Little Known Ways to Fail

Sharing success is easier than sharing failure. “Wait a minute,” you’re thinking. “Isn’t this entire blog about failure?” Why, yes. It is. BUT since I started writing, I’ve been able to share some pretty significant successes. So I guess a failure was bound to come along sooner or later.

After reevaluating our last few weeks, I wrote down all the expenses that we did not absolutely have to spend this month. The results were NOT cheery:

Each of these expenses was perfectly fine in and of itself. But when you add them together, you see they could have made a significant dent in one of our payments. That's the part that's discouraging.

I’m not an expert on much, but evidently I am an expert on spending money. So I thought I would share some expert tips on how to completely blow a budget.

1. Don’t plan to eat.
There’s this certain time of day – every day – when everyone stars to get grumpy. Kids are whiny. Parents are short-tempered. What’s going on?

Oh. It’s dinner time. Again?

When you don’t plan for dinner, you spend money.

2. Don’t change your habits.
Whatever you’ve done in the past must be working for you, so don’t think about changing the habits that got you into this mess in the first place. Every time you go to the grocery store, buy the same things – don’t consider what you already have in your pantry. Always get gas at the same place. Never check around for cheaper prices. Never consider cutting any recurring expenses or subscriptions. Each one you currently have is a “must.”

When you refuse to change your habits, you spend money.

3. Don’t make the kids sacrifice.
Kids can’t learn from adult financial mistakes – that’s expecting too much of them. They should be completely sheltered from any financial woes their parents have brought upon them. They must have everything they are accustomed to receiving, and must never be told “no.”

When you don’t have the heart to make your kids sacrifice, you spend money.

4. Don’t require sacrifice of yourself.
While we’re on the subject of sacrifice, you don’t deserve to live like that, either. You shouldn’t have to tell yourself “no,” or be required to have actual money before you buy something, or go without anything you think you need.

When you won’t endure sacrifice, you spend money.

5. Don’t wait.
This one’s obvious. When you want it, get it. Don’t wait to consider, or save, or research. If you need it, you need it now, not later.

When you won’t wait, you spend money.

6. Most importantly: Justify, justify, justify.
You can find an excuse for anything. Don’t be lazy – find a reason to buy that pair of boots! that TV! You can do it if you put your mind to it.

When you can justify it, you spend money.

These are only a few ways to fail at saving money and getting out of debt. None of them are new; but they are often-practiced. Changing our mindset about money is proving to be the key to getting out of debt fast. We have always talked about “balance” and not “going overboard” in our quest to get out of debt, but I’ve decided I don’t have time for balance anymore. I want this fixed!

And that’s why I’m sharing our failure from the last few weeks. If we’re going to share this journey authentically, it means sharing our failures as well as our successes. Especially because each failure can be turned into a success as we learn new things from it and put those things into practice.

It’s your turn: What tried and true methods of failure have you used?

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2 Responses to “Little Known Ways to Fail”

  1. Brian says:

    One of our biggest pitfalls is the old "What? Christmas/birthdays again? Didn't we just have that last year?". One year, we opened a credit card account "just to pay for Christmas"–because we all know the reason for the season is gift-giving–and ended up maxing the card out shortly after New Year's.

    Another is our kids insisting on growing despite our not having budgeted for new clothes (or, having budgeted, not having actually followed the budget). I hate it when they do that….

    On second thought, I guess those really kind of fit into your #2 and #6.

  2. joy says:

    My husband and I recently moved for his job. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find work. This has caused me to change a lot of our habits. It's amazing how little changes REALLY add up. I just found your blog via a link by "Step Away From the Mall." I love what I see so far!

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