Financial Setbacks and How to Recover

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The road to financial recovery isn’t always sunshine and roses. Matter of fact, it’s hardly ever that. It’s filled with a ton of sacrifice and discipline followed by a few moments of satisfaction when you meet your first goal. Then the never-ending cycle starts all over again and continues forever. It can get tedious and sometimes, you have setbacks.

At least that’s where I found myself last month. I mean, my setback wasn’t devastating. I didn’t have an emergency that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars or anything, but I found myself going down a path that could have been a huge blow to all the progress I’ve made. And, it all started when I had a few too many drinks.

Something you should know about me… I tend to spiral. When I’m going down a path that’s, let’s just say not ideal, I tend to say screw it, it can’t get any worse. It’s a poor attitude to have, because it’s simply not true. It could get worse and more often than not, it does. It’s something that I have to pay close attention to. I mean, don’t get me in front of a slot machine…

Anyhow, a couple weeks ago, I went to Bar Louie with a friend. I had just paid off my Citi card and I wanted to reward myself. My tab ended up only being like $50, but I started thinking about how that $50 could have been used toward the dental procedure that I had charged the week prior. I mean, it wasn’t a huge deal in the end, but two days later, it was still on my mind. So…

I decided to go out for drinks again. This time, my tab was $34. I started think that I could have paid half my dental bill with the money I’d spent drinking. I was already to order another drink, but then I realized I was spiraling. If I didn’t get my thinking back no track, I was going to have an even bigger problem. Here’s what I had to do…

How to Deal with Financial Setbacks

1. I realized that I’m only human.

I make mistakes. I get in my feelings. It happens to the best of us, but I had to realize that life doesn’t stop there. It’s going to continue on. There’s nothing I can do about that. So, I had to make a choice. I could wallow in my mistake or in my circumstance as the case may be or I could press forward.

I chose to press forward and…

2. I remembered the reason I was seeking debt freedom.

I want to be debt free so that my future will be mine. I don’t want to live a life that’s confined to someone else’s terms and conditions. Every credit card comes with a list of strings. The creditor tells you when to pay them, how much to pay them, what happens if you don’t pay them and so on.

That creditor, in effect, owns a certain amount of your time. And, I love my time. I want to be able to say who, what, when and where with it!

So, whether your financial goal is debt freedom or to save a million dollars, you’re doing it for a reason. Remember that reason. Meditate on it. Get yourself back into the state of mind you were in when you first pressed toward your goal.

3. I reestablished my goals.

After I got my thinking back on track, I moved some dates and figures around, readjusted a few things in my budget and voila, I have a new plan in place to attain my goals. It means that I’ll have to up my game on a few of my side hustles or work a few more shifts, but I have a new goal that I can get behind. And, it keeps my excitement fresh in a way.

What setbacks have you experienced and how have you overcome them?