, I realize many of them were carrying their own debts and had no more an idea of what to do than I did.
I sought out support from Phil at a point when I was finally able to be a little more kind to myself. I needed help, and contrary to what I heard from others, seeking help didn’t make me a failure.
A lot of those thoughts became irrelevant once I experienced the impact of positive results. I no longer needed to feel panicky looking up the amount in my checking account. I no longer stared nervously at the cashier as they swiped my debit card, worrying. Instead, I was happily documenting what I spent. Living within my means meant I was living a life grounded in the money I actually had, not a fantasy world of numbers I wished into my bank accounts.
I feel like an adult now. Every month, I know exactly what I need to do; I’ve created boundaries for my spending that somehow don’t make me feel restricted. Really, it’s because those boundaries are realistic and liveable.
I pay all my bills, and on time. I have plenty of money left over, too! I am one month away from being credit card debt free, after carrying what felt like a shameful burden for over 10 years. I’m going to go on two vacations this year with plenty of money to spend and plenty left over. I can pursue aspirations that sometimes require saved money and other times simply require one living on a more limited budget–but I know in spite of those challenges, I’ll be okay.
RR – New York