Learning about self-discipline...

I'm very new to YNAB- just started my official paid membership after a 2 month trial period. I LOVE this program and the theories. I feel inspired and determined and hopeful about my finances and what  is possible... and it's hard. 

As soon as talk of Christmas gifts started happening I completely splurged on gifts for the family and partner. Admittedly, I had a budget for Christmas gifts and everything else, and didn't stick to it, resulting in a snowball effect of disastrous financial decisions. 

I am trying to get back on track, and am finding it extremely discouraing that I'm pulling from my Line of Credit account because I've definitely and embarissingly spent way more than I have.

Please help me find some sort of inspiration to know this is possible. I need a pep talk and a plan.

I am currently typing this from my cell phone, so adding details is tedious.. more to come. In the meantime, how do you prioritize the debt you pay off? How do you decide how much money you give yourself to have fun as well as pay off debt? 

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  • My method is to hate it. Just really, REALLY hate it. 

    For that to work, you're going to have to part with something you really love and view your debt as the culprit. My wife and I got really serious about paying student debt this year (we'll be out of debt by November at the latest!), and in order to punch our debt in the face, we've pulled our normal funding from funds we would normally use to go on fun trips. I LOVE those trips, and the sooner I get this giant debt parasite off of my back, the sooner I get to save up for them again. But right now, every time I want to buy a flight to Canada or plan a road trip to Colorado, Mr. Debt is standing there wagging his big, dumb finger at me. 

    So find something fun you really like, and throw that money at debt. Your desire for that thing will drive you to hate your debt which will drive you to pay it off. Don't make yourself miserable (my wife and I still go out on dates!), but make your debt the villain in your story. 

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  • I can relate to so much of this! I too am struggling with jumping into the debt-paydown mindset, and embarrassment of realizing how much I've "messed up" (and I, too, spent more on Xmas gifts than I'd planned!).

    For me, the key, but also the hardest part, is forgiving myself and looking forward, not back. I'm really, REALLY good at beating myself up, but I've come to realize that that's what keeps me stuck where I am. When I take a deep breath and am kind and forgiving to myself, I feel so much stronger, and THAT is when I'm able to feel motivated and move forward! :)

    I constantly have to remind myself that I'm not perfect, and that this journey isn't going to be perfect. I'm going to occasionally "mess up" and splurge on a little something I didn't need. Trying to pretend like I'm going to be 100% on-track is unrealistic. Over time I can make sure those splurges are smaller and less frequent, and every step towards the goal is what matters!

    I'm definitely still struggling to find the right balance of how much wiggle room to allow myself for fun, but you're right to sense that if you try to squeeze yourself TOO tight, you're probably more likely to explode with overspending, than if you give yourself just enough wiggle room that you don't feel completely deprived.

    It might take a few months trial & error to figure out the right amount of "fun" money to set aside, and I think that's totally okay! You can treat each month as an experiment and try to take a look at what worked and what didn't work each month, rather than judging yourself as having been GOOD or BAD.

    Hope this helps some, and good luck, you can do it!! :)

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