Saturday, July 16, 2011

An itty bitty look at messed up me

Every step counts. Every tiny bit paid off is a tiny bit no longer owed. Every goal not met is one goal that I came closer to. Every dream not quite aspired to is a dream left to be dreamt. Progress no matter how small is progress none the less.

Ever since the beginning of this blog I've received an overwhelming amount of comments which indicate that the vast majority of you believe I'm being much to hard on myself, setting too extreme goals, not enjoying life quite enough, spending a bit less than I should be spending... $12 a day is just too strict (at least for me). I'm inclined to agree with you all on one level. I've really been struggling to stick to the $12 a day budget. At least since the grand culmination of spectacular events in June I've been struggling to stick to any type of budget. $12 a day is VERY strict for me. You are correct.

I imagine it's a disorder of sorts but I'm really awful at attaining to the goal. I wash the dishes and I never finish all the cups. I do the laundry and I never fold the last basket (even if I did like 10 loads and folded all 9 of the first ones). I set a distance to run and I always stop short just before my preconceived finish line. I always turned my homework in a few days late and not because I spent a few extra days working on it. Just because I didn't start it until a few days after it was due. In fact I aced pretty much every test I ever took in school but I always got B's and C's as my final grades because of turning in my homework late. (I got A's on my homework and they'd get marked down to B's and C's for tardiness) When I want to lose 10 pounds I lose 8. I drive my husband crazy... insane in fact because he says I never finish anything.

I've analyzed this disorder and I blame it on my childhood. Long story short, I pretty much raised myself from age 10 on (along with my 3 younger siblings). My mom was there but not really. No matter how much I cleaned the house it was never really clean. No matter how hard I tried to make a good meal, it was never great. I was never taught discipline. I was never instructed in the little details of things. I've always pretty much done life my own way on my own terms in my own time. Let me tell you 10 years old is a little too young to be thrown to the wolves. You know how parents discipline their kids and say things like, "you'll thank me later." Well sometimes the kids who never got disciplined look back and wish they had.

$12 a day is too strict. Hoping to pay off $10,000 of debt in one year (on a low middle class income) is absurd. Beating myself up for buying a coffee gets old fast. Denying myself new clothing, vacations, ok... anything new at all really is border line crazy. But if I don't set huge goals for myself I'll get nowhere. I tried to spend $12 a day for the first six months of this year and I spent $13.90. I know that if I had budgeted $15 a day I'd have spent $18 something. It's just the messed up way that I am. Don't get me wrong... I tried to stick to the $12 a day budget. When I set a goal I really hope to get to that goal but the truth is I very rarely ever do. Every single time I think to myself, "If I try hard enough, then maybe this time I'll get there."

Just being totally honest. This is me. This is my journey, a record of my failures and my successes, and a crazy story about a crazy girl who does life a little bit differently. Thank-you all for reading.


  1. Well I think you're amazing. You have been an inspiration to me, you continue to be an inspiration, and you have done a brilliant job. I support you and I tell you now, I could never have done as well as you, you get my vote my dear xxx

  2. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying one form of budgeting and then maybe realizing it doesn't work for you.
    Maybe setting a daily spending budget isn't the right approach. Maybe you should just keep trying until you find what works for you.
    The point is, while you're trying, you're at least making some progress. If you're not trying at all, you may be making less progress and even moving backward.
    Please don't feel like there's a deadline to meeting your goal. A goal met is a goal met - it doesn't matter when or how long it takes you - including tried and "failed" attempts.

    I'd like to make a book recommendation if you don't mind. I'm currently reading "Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey and loving it. I rented it from the Library (yay, Free!) and it's really made me think. It offers a different perspective on common notions seemingly held by everyone. It's straight-talk with a plan of action, in the form of baby steps. The first half of the book greatly inspires you to at least try out the makeover. I hope you'll give it a look (in case you haven't already).

    And if you ever need to chat, just let me know. :)

  3. You are an over achiever, I don't mean that in a critical way because I am also. I just think 12.00 is too little. But it is your goal not mine. I love your blog and your idea it is inspiring to me. If you up to #13.90 I will still admire you. If it takes you 10 years to pat off $10,000.00 and you go no further into debt you are still doing yourself a big favor.

  4. Sometimes knowing yourself is important. If you know you'll always go $1 over, then set a lower budget. Maybe in the waaaaay back dark reaches of your mind you know that your *real* goal was $15 a day and you can give yourself kudos for coming in under budget.

    And maybe one of your goals for the upcoming 2nd half of the month will be to finish ONE thing 100%. At the very least you'll surprise the heck out of the hubs, right? :)

  5. I think that you are doing an amazing job! Keep going! You can do this!

  6. Adjusting your plan along the way is part and parcel of your debt free journey. You have to do whatever works best for you and your family. Just keep striving for your goals and you will get there. Keep your chin up!

  7. I understand as to projects: I have a whole closet of half finished craft projects. What I love about this post is that you know what works for you. You set a goal and even if you go over it a little, you are still doing better than before.

  8. I wish I had the same insight into myself as you have! Don't change your budget. It's a brilliant target and as long as you know that you won't become disheartened if (when) you go over it then just keep chipping away at that debt!

  9. "Shoot for the moon, because even if you fail, you'll still land among the stars"