The Goal Method

30 Mar


I’ve been on a slide the last few weeks.  I discussed with my readers my concern on spending some of my income tax refund.  I was afraid that I might lose the momentum I had gained in not spending.  Well, I think it’s fair to say that I have lost some momentum.  I have overspent for the last few paychecks, and I’m not pleased with how I’ve handled things.

Now, I haven’t spent a ton of money.  Maybe just $10-$15 more than my spending envelope.  But, I have spent more than I was allotted, and the whole point to using an envelope system is to learn how to spend within my budget.  I haven’t done very well lately, and that is what is so disappointing.

I could try to find a reason why I keep slipping up.  And I have a few ideas. But, I don’t have to share those reasons to deal with these slip ups effectively.  I do think it’s important to reflect on what “ensnares” us.  I’ve done some soul searching about this, and I’ve done some praying.  It’s obvious that the years of bad spending habits are not going to change overnight.  I still have quite a bit of work to do to control my finances, and it’s going to take a lot of work to remain disciplined.  I have to continue to focus on the end goal.  I asked my FAP to talk me out of spending my money earlier this week.  She asked me where I would like to be in five years.  That’s a great question.  Where would I like to be financially in five years?

I would like to be debt free, living in an apartment closer to work, have my 3-6 months of living expenses saved up in an emergency fund, and be working towards my down payment on my home.  Of course, a number of things could happen between now and then to change my five year goals.  But for now, this is what I see for myself. 

It’s so important to have well-defined goals.  A well-defined goal has a timeframe.  If it is well-defined, the goal is more likely to be accomplished.  I have lived a large majority of my life walking around without a goal.  I had a narrow point of view on what my life might look like.  I didn’t really see a future for myself.  I only saw the present and the past.  Now, I believe in the future the Lord has for me.  And I can’t wait to see what’s next.  The only thing I can do to control my future is to remain obedient to the Lord.  If I do that, He will guide my steps.  “My steps are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23).”

So, where do you see yourself in five years?  What methods do you use to remind yourself what you should/should not do?


One Response to “The Goal Method”

  1. thisgirlsadventure March 31, 2013 at 00:26 #

    Great post. I have recently been thinking I need to capture my long term goals on paper – not let them float around in my mind, slipping in and out. Need to lock them down and define them, as you say. Don’t be too hard on yourself about the overspend. Changing a lifetime of spending habits is a work in progress 🙂

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