So this week’s financial challenge was to avoid buying coffee for the week. I want to save money and make coffee at home in the morning and go for a walk and/or have a bottle of water in the afternoon – when I usually buy my second coffee. This challenge was a bit of a mixed bag of success and failure.
Financial Challenge Fail: What went wrong?
An important thing for Cents’ers to note is that I am an epic non-morning person. I am terrible for getting up 15 minutes before I have to leave the house and rushing out the door. Diving into a challenge that involves getting up early and coherently organizing myself enough to make coffee in addition to running out the door was, perhaps, ambitious for me.
I did succeed with my afternoon plans to keep bottled water with me and drink water in the afternoon. My plans to go for a walk in the afternoon – as opposed to buying more coffee – were somewhat foiled by the winter blizzard and below zero temperatures that interfered with my leaving the house.
Financial Challenge Fix: What do I do now?
- I need to really look at how I am organizing my time, I tend to be a very enthusiastic and try to do everything at one time
- I need to develop a morning routine that accommodates some of my other goals like packing a lunch for work and/or making coffee in the morning.
- I need to set goals that are realistic for me in the moment
Financial Challenge Go-To: What happens next?
I believe my goal for this week will be to get thirty minutes before I go to work. You might be asking what this has to do with my financial goals –well, everything really. If I am able to establish a morning routine for myself, then I will be more successful with my other mentioned goals (making coffee instead of buying and making lunch in the morning).
Also, another benefit of getting up 30 minutes before I leave will help with my ability to get to work on time. I am notorious for being perpetually late for my work day if I don’t have an appointment or commitment. I am fortunate that I have tolerant supervisors who can appreciate my strengths enough to overlook some of my less-than-charming morning lateness.
Either way, lateness is not a professional habit and I should work hard to change this behaviour. This will hurt my career prospects in the long run even if it’s tolerated in my current position.
The Big Money Picture
I find that this is the beauty of doing these kind of exercises, I learn how interconnected all of my thoughts and behaviours are in my life. I didn’t do well with my challenge to make coffee and save money, why? I’ll think about it and before I know it, I am down a rabbit hole and exploring larger issues in my life that thwart my money success on both micro and macro levels.
Financial Success = Baby Steps
No, not really. The important thing to remember when trying to change thoughts and behaviours is that it’s the small things that matter. So my small goal to get up 30 minutes earlier is actually a big step in my larger goal to be more professional in my career.
So back to you, Cents’ers, what small step are you taking for yourself?