Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, March 12, 2012

Frustration's a &*!@%

Photo credit: Personal Excellence
We all get frustrated from time to time, and it can eat away at you if you don't recognize it and take action to address it. Frustration and happiness? Mortal enemies.

Celes at Personal Excellence asks as part of her 21-Day Positivity Challenge: What is one thing that has been frustrating you lately? And how can you overcome it?

I often find myself feeling frustrated, but it takes me a while to realize that I'm frustrated, first of all, and then what exactly is frustrating me. It manifests itself in crankiness, impatience, unkind words and other nasty things that turn me into a person no one wants to be around -- including me.

So, I'll talk about what has been frustrating me lately, and I'm sure it is something you can all relate to: money.

I do all right financially. I have a decent salary. I have a 401(k). I even get a bonus every year. I try to be good about automatically saving a portion of each paycheck, but sometimes a spontaneous trip or shopping spree eat into that. Yet, I find myself frustrated that, at the end of the month, I always seem to come up just a little bit short.

I don't think I spend a ton of money; I try to live within my means. But, as far as money buying happiness? It frustrates me that I'm at a point where it does... where it will.

If only I could get market value for my work (but really, what is that and who determines it?). If only I could win a small lottery. I'd be less frustrated and more secure. I wouldn't worry so much about buying a new car when mine finally dies or how I am going to be able to afford to go on vacation -- a noncompromisable (not a real word, but I'm going with it) when it comes to making myself happy.

I don't need a mansion. I don't need a Bentley. I don't need Fendi bags, Louboutin shoes and runway-worthy clothes. I don't even need to jet off to Fiji twice a year for a little R&R. I'd just like to be able to spend a week at the beach without worrying about how I'm going to pay off the credit card when I get back.

Not too much to ask, right?

Now, the tricky part, how can I overcome my frustration? It would be easy to throw this to forces outside my control, but that defeats the purpose of this exercise.

Overcoming this frustration is not going to be easy if I take ownership of it; it will require sacrifice. That said and accepted, here is my action plan:

  1. Pay off the credit card. It's not ridiculous, but I can't rest easy until that balance is zero.
  2. To make #1 easier, avoid putting whatever possible on the credit card. Use cash.
  3. Maintain savings from each paycheck, and leave it alone!
  4. Start putting a small amount away each month for a new car.
  5. Identify the next vacation, calculate the cost, start saving for it.
  6. Stick to the budget!
  7. Any raise/bonus this year should go towards savings. Live on what you currently earn.
I'm hoping the above will help me rid myself of financial frustration and sleep a little easier at night... to the sound of ocean waves outside my hotel window. :)

What is something that's frustrating you right now? What can you do about it? Even if it's just one tiny step.

3 comments:

Christin said...

Have you ever tried mint.com? It's great for analyzing monthly spending. My husband uses it.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

My finances have been frustrating me, too. That's what prompted me to really focus on them this year. I"ve been paying very close attention to what comes in each month and what goes out. My goal is to pay off all credit cards by June 30th (I don't have much so that's not too bad) and I'd really love to pay off one of my student loans this year. But we'll see if I can make that work as I am in 2 weddings that I will have to fly to, so I don't see msyelf having a ton of extra ot work with. :/ Oh money woes. they are not fun.

Kristin said...

I'm frustrated with the amount of home projects we have right now!