Shifting Perspectives

Have you ever felt trapped in your current budget situation? Do you feel like you've squeezed all you can out of the budget, but there just isn't enough there? Does it feel like everywhere you turn there is pain and insurmountable difficulty ahead?

I liken these feelings to finding yourself standing on what seems like a mountain encircled all around by thick fog. You aren't able to see but a few feet in any direction. No matter which way you look the ground seems treacherous. The strong desire is to move forward, but you just don't know what direction to go.

Recently I had a client in a similar situation. The budget felt "complete" and it seemed there wasn't much of anything else that could be done to move toward her more immediate goals more quickly. Her day got even better when a trusted mechanic gave her bad news about her car. The car was going to need a significant amount of work to be properly maintained. More than was feasible in their budget or with the age of the car.

This situation forced a perspective change in my client. That her car needed so much work is bad news, to be sure. However, it presented her with a chance to look at things differently. A different option was presented that was completely new to her at that time. She could sell her car and drive another car they have to her work.

At first glance, this may seem a simple thing. Consider the analogy of the mountain and the fog from earlier. When this option was presented, the fog around her cleared enough to see another path forward. This path, while still rocky, looked significantly more stable than anything she was considering just a few days before. Not only is the path ahead stable and safer, this path moves her more quickly toward her budget goals! Once she realized that, she took that path with renewed confidence and drive.

If you are feeling stuck where you are at with your saving or debt payoff goals. If you feel like you've done everything you can, perhaps a shift in perspective can help that fog clear and reveal a new and safer, more stable path forward than you considered possible before.