Sometimes pf bloggers give the impression that we all think it’s easy and everyone can do it (at least a number of commenters have said so on various blogs I read). Well, I do think everyone can practice responsible personal finance, but for some people that will mean they can amass millions and for some people that will mean that they can eventually pay down their debt. For some people (in extreme cases) it might mean that they can just avoid incurring more or just incur less debt debt.
I hope I haven’t given the impression that I think this is easy. For me, the hardest thing is probably the psychological aspect. With my already mixed-up mental state, sometimes money becomes incredibly huge and scary. The debt we’re in feels hopeless, I feel just like crawling back in bed and giving up.
And while I love budgets and seeing our progress, they also scare me. I worry that I’ll go over. It’s not just the budget, either, when I haven’t had one I’ve still worried about going through all the money I have. It hasn’t happened, but I feel like it will. So I frequently tell myself, “You’re doing fine, just keep going.” and “This is an irrational fear, it’s ok to have it but don’t listen to it.”
I had the good fortune to be raised by a pretty frugal woman, so I think my expectations are lower and I got good training in financial responsibility. I didn’t have a brand-new dress until I was 12 (except, perhaps, for some gifts when I was a newborn). Even then, it was a special present. I think that set me up well for having lower expectations and being used to saying “no” to what I want.
But that didn’t stop me from being in debt, I fell in love and the man’s worth the money. And his debt isn’t from recklessness, maybe imperfect planning. That helps me understand how a person can do everything “right” (I’m not saying that I have) and still end up in a difficult financial situation.
While I’m used to not indulging my every desire it sometimes gets to me that I can’t spend more money on crafting or books. It’d be nice to have a better wardrobe too, and I’m working on that, but crafting and books are things I have to deny myself. Also eating out as much as might be fun.
Developing alternative income can also be difficult or frustrating. I love crafting and writing, but sometimes I feel like I need to get more out and it’s going so slowly. Normally the good times outweigh these, but if you couple this feeling with worrying that I’ll outspend my budget and wishing that I could have more from life, it can get pretty depressing some nights.
Tonight’s a little depressing because I’m tired, I have a lot of projects, I’m coming down from the thrill of getting hired (!!!) and I was having trouble with a memory card, which kept me from getting some stuff onto my Etsy site. I sort-of prevailed, but now I’m exhausted, up past my bedtime and heading off to bed now.
(Coming tomorrow: The easiest and most rewarding parts.)