When living on a budget we sometimes end up in a state of mind that our family calls “Survival Mode.” It’s a state of constant worry about your finances that colors your mood about everything else in life. You feel your budget is tight now, so you feel your future is dismal. Cheer up! Nothing lasts forever. Not even Survival Mode. Here are a few ways to stave off those frustrating feelings until then.
Focus On What You Can Afford
Instead of focusing on not being able to go to the movies, attend free or low price events. Rather than feeling guilty about not getting your child the latest and greatest toy take them camping in the backyard or canoeing at a national park. This won’t only brighten your point of view about what you can give your family, it will also teach your children to focus on the positive. Children are especially sensitive to Survival Mode and your example will reduce the chances of it affecting them.
One of the best ways to beat the feelings of not having enough resources is to make a plan to make what you have last as long as you need it to. This could mean picking up extra hours, reducing what you use, or bartering with others in your community where both of you are getting something you need. It may even be that the only action you need to take is to tweak your budget. It’s a good deal better than tiring yourself out with worries.
Goals are more than just a way to give us a direction in life. They inevitably breed hope in something we don’t have yet. The object is not to get frustrated with not having your goal yet. Instead treat it like a puzzle that you need to work out and finish. Enjoy the process of getting to your goal as well as the goal itself.
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