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Saturday, November 30, 2013

With Time and Discipline

Saving money is not natural. At least not for someone like me who has a deeply engrained love of stuff. I don't consider myself materialistic, but I do enjoy buying stuff. It doesn't help that I have an innate inability to understand math. Long story short: money flows through my fingers like water over rocks.
Financial Peace University

So when it comes to saving money I think I had more of an uphill battle than my wife did. I had to not just learn the spending habits taught through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, but I had to unlearn the spending habits I had taught myself through years of irresponsibility. And believe me, I didn't want to. At the mere mention of making a budget I would feel ill. But I knew that through time and discipline it would work. How did I know that?

Because of video games.

Video gaming is something I actually gave up about five years ago, and believe me, THAT wasn't easy either! I loved video games. I had an X-Box, a Playstation, and tons of games. I was that gamer who had to play every game to 100 percent completion. I would stay up late playing because I couldn't stop, and consequently I'd oversleep and be late for work. Video games were destroying my productivity.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning video games, nor am I condemning video gamers, because I know plenty of people who game for an hour and stop and go to bed. For them it's that simple. But it wasn't for me.

So I gave it up—got rid of my game systems and all my games—which was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. For about a year I regretted it. But something interesting began to happen. I started finding new hobbies. I started being more productive. I started meeting new people. I met a girlfriend—astounding!—and we eventually got married. And today I don't miss video gaming. In fact someone gave us an X-Box this past summer and I've barely touched it. I don't have time for it, but more importantly I've found that my personal likes have shifted. Video games just aren't my thing anymore. Through time and discipline I was able to change my feelings about something that was detrimental to my life.

When it comes to finances, the same strategy applies. You need time and you need discipline. Changing my spending habits drove me nuts at first because when all the new blu-ray movies came out on Tuesday I couldn't go buy them all! But here's what happened instead. I started seeing results in our budget. I started seeing that debt go down and our savings go up. And, I got to tell you, that feeling was better than going into Walmart to buy the latest Batman movie. Through time and discipline I was able to see the big picture. Through time and discipline I was able to change, not only my spending habits, but how I feel about money.

So if this mathematically-challenged, free-spirited geek can learn to manage money better than any monkey with a proper budget can too! So now that you've got no excuse, what are you waiting for?

Keep pinchin' :-)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points, Jacob. Video games are fine for the disciplined but for most of us, alas, we find ourselves up at 2:30 a.m. wondering where the time went. The time, incidentally, was taken up between missions 3-7 and will never return. Discipline is tough but is an important spiritual component to the victorious life. Keep the good thoughts flowing. :-) - Seth