Thursday, October 30, 2008

Staying on Track

First a note from my garden....

My first strawberry harvest!

They were absolutely delicious. Even Miss Berry noticed them ripening and every time we went outside she tried to rip them off to eat them. Well, we finally did.

I find it a constant battle to stay on track with my goals. They are not goals I have been forced to make, and I do not resent trying to meet the goals; in fact I enjoy the process. It seems there is always something that is trying to tempt you away from them, especially in a society that screams the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

Lately my spending has started to slip. I find I am looking at shop windows or ads and thinking ‘I really do need a whizz-bang automatic apple corer and look it’s only $150 – bargain!’ Of course I haven’t actually seen a whizz-bang automatic apple corer but you get the idea. I don’t always continue with the thought and buy something but I have done it a few times too many.

I don’t think falling off track temporarily is a failure. Recognising that you are slipping is something to be proud of in itself but ignoring it won’t get you closer to your goals.

What are my goals?

I have broad goals (long term) and then more detailed goals (short and medium term) that help me to achieve my broad goals. My broad goals are:
  • Not have any debt (achieved in July this year).
  • Live a simple, frugal life that is environmentally sustainable.
  • Save money for a very large deposit and all cost associated with purchasing a family home.
  • Purchase a family home that is not a McMansion but has enough space inside to accommodate a growing family and has more yard than house.
  • Make sure my family and I are healthy, exercise regularly and are not overweight.
  • Be happy and enjoy my life.

My detailed goals are things like our budget and saving plan, the vegie garden or always sourcing second hand items instead of buying brand new things. These are the goals that need constant thought and attention; the broad goals will take care of themselves if I keep my eye on the detailed goals.

I think it is this principle that people (myself included) forget about and then wonder why they are not getting anywhere. It is useless to have goals, record them in a lovely inspiring way, forget about them and then wonder why you haven’t crossed any off a week later. I am going to sound very high and mighty but I think this attitude reflects what we are like as a society now. We want everything immediately without having to put any effort or sacrafice into it. This immediate gratification is one of the reasons for household debt being so high, and why a lot of people are struggling with huge mortgages. As I said earlier, this post is about me getting off track, not other people so I am now stepping down from the aforementioned animal.

Enough talking about not meeting goals – it’s time to do something about it. I hope that this blog will help remind me of my goals. I will also monitor my spending habits more than I usually do and this will begin with recording everything I buy each day. This is an excellent exercise for those trying to budget. By writing everything down you can see exactly where your money goes. Hopefully, these two steps can get things rolling again.


Taryn said...

Amen to wanting a more yard than house!! I love your goals- I think I may just adopt them! By the way- I think I just might love your blog!

emma - theberrypatch said...

Thanks Taryn

As I said, I am not always on track with things - especially at Christmas time - but I do try.


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