Life Happens: Because Life is More than Money

Life Happens: Because Life is More than Money


When I started this blog, I had several high interest debts and a strong desire to get my personal finances under control. I was focused on financial information and my debts weighed heavy on my thoughts.

Between writing about frugality and practicing it, it was something I thought about often.

Then, life happened.

I got a new job that, between commuting and working, takes up 13 hours of my day. I paid off my high interest debts and only have an interest deductible student loan remaining. While I do not have as much savings as I would like, I do something of an emergency fund that would work for, well, an emergency.

Also, I ended a four year romantic relationship and dealing with that as a personal issue has consumed my thoughts far more than the debt has.

Budgeting on Autopilot

I still keep my budget and in fact, am glad that I practiced tracking my expenses when I did. Now, budgeting is an automatic behavior. Even though my mind is consumed with other thoughts, I still complete my monthly budget.

My passion for finances may have dwindled temporarily, but the exercises have not failed.

What is failure?

Some may consider this temporary mental detachment from finances to be worrisome. However, you do not need to be thinking about personal finances all the time to practice them successfully.

I consider the fact that I can track and stick to my budget while dealing with serious personal issues, to be a great success!

Many times it is when we undergo life stress that our finances begin unraveling as well. Whether that is because of retail therapy or a break-up makeover, both of which can be helpful in moderation, being able to do these things and keep your budget under control can help.

Because you can control your spending

Being a habitual budget-er means money is one less thing to stress about. It is nice knowing that while you may feel out of control of your life for this moment in time, your finances are something you can control!

If you have recently been broken up with or laid off, you can still control your budget even if you cannot control what just happened to you.

Personal finance & budgeting should not be treated as a phase that someone only does when they are having serious financial woes or moved into a new apartment or started a new job.

It should be integrated into your life to the point that it becomes as automatic as brushing your teeth.


13 Replies to “Life Happens: Because Life is More than Money”

  1. Good stuff! I can relate to finances unraveling when you go under stress thing. You should pat yourself on the back for holding it all together while dealing with a four-year relationship ending! (Sorry to hear about that, by the way.)

    For me, it’s test time. When test time – especially finals – gets here, I start to slip, most notably with eating out. I’m too focused on an exam to think ahead for dinner, and by the time I’m ready to eat I’m so hungry I just grab fast food instead of taking the time to prepare a meal.

    1. I can definitely see how the added stress of exams can make you lose sight of the budgeting. Do you do anything in particular to prevent that from happening? Like, doing a mass cooking one day so you have easily accessible food in the freezer for when you’re late night studying?

  2. Leslie – I can’t agree more. Since being laid off I have worked hard to keep my finances on track, but did loose sight a few weeks back when we had a death in our family. At times; priorities shift, but having your finances in order helps you to get back on track quickly.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that Rachel! When I lost my job a year ago, it really helped me realize that while it was still a struggle, working hard at building an emergency fund was definitely worth it – since that was when I needed it most. I hope you are able to get everything together again.

  3. Great job! It seems what has helped you is being aware that stress could have financial effects, and then making the steps to protect against that.

    1. Thanks Dee! It is also that financial issues cause even more stress so the less things to have to worry about, the better.

  4. Agreed – it’s so nice once you’ve put in all the initial work that you can basically leave it and deal with other things and while it’s not really in your mind, you can keep it up to date with some updating – which is no where near as time consuming as getting everything geared up.

    1. Exactly Jeff. Getting a budget started may seem like a time-consuming task but the maintenance of it really is just minutes if you keep at it several times during the month.

  5. Instead of beating yourself up for losing focus…remember how bad ass it is that you are one of the few people that can take “a break” from their finances.

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