One of my resolutions this year was to start living on a budget, and gain control of my money. I never realized how easy it would be to get discouraged early on. Can you give me some encouragement to help make my financial resolutions stick in 2021?
The secret to making a goal into a reality is getting started. It’s really that simple. You also have to be realistic and accept the fact that nothing—especially things you’ve never done before—works out perfectly the first time around. That leads to the next step, which is patience. Most people think about losing 20 pounds, and immediately feel it needs to happen in the next month or so. It doesn’t. And mostly likely, it won’t. Like almost everything else worth doing, it’s something that requires sacrifice and focus each day over an extended period of time. Crash courses are usually painful and rarely work out well. But once you’ve done something a few times, it becomes an easier and easier part of your daily routine. Pretty soon, it’s not a chore or something you’re afraid of.
Making a budget and gaining control of your finances works the same way. When you first create a money plan, it probably won’t work out exactly as you hoped. That’s okay. It will barely work the second month, but it won’t be as scary, because you’ve already done it once. By the third month, you’ll have a much better feel for it, and your stress levels will go way down because you already know the basics. It just takes determination, patience, and intensity to get through the rough patches that go along with starting anything new.
A new year is just around the corner, Collin. Don’t fall into the same old trap. Give yourself a little grace, but keep your eyes on the prize. Start preparing yourself now. You’ve got plenty of time to begin laying out a plan, and have a solid budget ready when January 1st arrives. It may feel like things are beginning slowly, but you can make this happen if you’ll just stick with it!
Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions, host of The Dave Ramsey Show, and a best-selling author, including “The Total Money Makeover.” Follow Dave at DaveRamsey.com and on Twitter @DaveRamsey.