I’m going to get real real with you today. It’s less about money (though it applies) and more about me as a person — a normal, can’t-always-hold-it-together person. You ready for this?
I lack self-control with a lot of things that matter.
Some things, I’m good with.
I’m good with not buying crazy expensive clothes that I never wear. I’m good with not posting all sorts of selfies on the internet. I’m good about getting rest and setting some boundaries (hello, bedtime) and knowing when I need a break.
However, there are lots of things popping up in my life where I realize I lack self-control, discipline. And it’s humbling.
Let’s start with the fact that at least twice this week, I’ve snoozed almost an entire hour. AN HOUR, GUYS! And, like, I have a jobbbbb to go to. And should look somewhat decent when I get there. But nooooo, guess who’s showing up with wet hair? This girl.
As these next points kept coming up in my mind all this week, they practically burned a hole in my conscience. Gah, I hate that I can’t get it together.
I check my phone at red lights.
Pretty much each one. Because I’ve apparently got a severe case of narcissism.
I know that people aren’t hitting up my phone so much that I need to be concerned with checking for messages during a drive across town. And nothing on Facebook is that important. So help me, I can’t seem to shake it.
Solution: Keeping my phone on the back seat of my car starting now. Far, far, far away from the front seat.
Accountability or bust.
I love going to the gym with my gym buddy Ashley. We’ve been accountability partners for over a year now (*strong muscle emoji*), and we’re really good at setting a routine to go to 2-3 group fitness classes a week.
“That sounds great, Allea! What’s the problem?”
Um, if Ashley can’t go to the gym for whatever reason, I’m all, “Hey Target, how you doin’?” Or I’m napping. Or anything other than working out. The classes continue without me.
My problem with all of this is that I have zero discipline outside of giving my word to my accountability partner. I feel weak in the brain at the thought of going to the gym by myself. Blah, fitness.
All I do is snack snack snack.
So this isn’t every day, but man there are days where I can’t stop snacking, even when I’m clearly full. I believe I eat when I’m stressed. Not good. Not not not good. It’s an awful habit to get into, and I wish it wasn’t so!
Coffee was my BFF.
Coffee is an addiction I keep at arm’s length now. You can call it discipline that I gave up coffee last October, but I’m dabbling back into it again, slowly, and I love it, but I really have to be careful not to depend on coffee.
Okay, so this one is pretty much under control, but I wanted to let you know it’s been a problem in the past.
And if I dive too deep, my skin's complexion suffers and everyone will know — so, it’s kind of like a coffee-drinking-Pinocchio curse? (Get it? ‘Cause Pinocchio can’t hide his nose...I can’t hide my face…? *laughter explodes because that’s an awful joke*)
Bible study battle.
Long story short, though my bible study is designed for six days a week, yours truly will wait and do all of it on a Saturday.
Which is silly.
Facebook ruins my life.
When I’m on my computer and click to open a new tab (Cmd + T), my left pointer finger immediately goes to the “F” key. Because, Facebook.
It’s such a habit and it hurts my soul.
Moral of the story?
I’m imperfect. And maybe dangerous on the road. And I slide into work with seconds to spare, looking a lot like Lorelai on Rory’s first day at Chilton.
But you know what? That’s okay.
And I share all of this with you because though I know about finances, and you might think I “have it all together,” the truth is that I never will. We’re all human.
All of this talk about my lack of discipline is ultimately why I need a budget. Heaven knows I could find enough concerts or clothes or road trips to spend 50% of my income on. But by having a budget in place, I have a set portion of my income going toward those long-term things that will matter some day (though they feel pretty worthless in the here and now).
I have to ask myself, “What’s the end goal? What’s the big picture?”
And when I realize that I don’t want to be broke or living paycheck-to-paycheck, then that’s what motivates me to safeguard a part of my budget to go toward Future Allea. Like paying off my student loan debt and building up savings and putting money into retirement.
Those things sound boring, but trust me, they’re important — and we can’t just ignore them and hope they solve themselves.
If I didn’t have my retirement, debt repayment and savings transfers automated and accounted for in my monthly budget, I’d totally spend that money on whatever the heck I want. But, I can’t.
Or at least, I shouldn’t.
That’s the rational part of my brain speaking to the “want it all right now” part of my brain. And because those two don’t get along, I have to put my foot down and aim high and ignore lots of little things that want to take all my hard-earned money.
By blocking that money out of my budget for these long-term goals, I avoid dipping into those funds at all.
There you have it: I’m your half-disciplined personal finance coach and blogger friend who doesn’t have it all together all of the time.
So, friend, I want you to know that whatever your situation, you’re welcome here.
Do you struggle with self-control or self-discipline? If so, in what ways?
Keep Reading: Choose Your Own Adulthood