How To Be Great With Your Money (and Why I Still Fail At It) / by Jennifer Chan

 

I’ve been learning about personal finance for almost two years now, but lately I haven’t been great with my money.

Over the past two weeks I’ve purchased multiple coffees from Starbucks, two overpriced dinners from UberEats, ate a $13 salad one night and some sushi take-out another because I told myself I was too busy to cook dinner.

Hold up - did I just take two steps back?

Am I not practicing what I preach?

Am I lying to my readers?

No.

Because greatness is a process. And money management is no exception.

And as you go through the process, you will inevitably fail at some point. 

The only thing that matters is committing to the process itself. For me, I would say that it’s bringing my lunch to work, brewing my coffee at home, and not impulsively spending money on take-out when my fridge is stocked with food.

Will I probably buy a coffee at Starbucks within the next month? Absolutely. Will I splurge on buying takeout within the next month because I’ll be too lazy to cook? You can count on it.

But you plan for the failures, shrug them off when they inevitably happen, and go back to hitting the pavement. 

That’s why I created an “Indulgences” category in my budget - to account for the times where you just have to say f*ck it.

Being great at anything only requires two things: patience and persistence.

You have to be patient enough with the process - and yourself - when you are bound to experience setbacks. And you have to be persistent to work on your financial skills day in and day out. Some days you're going to make really great choices that align with your financial philosophy,  and other days you're going to slip up.

2 steps forward. 1 step back. Rinse and repeat.

So, yes, I’m still getting the hang of money management too. Sometimes I can be lazy. But you know what, I recognize it. I own it. And I’ll learn from it.

At the end of the day, all we can do is our very best. There’s no use in beating yourself up for being less than perfect.