Like money in the bank

17 Sep

This year I am hitting a somewhat milestone birthday and I am not looking forward to it. So to give myself something to be excited about I decided Denver will buy his mom a nice piece of jewelry…$1000 worth of bling. (Yes, my dog is very generous!) I decided I would do this the responsible way and save up for it instead of putting it on a credit card. Here’s what I did.

 

I decided to save $1000. I paid my regular bills, took care of my car, went grocery shopping, and occasionally splurged on new running shoes or clothes. After all, I deserved the reward because of all the hard work I have been doing. Every week I would check my bank account balance and frown. No change…what the heck? I would start the next week hopeful. My “new plan” would be to take out some cash from the ATM and only spend that on food. That worked until Thursday when I ran out of cash and had to buy my lunch with my debit card for the rest of the week. Then I was invited to go to Wild Fire on Saturday night. Yum! It is kind of an expensive place, but figured it would be okay since I don’t eat there often. My bill was $75 but well worth it.  Mmmmmm….I love me some steak and cabernet! The next morning I logged on to check my bank account balance. Dang it! Not only have I not saved anything this month, I ended up a little in the red (a pair of running shoes somehow made it to the credit card).

 

New plan. Now I am going to check my bank balance every morning. That way I will know where I stand every day before I spend any money. The number went up and down and up and down, stayed the same a few days, then back down. The bills got paid, the groceries were purchased, the gas tank in the car was full. And here I am again…no $1000…not even $100. What the heck? I mean, look at all I have been doing…I think about saving money every day. I check my balances. It’s not like I can quit spending money. Mr Mortgage and Mr Electric are going to be knocking on the door. I have to buy clothes and food and gas for the car too. Why isn’t this working?

 

I am looking for change at the wrong level. “Money in the bank” is not what I am going to do to end up with $1000. Instead, it is my daily thoughts and actions that will determine whether or not I get that $1000 saved. First, I need to set a budget. Second, I need to stick to it. I need to believe that I am worth that new jewelry and decide I want it more than any other thing I can buy. I may decide to put $100 from every paycheck aside before I spend any more money that month. I may decide to start shopping the grocery sale papers a little smarter. I may decide to drop cable TV or cut back on what I will spend on entertainment. There will be times I am tempted to buy another pair of running shoes, how will I decide whether I really need them or not? I will be invited out to dinner, how am I going to plan for that? There will be times when “I just need to spend money”…what am I going to do to plan to be successful in those instances?

 

Catching on?  Weight loss is like money in the bank. “I am going to lose weight” is not where the change takes place. “I am going to eat a certain number of calories a day” or “I am going to increase the number of vegetables I eat” or “I am going to get 45 minutes of exercise every day” is the right level of change to focus on. Eventually, all the work you are doing in these areas will add up to weight loss.

 

To get something different, you need to do something different. Whether you are just starting and you pick one thing, or you are well on your way and are doing several things differently, change needs to happen in what you think, do, and believe. Start small and build up the differences. They will eventually add up to success….math doesn’t lie. How do I know? This girl has focused on doing something different in how I think, eat, and move…and it has paid off in a total loss of 50 pounds. And that my friends, is worth more than money in the bank.

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