I make mistakes. I mess up. I fail.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like to admit any of it. As the creator of Money Peach and the author behind the blog you are reading right now, I often believe I can give myself a lot more credibility by telling you I am pretty damn perfect when it comes to money.
However, today I’d rather be ‘right’ than merely credible.
Over the next few minutes, I am going to be an open book. I am going to share with you some of my stops from the “struggle bus” just because. Today’s post wasn’t planned at all – and often these unplanned moments are what I do best.
Do we really live on monthly budget every single month? Yes.
Are we great at it? Not really.
Sometimes I truly feel like a used car salesman when I preach on the budget. Truth be told, we have never missed our end-of-the-month budget meeting in the last 68 months. But, that doesn’t mean we follow the budget perfectly and it’s easy. In fact, Andrea and I go WAY over our budget more than any of us would ever like to admit.
We say yes when we don’t actually have money left in the budget for a dinner with friends and it’s easier to say sure whenever someone asks if we are in.
We tell ourselves it’s okay because everyone else is doing it. Or we convince ourselves we need to have a little fun now and then, when what we really mean is a ridiculous amount of fun that we are downplaying to make ourselves feel better about overspending.
Sometimes (not always) we just simply suck at budgeting.
Do we really love saving money? Ummm…I think so.
I tell people all the time:
Saving money is so easy!
You can do it – no problem!
Just simply save money with these 5 easy steps!
Will someone please call B.S. on my B.S?!
The truth is the IDEA of saving money is easy. Just like the idea of starting a business and generating income tomorrow is so easy. Just like the idea of losing 50 lbs and training for a marathon is easy.
However, we sometimes suck at saving money too.
Andrea and I don’t like to admit it, but we struggle to save for things because saving isn’t that much fun (for us). When money comes in, it’s simply more fun to spend it baby! Show me da’ money!!!!!
Let me give you an example:
When we first started, we were one hundred percent gungho about saving! Yay for us 🙂 However, that was 68 months ago.
Now, not so much.
This month it actually rained in Phoenix, AZ, which means we were able to test our roof out for rain-worthiness, and it failed miserably. The result was hiring a roofer to fix the roof and then hiring a contractor to fix the water damage inside the house. And yes, we did feel bad for ourselves 🙁
Luckily, we did have an emergency fund!
But, when we built our emergency fund, we knew we would keep it right at $10,000 liquid cash at all times. However, between the roof and other “emergencies” over the past year, our emergency fund is currently at $5,938.
Oops is right.
Paying Off Mortgage Early?
Last year at this time, we were intense with paying off our 30-year mortgage early. We were paying 2.5x payments each month and we were looking at becoming mortgage-free in 6 years. Then we decided we wanted to start tithing, which I still believe is the best financial decision we have ever made, but this also meant we had to take a little bit of money from different areas in our lives.
Sorry kids college.
Sorry ROTH IRA.
Sorry bigger boat fund.
The fact that I am even apologizing for those 4 things above makes me feel icky and it hurts a little bit. It’s true what they say: the truth hurts, especially when you put it in writing.
As Christians, Andrea and I believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of His money, and therefore we make sure to give Him 10% of His money back each and every month.
It’s not always easy. In fact, I think it’s hard more than times than it is easy.
During church service, when we are in our neighborhood group, or when we are volunteering at the church, tithing feels AWESOME! I actually sing a song inside my head when I am writing out that check. Think of Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off:
I am a man of a faith!
I just tithed myself away!
And God knows I am great..oh oh…
God knows I am great..oh oh…
I am so so well behaved
I simply sacrifice on faith
And God knows I am great..oh oh…
God knows I am great..oh oh…
When I am in front of my excel spreadsheet and looking at how much is going out each month, I am no longer singing, my forehead and eyebrows are flexed, and tithing is hard. Really hard.
I selfishly love the feeling of giving. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, but when I think about giving (money or time), I think of me first. How am I going to feel about it?
Here is something else I don’t like to admit: I give more in my head than I do in real life.
This begs me to ask myself this question: If I love giving as much as I say I do, then why don’t I give more often? I can tell you this is much more of a problem for me and not much a problem for Andrea at all. She truly has a heart of gold.
Taking My Wife On a Date?
My wife is the most beautiful human being on the planet.
Note: This is my very accurate opinion and I am an expert on my opinion.
We have been married 9 years now and I used to promise her 2 date nights a month. Period.
That went pretty well for a few months and now I am all over the place with it. I am doing a poor job of budgeting for our dates (see above) and lately she is lucky to get one date night a month. I don’t know exactly why I have messed this up so much, but putting this in words right now is hitting me like a ton of bricks. This is going to be a big focus for me right now. In my head she is still the same girl I met in college in 2001. Time to take our dates from theory and into turn them into reality.
Spending Actual Time with Our Kids?
Peach, there is a difference between putting an iPad in front of the kids while you work and actually spending time with them.
Here is a shocking stat: I only have 137 months left with Carter (6 years old) and 165 months left with Caylee (4 years old) until they are both adults. Shocking, but true.
Are they going to remember how much money I made while I was working or are they going to remember the times we had a tea party with Barbies and threw the football for an hour straight?
I’ll admit it: this one may hurt the most.
I must fix this.
Fake It Until I Make It
I have played this saying over and over in my head. I know I often mess up, fail, ruin things, and it’s hard for me to admit it. Therefore, I fake it until I make it.
The problem is I don’t know when I’ll have ever made it. Therefore, wouldn’t it be fair to say I’ll always be faking it?
No one likes that word (not even CNN), and I am telling myself this in my head over and over again?
Here it is one more time: I make mistakes. I mess up. I fail.
And I’m okay with it.
Quote I’ve been pondering lately:
“Failure is not a PERSON, it is an EVENT” – Zig Ziglar
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As I finish writing this, I feel awesome and I feel a little scared. I can’t believe I am going to actually post this. What will people think of me? How will I react? Once it’s up, it’s up. It’s time to drop a little fear in the bucket and light it on fire.
Hitting the “Publish” button in 3…2…1.
Thanks for reading.
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