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Finding Balance

I haven’t been working to get out of debt for very long, especially compared to some of the rock stars in the PF world. But somewhere along my journey so far this year, I finally realized that PF is all about balance, or lack there-of.

Maybe for you it’s about finding and achieving work-life balance, or a balance between paying off debt and saving, or maybe it’s about finding a balance between being happy or content with the rate at which you’re making progress toward your goals and the amount of money you spend on fun or unnecessary things.

For me, it’s the latter and sometimes it’s a real struggle. It can be hard to be content with your progress when you see others killing their debt at a much faster pace, or on a lower income, than what you’re doing. It can be hard to be happy with the progress you’ve made over the long-run when you have a bad month and the debts don’t go down by much. It’s even harder still when you have to resort to using credit cards again to help you make it through an unexpected expense.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “next month I’ll have a $0 entertainment budget to help make up for poor progress this month”, or “next month will be better because I won’t have to pay for x, y, and z”. But then next month rolls around and you want to buy new jeans, go see a movie with friend, or you have yet another unexpected expense to deal with. So what’s can you do to help find this balance?

Be content! Be content with what you own. Be content with who you are. Be content with how much you spend on what you spend it on.

Finding balance is all about attitude, and attitude is all in your head. If you can successfully make up your mind and change your attitude about your spending, or whatever your situation is, then you’ve got it made when it comes to finding balance.

The first step to changing your attitude is knowing what your attitude and your shortfalls are. Recognizing your shortfalls, like pessimism or emotional spending for example, and how they affect you and your finances is a great first step to changing your attitude and then finding balance.

Another way to help you change your attitude, stop comparing yourself to others. Yes, we’ve all heard this before, but it’s true and it really is important to changing your attitude and ultimately finding the balance that we all seek so desperately.

We all have different situations: income situations, living situations, family situations, and every other situation out there. But what about what you find someone with nearly the same amount of debt and income as you? Even then you don’t know what they’re situation’s really like. You can make some really good friends and learn a lot about some people by reading their blog, but even still you can never really know everything about them and their situation via the internet.

This is why people choose to spend their money differently and why some can get away with a $0 entertainment budget, or a $0 clothing budget, while others find those things to be priorities and therefore they spend more on them and have slower debt progress.

If you change your attitude you can find your balance and hopefully achieve your goals that much easier.

Are you struggling with finding some sort of balance? How’s does your attitude affect your finances?


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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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