When I was a sophomore in high school the cutest boy I had ever laid eyes on in all my 15 years, Gabe Michael, sat in front of me in Algebra 2.
He was older than me and I desperately wanted to be noticed by him.
After several weeks we started joking around a little bit and he actually (sort of) talked to me. (Eek!)
I remember, one day, he asked me if I liked country music (I did), but I responded, “Oh my gosh, ew—no!” In the moment—a split second decision—I was sure country music was somehow the wrong answer. I was worried it wasn’t cool enough—and so I wouldn’t be cool enough.
He went on to say how much he loved it. I died a hundred teenage dreams. Why, oh why, oh why, couldn’t I have just owned my love for country music?
Be True To Yourself (And Your Budget)
I have thought of this moment so many times over the years; when I feel insecure about revealing the real me. I’ve realized that not being true to yourself or your true values (even if we are talking about country music) will never get you closer to satisfaction or contentment (even if he has perfect blue eyes).
It just never pays off to try and fake it and it is no different with our budgeting.
Your Priorities Are Counting On You
If everyone is going out to dinner or buying new cars or new clothes or going on vacations, it can be hard to say, “No thanks, it doesn’t fit into my budget.”
Sometimes it’s easier to just go along with it. For a fleeting moment. Until you realize you just spent money on something that wasn’t a priority, moving you a little bit further away from what you really want.
Ultimately you will regret dollars spent to maintain an image or impress a friend or avoid potential unwanted attention or embarrassment. Those are dollars wasted on someone else’s priorities.
Loud & Proud
Everyone is different, of course, but it was a huge relief to me when I stopped trying to “keep quiet” about my budget. I have a budget and I like it because it is moving me closer to my big picture goals. I can own that.
Sometimes I have to say no to eating out so that I can say yes to something else. There is no shame in that. And my experience has been that others are usually very respectful (sometimes even envious) of the commitment and the intention behind my counter-culture choice. So whether it is the office lunch or a trip with family or shopping with friends, own your budget and stay true to your priorities. Resist the urge to spend money just to risk not looking cool.
Now excuse me, while I look up Gabe Michael on Facebook.