There’s no question that we have a tendency to beat ourselves up over having made a bad money decision here and there. I am a big believer in you are doing your best in any given moment with the knowledge that you have – you can’t do better than that. This thought process can be helpful as you go through these prompts!
Reflect on 1-3 “bad” money decisions you’ve made in the past. What lessons did they teach you that you can be grateful for today?
Reflection, Thoughts + Feelings
One of my big bad money decisions had to do with the pell grant I received when I was enrolled in college to earn my Master’s Degree. As I was below a certain income threshold. In the 6 months prior to that, we learned about my son having a rare genetic disorder and even though we worked hard, we had a hard time just covering our bills. The pell grants would come in handy to bail us out, as we were often 2-3 months behind.
One of those checks was huge, I never had that much money all at once – and instead of paying off debt or anything else that would have made more sense, I went on a shopping spree for everyone.
I mean kids need clothes, my partner need art supplies, and I needed a bunch of things – that I didn’t even think about the consequences and the awful feeling that would come around anytime I think about that moment in time.
Another time was when I needed to buy a car, and instead of buying a more reliable and useful car, I purchased a VW bug instead. The car was fine but something that car couldn’t do was drive over a mountain and I ended up without a vehicle – and as a special needs parent with a kid who needed to go to the doctors quite frequently, that was a bit of a challenge.
I used to get caught up in the “gotta have it cause it’s cool and different” without realizing the negative financial impact it could have. I’ve since been actively working on not only creating a budget and knowing where my money goes, but also not spending everything I got right away.
- It’s okay for me to have money in the bank.
- It’s safe for me to have money.
- I’m allowed to save and spend money.
The bad money decision we’ve made at various times, don’t need to linger. I think acknowledging them, allows you to recognize the healing and growth you’ve done – and if you’re not there, know that you can change our money relatinoship.