Life is a battle of inches. As usual, yoga helps to reinforce this principle. The improvements in my body have all been accomplished over the long term with minor gains weekly, so that from week to week it isn’t that noticeable, but from where I started? The difference is enormous.
I use the “minor gains” philosophy for many aspects of life, mainly when doing comic work (I only update Quick Step once a week). I didn’t use to do this; when I originally set out to do Golden Boy, I thought I could get a 130 page graphic novel done in 6 weeks. I set myself up for failure as it ended up taking me 2 years to get it done. I could have maybe done it in 6 weeks were I not working a demanding day job full time and was an accomplished/seasoned comic artist who knew how to comfortably handle that sort of workload, but I was no where close to that level. I have this tendency to want to “nuke” problems like that – to just go all out and get it done when that approach will surely backfire and make it worse.
I’ve been doing the same thing with our money goals also. I have always rabidly attacked debt, so I’ve never really had any long term problems with it. Now, a year after we have purchased our house, I still can’t seem to shake this little bit of credit card debt that we have had during the entire year. What has happened is I would get paid, pay off a big chunk on the credit card, then find myself unable to pay for emergency car or home repairs, so all of those emergencies would end up going right back on the credit card.
Tired of dealing with this never ending battle, I checked out the Total Money Makeover book from the library. This book is really amazing, especially if you have more than $10,000 – $20,000 worth of debt. The problem is, I’m not even close to that. So, while I like the book’s approach, it doesn’t really fit my needs. My solution is to split what I would normally pay on the credit card in half – half still goes to pay off the debt, half goes into our savings account. Any issues that come up financially will be paid for with the savings account. Period. The credit card will be cut up shortly, never to be used again.
This was my first credit card which I reluctantly acquired only a year and a half ago. It has a very small interest rate. I regret getting it now, but hey, there are worse things. This solution should cause much less stress and will accomplish the goal of building up our savings again while simultaneously paying down the debt.
I know many people in my age group are saddled with debt, and I can tell you that getting debt-free is wonderful, and getting an emergency fund is just downright exhilarating. Huge problems become minor inconveniences when you have more than ten grand in the bank liquid. You literally have no stresses.
But I digress…
Stop nuking your problems for the quick fix. Remember that old corny adage? The best way to eat an enormous elephant is one bite at a time. Just do one thing at a time, all the time, and it will all add up. It has taken me most of my twenties to learn this, but I have found it to make me a happier person to be around.
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