The beginning of the year is always tough for me financially. Even though I know it’s coming, I still struggle to properly prepare for the beginning of every year. For February, I did the thing that I tell/teach people NOT to do. I avoided the thing that most certainly keeps me on track…my budget. When I say “avoid”, what I really mean is IGNORE.
It’s sad, really. I know what to do; why it’s important, and how much better I feel after I do it. But I just couldn’t get myself together. I figured out that, emotionally, I struggled with the thought of not having enough. That feeling and mentality is what kept me in a holding pattern. That if I don’t have enough, then why bother to budget it? Why look at those dollars disappearing on paper? Why try to move things around, only to still feel inadequate financially? The struggle is real.
I work hard. Incredibly HARD. But there are a couple of times during the year where the “not enough” mentality added to the “you work too hard to be struggling” feeling sends me spiraling down to The Sunken Place where no budgets live. I go down into the rabbit hole, and sit there for a solid thirty days, at least, spending freely, saving nothing, and ignoring the budget. And then just as Spring has sprung, my mindset shifts too, and I remember all the things that I have been teaching students about finances and budgets. I crawl out of the hole, pull out my laptop and stare reality in the face. I shake my head at February’s choices; I redo the numbers, and I “March” forward in the new season. (Side thought: maybe I need an accountability partner to check on me every February 1st. Hmmm…)
I recognize that this is a test. A yearly test. LOL. But I have all the keys that I need to be successful. I know that it is more than a numbers game; it is a mentality game. It takes more than dollars in the bank; it takes a shift in perspective. It takes a mantra:
I have enough.
I am enough.
What I need is already in me.
God provides all my needs.
His promise is sufficient.
I believe that the day we make a decision that we no longer will tolerate the negative mindsets that we have is the day that we will choose to be successful. That is the day that we will stop ignoring and/or avoiding those things that will ultimately be for our good. That day can be today. What will you choose?