Money Advice – When Times Get Tough

Money Advice

Following money advice is hard. But don’t let the experts fool you, everyone has a hard time with their finances, no one is perfect.

Balancing a budget is hard. Agreeing with your spouse is hard. Making the right decisions is hard.

None of these financial decisions are actually simple, but over time they become less of a crisis. They’re always tough. It never truly becomes effortless.

Like most things in life, money issues improve with practice. Over time you get better at combating financial issues, but it’s always a war.

Money Advice – Game Time

Money is like being a football player. Game days are fun and exciting, but you’re guaranteed to get tackled. To improve you’re chances of winning, you need to practice all week – and lift weights and work on drills. Practice isn’t exactly fun. But you need to practice and try your hardest. If you don’t practice, you’re guaranteed to lose the game – and in reality, game day is all that matters. That’s when it counts, when push comes to shove, and the ball is in play.

Money works like football. If you don’t practice with it, you’re guaranteed to lose and get your head beat in. If you put the work in ahead of time, you may still lose, but it won’t hurt as much. However, there’s also a good chance you’ll win (while still taking a punch to the mouth in the process).

So let’s say you win. And winning feels great. You feel awesome. Just don’t enjoy the win too much, because there’s another battle coming next week with a huge 6’7” 340 lbs. linebacker wanting to bash your head in.

Money Advice – Experts

There are lots of money experts out there, and I respect them all. I’ve gotten many pearls of wisdom from Dave Ramsey and Mr. Money Mustache (and less famous people like my parents – they don’t have a blog).

If you haven’t seen these pros, you should. One of the reasons they have such amazing advice is because of their years of failure, trials, and mistakes. And though I don’t know them personally, I can guess they still struggle with money issues on a daily basis.

And I know for me too, I pretend to be a money expert, but I’m not. Sure, I have years of training, FINRA licenses and hard life lessons, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. Life is far from perfect. We’re always training, getting ready for war, and sometimes we slack off and don’t practice all week. Instead of lifting weights, we’re eating donuts in the training room, indulging in extra massages, and pretending to watch game film.

Because practice is hard. And sometimes you just want a break, and you don’t want to work.

Money Advice – Real Struggles

My wife and I set our budget on Friday nights at a brewery. Honestly, talking about money every week is hard, so we “numb” the effect with a beer (it’s an effective strategy).

Most weeks it’s simple housekeeping. We’re paying our bills fine and everything is smooth. The talk takes 10 minutes and we celebrate the success we’re having. And it’s fun.

Then every couple months we have a heart to heart. We’ve lost our job (or two) and have avoided our budget meeting because we’re both terrified, and angry, and tired. No one really wants to talk about money. It just doesn’t feel right.

So our talk last week was more intense. Our budget had gotten out of hand (somehow) and we needed some high-level tweaks which we had been avoiding. Neither of us wanted to have that conversation, but we did, because we’re determined to tackle our money issues, even if it hurts. And ultimately, these money issues can tear at our marriage (which we both value) if left unattended.

Friends wanted to meet up with us (because who doesn’t want to hang out with us at a brewery?) but we couldn’t. We weren’t in the friendly mood. We were in battle mode. It was game day after all, and we were tacking our hits.

Money Advice – Finally

Take advice from professionals, but remember no one’s perfect. We’re all making mistakes and trying to get through life.

If you’re failing, don’t get down on yourself. Just get up and try again.

So whatever you see on the internet, or believe someone has their life together, you need to take it with a grain of salt.

No one is perfect, me included. We’re all human after all.

So if I’m telling you to do a budget or to start saving money – it’s because I know how much it hurts. I know it’s always going to be difficult, even for me, and it’s always a struggle. But when you’re able to press through and put in the effort, you’ll come out better for it.

Just don’t expect your life to be instantly perfect, because that never happens. And stop comparing yourself to other people.

Be very grateful for what you have. You’re more blessed than you can possibly imagine.

Money Advice – Action Steps:

  • Listen to professional advice
  • Push through hard conversations