It is 96 degrees and H-U-M-I-D. I dip into a bowl of sorbet and feel instantly refreshed. Seriously, sorbet is delicious and just what I wanted this hot day.
A year ago, I would have never thought of sorbet as refreshing. Instead, I would have gone for a bowl of ice cream, the more loaded the better.
After I found I had a dairy intolerance, I went through serious mourning for all of the foods I would miss. I tried to find substitutes such as soy ice cream, but, while it tasted good, it was very expensive, and well, it hurt my stomach too. Turns out I am also intolerant to soy. Hence the sorbet, and a delightful satisfaction with eating it on a hot day.
What does this have to do with finances? In a strange way, budgeting and managing money can feel a lot like coping with a food intolerance.
There is the blissful ignorance or lack of attention that may land you in debt. Eventually, spending money freely cannot happen without serious repercussions. Then the cut back begins, as does the mourning.
I have to have my Starbucks every morning. . .
We are so busy, I have to go through the drive thru again. . .
It is hard to change. It is hard to give up much loved things like daily mochas. You might, like I did with ice cream, try to find substitutions for the expensive things you had to give up. Maybe the substitutions will work, but often they won’t. A true mind shift is needed. It can happen. It will happen, if you persist in your journey to be more responsible with money.
One day you will take the kids to the park and have a picnic, and you will suddenly realize how much fun you are having for free. No, you are not at the cinema seeing the latest movie and chomping pricy popcorn; you are doing something fun for free, and you are enjoying it.
It is not the life you used to have, when you freely spent money without worrying what would happen in the future, but it is a new life, and one that you are pleased with. It is a different life, but it is a good one.