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It's not business, it's personal...

Over the course of the savings challenge, I have undergone multiple changes in perspective. The first one came within the first two months of the competition when I came to the conclusion that this is not a normal competition. I don't have to worry about somebody being able to run faster, throw farther or swim further in this competition. I just have to worry about what I'm doing and how I can play better. So in those terms its a competition against myself and part of me is destined to succeed and the other part is demanding failure. To say I'm not in this 100% would be absurd. I breathe, sweat, cry and dream of the challenge. But it seems that every speedbump that gets thrown my way is something I have created. Past mistakes, bad decisions are all coming back. Had I paid closer attention to my teeth and visited the dentist the recommended times per year, I wouldn't have had to shell out the money for a root canal and crown. Had I not broken two leases in Dallas, I would be able to put more money towards savings and be able to be out on my own once more.

Any regrets? Well, ya. Any regrets in how I'm doing in the challenge? No. Flatout. Resounding. NO. I enjoy being able to run ideas past my coaches and getting sound advice.

And that led to another revelation. I have a plan! A plan of plans for how I'm going to pay off my debt this year and how I'm going to make it happen for myself. And I'm sticking to it and its working and I couldn't be happier! But is there more that I could do?

I have a plan.... I don't have a budget. I have allocated venues for where my money goes each WEEK. Not month, WEEEK. And it successfully goes there. But after that whatever is left over, sits in my checking account until next payday. Until the next step of my plan. And it shouldn't be that way. If I had a real budget, something I took into consideration with every purchase, that money would also be allocated and the leftover dumped into savings. Its what I've been preaching, what I thought I was following. And it took me until the third month in the challenge to realize that I wasn't following what I preached.

I think I'll use spring break as an opportunity to really look at my budget. Luckily, I have kept my receipts (yes all of them) from the past three months and what better tool to gauge my spending trends to adjust my budget?!

So expect more thoughtful, insightful, and just downright helpful posts from me in the future. I will be able to post better blogs when I have proven, tried and true methods that have worked for me.