Sure your plan to not eat for two weeks pre-Pride was not only a last ditch effort to shed those five pounds you haven’t been able to burn off since Christmas ‘08, it was partly to save up money for three days of displaying your amoure-propre at every event, party and parade Pride weekend offered.
Yes, Pride was born from years of oppression and the stigma of deviancy. It was a groundbreaking display of personal acceptance and intolerance of intolerance. Now it’s a three day, non-stop tour de force of your relevancy, awesomeness and superiority over a gaggle of gays with more opinions than a Bill O’Reilly and Nancy Grace demon spawn.
But, your plan to not overindulge and spend your every dollar plus some like Nick Cage hooked on all things Elvis didn’t work out so well. Your bank account is now so red even Sarah Palin thinks it’s too fascist.
How do you overcome this bout of budgetary bloat? What must you do to regain a sense of fiscal equilibrium? Never fear, Debt Free Guys is here. Below are four pearls of wisdom to help you get back on a wagon that’s not headed to Beer Bust.
1. Look Inside
When your headache wears off and the blisters on your feet heal, do some soul searching to determine if your pecuniary Pride performance was an anomaly or if there are ingrained destructive behaviors lurking from within. Often when we go overboard it’s hard to reign in the spending and it continues a cycle as hard to get off as a non-stop Tilt-A-Whirl. There’s a reason why temperance is one of The Seven Virtues.
Now is also a good time to reflect on why you didn’t succeed with your intention to practice moderation this year or any other year for that matter. What is it that makes the seemingly never-ending series of special occasions cause you to go overboard like Freddie Mercury to music? Figure out why that is and you can more acutely prepare yourself for next year and every weekend in between.
2. Go Outside
Summer just started. Literally. Just one day before your sundry revelry the religious and pagan alike welcomed the Summer Solstice with open arms like the prodigal son’s daddy.
Summer brings numerous opportunities for cost effective fun. Ride your bike. Go for a hike. Walk your dog. Sleep outside at night. Read under a tree. Grab a ball and kick it around with friends as if you’re the talk of Maracana. Jump in the lake. Soak up the sun or sit on your porch and wave to passersby like an honorary member of The Imperial Court.
Just being outside and not on your sofa or belly up to the bar is entertaining in and of itself. Find something free or NSE (Not So Expensive) to do alone or with others outdoors and when it’s over you won’t understand why you thought you could only have fun spending money.
3. Cut Back
Face it. Nothing fattens a wallet like cutting back spending. Most people fail to reach personal finance goals not because they earn too little, but because they spend too much. It’s like a law of physics. When more goes out than comes in, there’s a deficit. When more comes in than goes out, there’s a surplus.
Think of it like finding your life partner in a club. The more people there are in the club, the better your prospects of finding the love of your life. If no one is in the club but you, you’re going home alone. A single dollar in your bank account is just as lonely as you solo in that club.
4. Carve Out
Carve time out of your schedule to grow more money conscious. Think about your money goals and how you’ll achieve them. What is it you want? What is your definition of financial success?
If energy flows where attention goes then you must make the time to lay the groundwork for financial success. All too often our approach with money is similar to the proverbial scared ostrich. Such an approach may work for some, but it won’t work for most.
Read personal finance blogs to learn what we and our peers know. There’s one blog you should read everyday. Many people have gone through or are going through the same thing as you. Learn from them.
There are so many books about personal finance, getting out of debt and investing that if you took a match to them your fire would rival Burning Man. Download one or two for cheap on your Kindle and have a frugal weekend alone. You, your bank account and your liver will be glad you did.
Finally, make the time to regularly assess your spending. If we don’t actively monitor our spending, things can get out of control like too many visits to the Stoli tent. See what you’re doing well and not so well. Course correct as necessary and in no time you’ll see your accounts fade to black.
These are but four recommendations to cure your Pride hangover. As we said above, there is a wealth of information out there. If this post even sparked a little interest in you to improve your personal financial situation, continue to read our site and books or find other Money Masters to help you achieve your money goals. With the right habits in place, you’ll be able to overcome any future momentary lapse in sanity.