A return to "normal"
It's been a long two years and in recent months we have seen signs of things returning back to normal, although normal may look different to many people.
What I am seeing is:
An uptick in travel
Airline travel higher than the start of 2020
Higher gas prices
Savings accounts dwindling from "excess" savings
Higher prices on most everything
Not all of these things are pandemic related, but they DO all impact your financial bottom line. One thing I've always said is that while I do want to save, be prepared and hopefully have savings to retire comfortably, I don't want that to come at the cost of being miserable now.
I know, you're probably relating to the gift above, right? Well I have a tendency to have an all or nothing approach to many things in life. It's great when it's working for you, but it can work against you in a number of ways as well. One way I saw this was when I realized I was sacrificing my life and any enjoyment in my current days for the hope of setting myself up in the future.
What do I mean by that? Saying no to meeting up with friends, concerts, any entertainment (concerts, trips, etc) that cost money. I was so forward focused that I didn't realize I was hurting my present, and not enjoying today. Let me also say, I'm not saying to go out and YOLO everything. But this is also when I learned if I budget for these extras, I can still enjoy my life instead of hating where I am because I am not having any fun.
Prior to getting my finances in order, I was eating out every night with friends, going on multiple vacations a year (not using points to pay for any of it), buying all the clothes and designer purses.
Are you starting to see how I was all or nothing? I was either all the way YOLO or all the way save, save, save. Now I work on finding the middle ground. Some days, and years, are better than others. Some days I fail and some days I succeed. But instead of beating myself up, I look at my numbers and ask how I can keep myself on track. I also look to see how I can utilize my spending to help me achieve some of these more fun items. I'll dig more into that in another post.
No matter what your goals are, don't give up. If you are kicking butt, having a setback, frustrated, plugging along, etc. Do NOT give up. I always say everything starts with a budget because you have to know where your money is going. As a friend once said, that's why you have to put a starting point into Google Maps, otherwise how can they give you accurate directions where you're going.
It's okay to revisit your budget. Your budget is a guide, it's not written in stone. It should be flexible and adjust as your life and priorities shift and change.
If you want more tips, please visit my Instagram and take a look through my posts as I put a lot of tips out there to help you start your journey.
Have you recently received a tax refund or bonus and you're wondering how to put it to the best use? Check out my blog post.