Monday, April 6, 2009


I'm giving both myself and you dear reader permission to cut yourself some slack today. As a 20-something it's easy to set out to conquer the world and forget that Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time, patience, hard work, and yes even a few mistakes to get ahead in life. So here's your get-out-of-jail-free card of the week. I'm telling you, it's ok to cut yourself some slack.

This entry is inspired by my own self-hatred at tapping into my savings this Monday morning. Now, before I get out of control with my slack cutting let me explain. I recently made a plan (with the help of my much more financially advanced Dad's help) to pay off my car in 3 months. That would put me at paying the last penny of my car (and warranty) off at my 2 years mark of owning it. Something I think is fairly rare for a 23 year old fresh out of school. So, in order to do this I made a promise not to use my savings to pay off the car BUT that if I needed to tap into it here and there to make ends meet, I would do so...knowing that once my car is paid off it will be far easier to replenish the funds and move forward into better financial security.

In the words of my wise friend Meredith, "It's better to have no debt and less savings, right?". Indeed. That was my goal, and I'm meeting it. One month left to go and I will be debt free and still have a savings account that I think it worth being proud of.

So why the self-hatred you might ask? Well, while I made it 2 months farther into this process than I thought I could without using some of that savings - I got so use to working enough extra that I wasn't using that resource that when I realized this week I'd stretched as far as I could, I felt disappointed in myself. But the truth is, I'm doing great. In 11 months I have completely changed the way I handle finances and I have given myself a great jump start in the right direction.

But as is typical of me I get ahead of myself. I dream big and I want to succeed in so many ways - that often I forget that there are steps that must be taken to get there. When I whine about this to my Dad he reminds me, "Bekes, I've been working for 40 years to get to where I're not going to make it here in a year". How right he is...

So if your frustrated that you can't solved the world's (or your own) problems in a day, week, or even year...than take a deep breath and celebrate how far you HAVE gotten and the steps your taking to get to where you want to be. The 20's can be frustrating as it's sometimes slow moving to get ahead. So in the name of practicing what I preach here's my celebrations...

In the last 11 months I HAVE...
- made my first savings account of note
- lived on a budget
- provided for myself
- tackled debt
- made financial goals
- filed my own taxes
- learned about the types of credit, morgages, savings accounts, and investments
- And soaked up 3 books about finances to help me in my journe
- Kept all my credit cards paid off but used them to build credit and rewards
- Learned about Fico scores (and learned that mine is excellent)

So cheers friends, to being 20-something and learning as we go!


No comments:

Post a Comment