I have a confession, I’m a recovering overhauler. When I feel like things are out of my control I have a tendency to want to overhaul my whole life. Like a “we’re all joining the gym and being a fit fam/only eating organic/doing a no spend month/getting organized/spending more quality time together” all at once kind of overhaul. It comes from a good place. I want my family to live their best life like pretty much all moms. But it doesn’t usually end well. Tears… lots of them. Usually mine. Not to mention nothing really sticks because I’m trying to do too much all at once.
Anyone else? How about with your financial goals? Have you tried to overhaul your finances and felt overwhelmed? What do you do when you don’t know where to start?
I know from experience that usually the one thing we avoid is the one thing that would take us to the next level. This got me thinking…. what is my one thing when it comes to finances? What is one thing I could focus on to get me closer to my financial goals instead of looking at so many things all at once? So in January of this year I asked myself, what is the one thing I have been avoiding? I feel like we live pretty frugally, so coming up with something to take us to the next level was tough but I finally decided what it was: Getting my hair done. (insert gasps from all the women reading this.)
I don’t consider myself to be a high maintenance girl. In fact, most of the time you can find me in free t shirts I got from some event, and if my elastic waistband pants don’t have holes in them, I consider those to be my “fancy pants.” But when I leave the house I do try to look presentable. I mean my job is in the beauty industry so I try to look the part. But I don’t get my nails done, I don’t do waxing, tinting, extensions, massages, facials, any of it. But I did go to the salon every 7 weeks to get my hair done.
Before I start getting hate mail from all the hair stylists out there, please know that I value what you do which is why it was the one thing I did for myself for years. I think if you have it in your budget you should absolutely go get your hair done by a professional. They can make your hair look far better than you ever could with your drugstore hair dye and products, I truly believe that. However, if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money. That was a difficult conclusion I came to earlier this year. If I was being honest with myself, and looking at possible areas to cut expenses, this had to be an option on the table. It was the one thing I had been unwilling to do, so it was the very thing I needed to do.
I’m sure my amazing hair dresser was dying inside when I told her I had to stop coming for a while and was going to be using box dye from the drug store. I don’t blame her. She had spent years working on my hair and now I was going to go ruin it with some $5 hair dye.
Saying I was giving up going to the salon and actually following through with it for the past 6 months has showed me how “all in” I am to our goal. If you would have told me a year ago I’d be giving this up I’d have laughed at you. It was my thing. My one thing I was hanging on to.
So I haven’t cut my hair in 6 months! And I’ve forced my poor husband to learn how to use box dye to color it every month or so. Don’t get me wrong, the ends are dead, I don’t really like the color and overall I’m not crazy about how it looks but this is a season and this is my one thing. I will be back to the salon soon enough and looking fly as ever and it will have been worth it.
So what’s your one thing you’ve been avoiding that could put you closer to your financial goals?
I hear so often from people “I could never just use cash, it’s too hard.” That’s your one thing. Or, “I could never stop eating out.” That’s your one thing. Or, “I could never do a no spend month.” Boom.. one thing!
You can do it, and when you do, you’re showing yourself how serious you are about your future. That’s pretty dang awesome of you.