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Don’t Almost Save

Sunday afternoon, Micah and I saw an interesting commercial while we were watching watching My Own Worst Enemy (ep. 3) on Hulu while cooking badami chicken. It was for Don’ and its message was precisely that. Don’t almost give. Give.

That made me think of how many things we almost do. We almost gave to a charity. We almost started saving for retirement. We almost invited a friend over to catch up. We almost e-mailed Mom. We almost made a dentist’s appointment.

The commercial showed kids aimlessly hanging out in a parking lot. The narrator told us that the citizens almost built these kids a community center. Almost.

Don’t almost start saving for your goals. Save.

Don’t almost start paying off your debt. Snowflake.

Don’t almost start tracking your freelance or blog income. Get a spreadsheet.

Don’t almost know where your money is going. Budget.

My “almost” is almost always a response to being afraid that whatever I want to do is “just too much” or “just too big.” It’s true, I can’t pay off $100k in debt in a day. It would be unreasonable to expect me to do so, just like it would be unreasonable for me to have saved up for a violin the day after I decided to do so. Yet, saving bit by bit, I got that violin. Many people achieve financial freedom with baby steps.

When it’s habits, then my “almost” is normally because it’s “too inconvenient.” Whenever possible, I tell myself “I’ll do it this once.” I give up resolving to do it every day and just do it when I’m trying to put it off. Often enough, I’ll successfully put something off. But I’ve also built a number of good habits (like flossing) by taking the pressure off and telling myself that I don’t have to get into an inconvenient habit, I’ll do it this once.

Have you almost done something you know you should? It may look intimidating, but you can work it out step by step, little by little.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter November 17, 2008 at 9:42 am

This post gives us a great lesson – don’t keep talking about things, and how you’re going to do them, just DO them! So often we just forget to take that all important first step and get moving on our goals! great post!

My Daily Dollars November 17, 2008 at 11:17 am

Great reminder! It’s so true that if we just do whatever it is we keep meaning to do, we’ll be done!

Dawn November 17, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Good post! It is always good to remember that small steps are all it takes to get us moving in the right direction!

Budgets are Sexy November 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm

You should send this post to Nike to help support their “Just Do It” campaign πŸ˜‰ Or at least “almost” send it in..haha…

deepali November 17, 2008 at 2:39 pm

These are the “what now?” ads, right? I’ve been seeing them, but didn’t know what they were for. Good to know!

I almost do a lot of things. πŸ™‚

DebtKid November 17, 2008 at 6:05 pm

I *almost* didn’t leave a comment. : )

I hate when people are all talk and no action. I’d rather shut up and get stuff done than sit around planning to get stuff done!

Web-Betty November 18, 2008 at 12:41 am

I’m so guilty of the “almost.” Thanks for reminding me. Great post!

Matt @ My Financial November 18, 2008 at 11:49 am

For me “almost” goes right in hand with “tomorrow I will…”. Procrastination and almost getting something done, two of my personal worst enemies.

Green Panda November 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm

So true, ‘almost’ can hurt you. I did almost pay down debt and was stuck with a slow growing credit card balance.

Takig action has been great and I’m enjoying being free of credit card debt.

Sandy November 18, 2008 at 9:33 pm

You are so right. Slow and steady wins the race. Start small. Pennies eventually add up to dollars. Thanks for the reminder.

Squawkfox November 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm

My husband is more of an “almost”er. Drives me bonkers. I always do. Thinking about doing stuff is maddening. I’d rather be getting it done. πŸ˜€

Stephanie November 19, 2008 at 10:29 pm

I think I *almost* exercise. I think about joining a gym or going out for a walk/run, but I never manage to do it. I also think I *almost* socialize sometimes…it’s a really bad habit, where I basically tentatively accept an invitation to join someone, and then call later saying I’m not going to come. You could call me a flake, I guess, but it’s more that I just get too lazy to leave.

No more laziness!!!

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