It’s OK If You Suck When Starting Your Budget

I have a cat that’s fifteen years old.  For roughly fourteen of those years, she was the model of perfect health.  But, as age catches up to us all, it caught up to her.  She has failing kidneys, which is pretty common with cats.  The vet advised that I begin giving her subcutaneous fluid injections, which is essentially giving her an injection of liquid under her skin.  This helps cats with her problems because the additional fluids in her system makes it a little easier on her kidneys while they do their thing.

The vet did the first injection and walked through the process step by step.  They made it look easy, but when I got home and started trying myself, the first few attempts were less than stellar.  Each time, the cat ended up with fluids, but getting there was often a bumpy road.  The IV lines and needles were a struggle to get together and set up properly.  A couple of times the needle went under her skin and then came back out, so when the fluids started going, they were merely getting her wet.  Some times the needle was in but the drip was so slow that I had to start over again.  She struggled to stay in one place, often wiggling away from the towel I had set her on.  The first few times saw a terrified, trembling mess….and the cat was usually in pretty bad shape too!

But, eventually I kept working at it and it got better.  A lot better.  I figured out how to inject the needle so that the drip went fast and so that it didn’t double poker her.  She let me know that she’d reduce her squirming by 90% if she could sit on my lap instead of a towel.  I can assemble the parts and pieces of the IV like a veteran cop assembling his Glock.

I got better because I kept working at it.

I got better because I wasn’t afraid to fail.

I got better because even when I did fail, I knew I was working toward something better.

These same lessons apply if you’re just starting off with a budget.  Putting together a budget is a painful process.  Sticking to a budget is even worse, especially if you’ve not been in that mindset.  You’re going to fail or have major bumps in the road.  You’re probably going to miss things.  You’re most likely going to struggle and have to change things along the way.

That’s OK.

The important thing is that you don’t give up and that you keep trying, because it will get easier.  I promise.

The struggles that you have while adopting new behaviors and practice will seem foreign at first, but will seem common down the road after you’ve been doing them for awhile.

So, keep working at that budget, and once you have that mastered, well, then I can teach you a thing or two about giving a cat her fluid injections!

13 thoughts on “It’s OK If You Suck When Starting Your Budget”

  1. It took me a long time to make a budget that works for me. I'd given up a few times, but I'm glad I dept going.

  2. It really does seem to be an automatic thing once you have been doing it for a while. One day I'll be able to so it with my eyes closed. 🙂

  3. Great point beagle – you may not be the best at something right off the bat, but then again, who is? You have to keep working at it if you want the rewards that all of us budgeters have!

  4. So true, budgeting really is a mindset and it takes time to get to that place. It takes practice just like anything else.

  5. Not a fan of needles but a good analogy. Making anything part of a "routine" really works. You can find out what works best and stick with it.

  6. The important thing is to be consistent, isn't it? I've gotten in the habit of playing the same podcasts every time I sit down to enter our expenses in the spreadsheet.

  7. Great comments, keep them coming.

    @PKamp3 – Believe it or not, we don't currently have a beagle so no worries with the cats! They're my favorite breed of dog though and I will have another someday 🙂

  8. You need to keep working at it and continue to make modifications on monthly basis. Soon, you should have a stable budget where you can reply on for long time.

  9. I think I would have a way easier time perfecting a budget than injecting a cat! Sorry you have to go through all of that.

    Anyway, your point is exactly correct. Practice is the only way to improve, and you have to be able to accept setbacks along the way.

  10. I think the best results will come out of sucking when you get started. You need to learn all there is to know about failure to succeed.

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