I used to believe that one day I would be done dieting.
Like, someday I would magically hit on the right combination of healthy diet and exercise that would make all future “diets” or new “exercise regimes” unnecessary. I would float through the rest of my life free and unburdened from these mundane things if I could only find that one magic bullet that would make it all happen.
And — in case you needed a reality check — the truth is, that’s never going to happen.
Think about it: even if I become a marathon runner (which, let’s just say that unless there’s a hungry bear involved, that’s probably not going to happen) there will always be things to improve. I’ll need to change my diet again to accommodate my training, and I’ll need to change up my training to improve my time, and so on.
It’s a constant process.
So is your money management.
Are we done??
It’s always a little amusing to me when clients come to me and say they “Just want to get back on track,” or “Just need a little help making a budget,” and then they’ll be all good with their money.
Money is constantly moving. One month you have a surplus, the next month you’re a little short. One month you get a bonus at work, some overtime, or a new client, and the next month your car needs a costly repair, the furnace breaks, and all the kids have outgrown their shoes.
On a bigger scale, it’s that old problem of keeping up with the Joneses. As you make more money — believe me — you will find more things to spend it on. You’ll want that nicer car, bigger house, or you’ll need better clothes for your new position, etc.
The other half of this equation is the fact that how we feel about money is constantly changing, too. How rich or comfortable or well off you feel can change by the day, if not the hour! One month a full fridge might make you feel rich because you can afford all those healthy foods, while the next month it makes you feel poor because you have to eat in all the time. Same circumstances, different feelings.
So the idea that you can create a budget, a conscious spending plan, or any kind of financial plan once and be done with it is patently absurd.
A lot of you may be shaking your heads and worrying when I say this. You feel anxious that you have to do this whole spending plan or financial planning thing more than once!
But I think it’s actually a good thing.
I certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck with the budget I had in college. (Ramen is just NOT that appetizing anymore!)
And I also wouldn’t want to be stuck using the conscious spending plan I developed for myself two years ago. I’m not the same person as I was then. My goals and needs and resources have all changed. And who knows what they’ll look like two years from now.
Change is inevitable and growth is good! With the right tools and resources at hand, you can embrace these changes for what they actually are:
P.S. I just updated my annual awesome goal planners for 2018 to help you get started on the new year – you can download those here.