I have only one short thought to share tonight (to make-up for the length of my last post).
Don’t underestimate the impact that small changes can make. Financially, put $25 into a savings account, cut back on your cellphone plan, skip the trip to the coffee shop. It may seem like such a frivolous amount, but if you sit there and think, “whatever, it’s not going to make THAT big of a difference,” you’re not going to get anywhere at all, are you?
Let me be really frank: there are ALWAYS going to be hard times. It’s frustrating as all get out…I’m having “one of those days” myself, when I just want to give up (which is really why I’m writing this…to remind myself more than you). But don’t stop. Keep going anyway. And be prepared.
Keep your budget tight during the months where there is plenty and plunk the extra in a High-Interest Savings Account you can’t access from your wallet the next time you’re at the mall. Do it as soon as that bonus or extra paycheque comes in (if you’re on a two-week pay schedule you’ll have two months out of the year where you get three paycheques…use them wisely!) Once you have an emergency fund (aim for $1,000.00 at first, then make your next goal 3-6months of expenses) THEN you can make some extra fun money out of that bonus.
Write down every trim you make to your budget. Heck, don’t even do the trimming yet, just make a THEORETICAL list of the things you could cut back and how much. One coffee a week. Fewer services on your phone bill (even caller ID is a WANT not a NEED! Sure, it’s convenient, but so is having an Emergency Fund.) Do the math. You’ll be surprised.