Every now and then someone asks me if I ever mess up and waste money. And my answer to that is always the same – Yep, mess up all the time. Just because I blog about personal finance, doesn’t mean I’m mr. perfect ;) I’m a lot smarter than I was 4-5 years ago when it comes to money, but I still mess up. And a lot more than you’d actually think.
It doesn’t matter if I track my expenses every day or every week, the real world is no match for a human. The only way you could win 100% of the time is if you were locked up somewhere or if you were, in fact, a computer. And seeing how you’re reading this right now, I take it that you’re neither of the two.
The trick is really just about messing up on the smaller things rather than the BIGGER things. If you can rock out your spend-less-than-I-make-lifestyle & stay away from huge mortgages & car payments, I find no problem with slipping up every now and then. It’s not optimal, and you never PLAN to do it, but it happens. It’s all a part of life, you know?
In fact, just last Friday I blew $5.00 on these damn cinnamon sticks from Pizza Hut because I wasn’t paying good enough attention. Then I spent $3.50 for chap stick 15 minutes later because I didn’t take the time to look for my normal .99 kind. Every week I do stupid stuff like this, but I try and not let it get to me. I know I’m handling our finances pretty well 90% of the time, and as long as we hit our major goals every year we’re on track.
So do I, J. Money, ever mess up? I sure do. And I’m willing to bet every other person reading and blogging about personal finance does too. You can’t make the right call 100% of the time, it’s just not possible. It’s more about being comfortable in your own financial skin and allowing yourself some breathing room. If you can master that, you’ll live a much healthier (and happier) life. And one without going insane, as well.
PS: Some of my favorite tools:
|Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review|
|Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review|
|Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review|