Since starting the job that I've now been at for about a year and a half, I've been lucky enough (after figuring out my budget) to sock away a decent amount of money--at least I've rebuilt my emergency fund from when I was unemployed. I've also been able to pay a decent amount on my student loans and make a little bit of progress. Certainly it's not as much progress as I'd like, but that's where my new zen approach comes in.
I've been obsessing--about money, work, everything to the point where it was really starting to make everything shitty. I've had a lot of work drama in the last few months, none of it my fault, but despite my best efforts, I really let it get to me. Add to that the regular stress of money, and the fact that money seemed like something more under my control, and I became quite unpleasant.
The problem is, even though you have a plan on paper, real life doesn't always work out exactly as you plan, and then that adds yet another layer of stress because failing to meet a goal is stressful.
So I've decided I'm all done with that.
I will no longer:
- Mentally take my work home with me, because they don't pay me enough to do that, and I'm not important enough to have that level of stress.
- Take responsibility for things that are not my responsibility.
- Try to pay as much as possible on my student loans and obsessively check my balance five times a day. I'm paying a set amount each month, and no more.
- Say no to fun things because I need to max out my Roth IRA.
- Obsessively schedule workouts so I'm too tired to do anything but run and recover.
- Pick up extra work shifts
- Use coupons occasionally
- Seek out free things
- Put money into savings and IRA and watch my balances grow, but not freak out when it happens gradually
- Ride my bike to work, the store and the farmer's market
- Spend more time writing
- Hem that stupid dress that's been sitting on my desk for months
- Keep a neat and organized house
- Stop accumulating STUFF