Change is difficult, and the hardest things to change are our habits. This is important to remember when we are trying to change our relationship to money. When we are trying to get out of debt, develop healthy saving and investing habits, or beginning to save for retirement, we must have patience with ourselves as it will not happen overnight. Most of us will slip back into our old habit patterns, particularly in the beginning; we will go over our budget with our spending, blow too much money on that gadget we thought we just had to have and therefore not be able to pay down the debt that month, or not put as much money into our retirement fund as we had intended.
This is part of the process, be gentle and don’t beat yourself up over it. Even those starting out on the strictest debt reduction plans such as Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover are not going to get it perfect every month, especially in the beginning. He wouldn’t use that emphatic, beat you over the head tone in his writing and radio show if that weren’t the case. So acknowledge the mistake, don’t run from it, forgive yourself for being human, and then pick yourself back up, and start again. Reading other personal finance blogs such as this one, The Simple Dollar, or Get Rich Slowly can also be helpful as they will provide a community of support and inspiration.
This way, bit by bit, you will make progress, and eventually you will gain the discipline required to meet your savings and debt-reduction goals. Through persistence and patience you will transform your relationship to money, and your spending and savings habits. It will take time, it will take a lot of effort, but if you keep focused on your financial and life goals and don’t give up, then you will be successful.