Congratulations — You’re halfway through!
Today marks the halfway point in the Frugal Fresh Start Challenge month. Let’s look back and see what we can celebrate.
Taking time to enjoy and celebrate your progress is an important part of staying motivated, especially for a goal that could require a change in habits and some renewed self-control. Most of your goals require you to give something up. That seems limiting and restrictive, maybe even punitive, until you remember that what you’re really doing is buying back your freedom and peace of mind. You’re giving up what you want now for what you want most. So let’s celebrate how far you’ve come!
Look at What You’ve Done
Think through the past two weeks at the specific commitments and sacrifices you made to work toward your goal.
1. Set a Goal – You thoughtfully set an ambitious 6-month goal that will stretch you, and make a meaningful difference in your financial health.
2. Cut Something Quick – You immediately began saving money by cutting one expense right out of your life.
3. Track Your Spending – You have faithfully recorded every transaction for over a week now. As this practice becomes simple habit, you’ll understand intuitively exactly what’s happening with your money, and in understanding, you’ll find your way to change.
4. Get a Buddy – You found an accountability partner to share your goal with who can cheer you on and keep you from veering off the path or backsliding. Hopefully, your partner knows of his new role.
5. Cook at Home – Despite your busy schedule and the fact that you’re not a kitchen wizard, you have a workable plan to eat more meals at home, improving both your bottom and your bottom line.
6 & 7. Create a Budget – You’ve actually done it! You thoughtfully created categories, and then assigned your cash on hand to your highest priority expenses first, and then down the priorities as far as the cash reached. This is something you CAN live by.
8. Pack Your Lunch – You bucked the trend and brought your lunch from home. Secretly, all your friends and co-workers wish they could do the same.
9. Lower Your Bills – You have ruthlessly examined your “fixed” expenses, and may have already made the calls that result in real savings, every single month.
That’s pretty impressive for a couple of weeks!
Celebrate Your Success!
It can be a little overwhelming sometimes, the idea of keeping all that up, and the thought of how much farther your still have to go. While you may feel like you have only inched toward your goal in the past two weeks, the reality is that you are creating great new habits that will pay off both in meeting this specific goal and in your long-term financial mastery.
How should you celebrate? That’s completely up to you. It could be a simple splurge like going out for ice cream, or taking an evening off to do something enjoyable. Maybe you’ve been yearning for a little time to just read a good book by yourself. Maybe you’ve been intending to attend a child’s basketball game. Maybe it’s been years since you wandered through your favorite museum, or sat and sketched the view from your window. Maybe you just want to sit in front of a movie with your spouse instead of trying to think of ways to earn money. Whatever you choose, it should be a meaningful celebration for you. Let off some of the tension and do something that helps you enjoy the peace of mind you’re earning with your hard work.
Don’t forget to share with your accountability buddy so they can celebrate as well.
New Facebook Discussion Group
Since we set our goals for six months down the road, I thought it would be great to have a community place where we could keep discussing and encouraging one another even after the Frugal Fresh Start Challenge series is over. You all have such great ideas and insights that I know we could really benefit from sharing those thoughts. I’m envisioning you sharing things like:
- Favorite frugal recipes
- Money-saving tips
- Challenges you’re having
- Success in reaching milestones
- Accountability for goals you set
- Other tips, ideas, questions, and encouragement
I created a brand new group on Facebook called Making Frugality and Finance Fun where we can continue the ideas and encouragement. Since it’s a “closed” group, only members of the group can see what is posted. I hope you will join (well, start) the discussion over there! Don’t be shy!
Challenge– Day 10
You have made awesome progress! Choose a favorite way to celebrate your incredible success to date. Get together with your accountability buddy, your spouse or a friend, or treat yourself to an evening or afternoon alone doing something you love. After your celebration, decide what your next milestone will be, and how you will celebrate it. Now you have something else to look forward to!
- What do you feel is your biggest “win” so far?
- What’s the hardest change?
- How are you celebrating?
We’ll get back into some meaty budgeting posts, as well as more ways to save money, next week! Have a great weekend!