I really believe much of this is personality and innate. My two siblings and I all view money a little differently, so I can’t help but feel like we all picked up some lessons here or there but a lot of it is just who we are. That said, budgeting and frugality, like any lifestyle, is something that can be learned and acquired.
The Odd Man Out
To be good at budgeting and being frugal, you have to be okay with being the odd man out. Dave Ramsey always calls the people who go on his show “weird” in a joking way as in, “Don’t your friends think you’re the weirdest person ever for paying off your mortgage?”
And he’s right. The vast majority of the population does not budget. More than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and we live in a culture that does not support basic financial education.
That means that if you want to get your finances in order for 2015 or start getting on the right track, you should know the ride might be a little bumpy.
There Will Be Times…
There will be times you feel like the only person on Earth who isn’t having any fun.
There will be times when you’ll be jealous of your friend’s shopping trip that she posted on Instagram.
There will be times when your own family members make comments about your frugality in a negative way.
There will be times when you can’t give your children everything they want and there will be times where you will be able to because of your budget.
There will be times when you have to remind yourself you’re better off for living this way, even though your neighbor’s new car seems really freaking nice right about now.
There will be times when you’ll cry, so frustrated that you’ve worked so hard at budgeting and yet still feel like there’s not enough money to go around.
There will be times you’ll have to say no to friends and going out.
There will be times you’ll feel ashamed of your ugly Craigslist couch.
There Will Also Be Times…
There will be also be times when you’ll see your mutual funds grow on their own to awesome numbers.
There will be times when you can take an amazing vacation because you went three years without one.
There will be times when you have to get a $700 repair on your car, and you don’t blink an eye because you have it.
There will be times when you can make the decision to start a business, change jobs, or simply quit working when you’re unhappy because you’re cushioned by a massive emergency fund.
There will be times when you’ll inspire someone else. And that someone else could be your own child who grows up to invest, budget, have an ugly couch, and save for an amazing vacation, and they’ll be so, so much happier for it.
So, what do you say? Do you have the courage to be the odd man out?