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Accountability Time: Resetting the Program

I’ve had another spendy week, y’all. And it all comes down to bad planning and a lack of discipline. We all know this—changing everything about the way we interact with money can be an enormous struggle. Our feelings about money are so complex and wrapped up in our feelings about family, safety, gender role expectations, self-concept, and society. That stuff runs deep.

When I compulsively spend money on expensive face wash or a new dress, I know in my heart that it really has nothing to do with spending that money but with trying to fill a hole in myself. One of the things I work on in therapy is understanding how my arsenal of coping mechanisms fails me, and learning new coping mechanisms that actually help my problems instead of exacerbate them.

This was not a good week for healthy coping mechanisms. To be honest, I’ve been overwhelmed. One of my dear friends passed away unexpectedly. I had a huge job interview in another city. I had a big staff meeting. I have another big meeting this week. I have a first date tomorrow—and I haven’t been on a first date in a looong time.

So I spent a lot of money this week. I bought a new dress at City Chic and it cost $70. I went out to eat for three dinners. I exceeded my grocery budget by $30 because of binge eating choices. I bought coffee at Starbucks or fancy coffee shops at least once a day even though I could have made my own coffee. I haven’t made my second Visa payment yet this month, which means I’m not going to make my debt payment goal for July.

But while I’m feeling pretty down about these choices, I’m not going to let it eat away at me. I always go back to the plan. Having a program and working it consistently is the best way for me to recover from a week like this.

I promise myself that next week I will:

  • Make a plan for every dollar I need to spend
  • Make a plan for every meal and snack I will eat
  • Be honest with my friends about needing to avoid spending money on socializing
  • Deal with stress by going to the YMCA gym instead of buying comfort food
  • Adhere as much as possible to my sleep hygiene routine (no screens after 8PM, in bed by 9PM, asleep by 10PM)

 

Image from pixabay.com

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