Getting out of debt is all about managing the resources that we have – and prioritising the things that are absolutely non-negotiable, the “Must-haves” versus the “Be Nice to Haves”
And as life ebbs and flows that list changes a little too. When you have more income you can tweak some categories up a little .. when the game changes .. well we have to too, and the basic Personal Survival Budget comes to the fore and all previous recognition of “this is how we did it in the past” goes out the window.
If the game changes .. it’s not the same game anymore .. the rules have changed .. you gotta learn the new rules.
For us that means economising on food, cutting down on monthly subscriptions, and being more “home-based” than out and about .. cos those fuel bills really do mount up!
If you have been on the journey with me you know I am unapologetic about crying “Enough! This is not working, lets come up with a new plan!” and refining what I am doing to make it every more effective in the new situation I have found myself in.
You have to manage your money .. and that seems pretty sensible.
But you also have to manage your energy.
For most of us, this is going to be a right long haul, a marathon and not a sprint and you have to be able to make the call it in your particular situation as to what you can cope with .. and what you can’t and therefore what needs to be set aside in this season.
So this week I posted this on my Instagram!
Because you know what sometimes we really do have to just suck it and get on with doing some stuff even though we are dead tired.
Kids do actually need to be fed! We do need to keep ourselves clean – the basics do need to happen.
There is a basic level of “stuff” that needs to be doing just to keep the whole “show on the road”. Sometimes you need to dip into your resources and just power on through!
But let me be clear here …. you can only get out of debt and become financially prosperous when you recognise that the “power is in the margin” It’s the money that you get to keep that takes you to your financially stable future. Its the money between what you earn and what you are committed to spending that you can use to pay down debt / create an emergency fund / pay off your mortgage / retire .. whatever your goal is.
If you constantly spend more than you earn … can I be real here? NOTHING IS GOING TO GET BETTER .. with no margin there will be no progress!
It’s the same with your energy …
If you constantly spend more energy than you have .. you are just going to end up more ill than you might already be! If you already struggle in this area you need to be doubly careful about how to manage that finite resource.
If you are completely exhausted by just living. there is no margin for creative thought!
If you are completely exhausted by doing for others .. there is no margin for self-care!
If you are completely exhausted by juggling all the balls – how do you expect to be able to find the headspace to even consider creating more revenue opportunities by finding a new job, setting up a new business or studying something new?
If you are depleted of energy. then THIS is a new game and you need to learn the new rules. Sometimes rest is the absolute priority .. you need to build this into your plans!
And I know we all want to keep up our standards, to do that which we have always done, to be seen to be the competent ones that hold it all together.
But sometimes we can’t and that is also OK!
We need to find a new balance.
The one where we say – “Today is the rough day” and all the plans go out of the window because the most important thing is NOT to power on through and exhaust yourself for a week because you did something today that you “Felt” you must do.
We need to become better at saying .. “N’ah! the hoover is not getting pushed around today because today I need to focus on resting up so that I can juggle the budget”
or “Dinner needs to be egg on toast … cos I need to learn how to do X today and I haven’t got the energy to do both!”
Seriously my friends – no-one ever died by having a few easy dinners every week and if anyone is complaining that you haven’t run the hoover around today then stop inviting them around! Seriously, if you are ill and they are kvetching about that instead of asking you “What can I do to help?” then what are they doing over your threshold anyway (And Yes! I include your MIL in this too! and your husband too for that matter!)
Like you balance your budget .. building in the margin that shifts the needle we need to get better at doing EXACTLY the same with our energy resources!
Success lies amongst what we stop doing as much as what we start doing .. so time to figure out what that bare-bones lifestyle looks like and what can you live without doing to get through to the other side and life of your dreams?
Stop beating yourself up .. no-one is judging you. The reality is that we are all just trying to keep our own shit together .. trying to manage our own precious resources and trying to find a way through to something better.
But if you need a shoulder? If you need to figure out the best way to NOT do stuff – we are here. Not to tell you what to do .. but support you in your decision not to do it!
Cos it’s your body, your priorities, and your life,, YOU GET TO DECIDE!