I’m not sure if it’s because Todd and I have made the conscious decision to be more financially responsible that I’m noticing this or not, but it’s become pretty obvious to me that our society is littered with financial temptations. Whether it’s things like payday loans, great sales on things we don’t need, super-special Groupon deals, or a tempting credit card limit increase, it seems like there’s no end to the amount of financial landmines out there, looking to trip us up. No wonder so many young people get themselves in financial trouble at an early age. Temptation is…well…tempting, isn’t it? Creating a budget is tough. Sticking to that budget is even tougher, particularly when you’ve got your credit card company offering you credit limit increases and you’re getting daily emails from Groupon about the latest and greatest local “deals”. Just yesterday I received yet another teaser from my credit card company, reminding me, yet again, that I’m eligible for an increase. I’ll be honest…for a minute there, an image of Todd and I buying plane tickets and taking off on an impromptu winter vacation flashed through my mind. And then…reality. Sure, that vacation would be great (and is much-needed by us both), the greatness would be vastly overshadowed by how much it would suck to return home afterwards and be faced with the reality of even more consumer debt than we’re already dealing with. I gave my head a quick shake and deleted the email. My fleeting sadness was replaced with a feeling of satisfaction…knowing that we’re going in the right direction. And sure, vacations feel great, but being in control of one’s finances feels even greater. Cheesy, but true. It’s that whole short term discomfort for long term gain thing again. The way I’ve been personally able to avoid these temptations is to remove them as options in my mind. Sure, I flirted a little bit with the old “increased credit limit” monster but when it came right down to it, I knew that it really wasn’t a reasonable option for us. I delete those “great deal” emails as soon as they come in (though I haven’t been strong enough to click “unsubscribe” just yet). I remind myself often of our end goal. I take a look at how far we’ve come with our finances, rather than focusing on how far we have left to go. Some days its easier than others, I’ll fully admit that. But we all know that this whole financial responsibility thing isn’t easy, otherwise we could have done it a long time ago, amiright?
What about you? Do you have any financial temptations that you struggle with? I would love to hear that I’m not alone with this one….
Until next time,