I’m not going to lie.
I’m not even sure when I lost sight of my goals this quarter, but I do know that by the time March 31 rolled around, those goals were the last thing on my mind.
The fact that I was truly worried about trying to get more sleep and save money on groceries is actually comical. You know, now that I live in a world where I could sleep later if I wasn’t not sleeping at all.
If you’re like me, your money goals from January might not be recognizable. Here’s what I’m doing about the current mess we’re in. (Hint: It isn’t what you think.)
In A World That Loves the Pivot
Ah, the pivot. Entrepreneurship-speak for a screw up. A re-branding. A version 2.0.
At first it seemed like March was just going to exist in perpetuity. Groundhog Day, but one month over on the calendar on repeat until the battery died. But once I realized that days–all 97 of them–were dwindling down and March was coming to a close, I started to think about my quarterly money goals.
And I wondered how I could salvage them.
How could I pivot?
After about an hour of mental gymnastics, I didn’t have an answer. Instead, I had a new question: Do I even want to pivot?
It’s turns out, I don’t.
Sometimes You Scrap Them Entirely
I am no stranger to failure. In fact, failing is encouraged. Occasionally by me. Always by every self-help guru ever. Even by the current educational thought leaders. If I had a dollar every time I heard someone say that we need to create a “safe space to try and fail” about education, I could switch to early retirement blogging.
But this isn’t about failure. Not really. I didn’t so much as fail at my goals as I just set them aside entirely.
I am not the same person that I was on January 1.
None of us are.
I don’t need to reflect on those goals because they no longer serve me. They don’t reflect my reality and they don’t serve it either.
I’m not actually concerned with splitting budget hairs. In fact, I refuse to allow myself to agonize over my grocery spending. I spent months waffling if I should inflate it or not because I would go $25 or $50 over it.
That was then.
At the start of this month, when the rumblings of hoarding first started, we decided to put an extra $100 in our grocery budget. Not because we were attempting to hoard, but because we had a sense that prices would go up. (Good news, my spidey money sense was right. I just bought an $8 bottle of bleach for my mom.)
We crashed through that budget bump midway through the month when it took three different trips and nearly $10 to buy a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs.
I don’t care about my grocery budget right now. I have the power and the privilege to ignore it. What matters is being able to feed my growing toddler to keep him healthy and to shop for my aging parents to keep them at home. I want to buy extras to leave in our neighborhood micropantry.
I don’t need my goals from January. There’s nothing but pain in looking back and playing the “what might have been” game, and I feel like I can’t look too far forward either.
Instead, all I can really do is focus on the now.
An Immediate Plan of Action
I’m not writing new goals for this quarter. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times or just the fact that I am catastrophically bad about setting goals in general. Or both. It’s always both.
Instead, all I am going to do is type out my immediate to-do list:
- Send all of my invoices for March that aren’t processed automatically.
- Review all of my apps and credit cards to make sure I am maximizing cash back. Currently having a good LOL about 5% cash back on gas this month now that it’s the cheapest it’s been in forever and none of us drive.
- Base April’s budget off what I learned about this month not some Frugality Olympics pipe dream. After all, grocery shopping is now a scavenger hunt where you never know what you will find, when you will find it, or what the actual price will be.
- Figure out who in our community we can continue to support.
- Invest all we can into our teaching gigs because our students deserve it and e-Learning is new and difficult and not ending anytime soon.
I don’t know where things will be next quarter. I’m not even sure where things will be next month or how much this action plan will help.
What I do know is that it’s finally April, and we’re in this together. Let’s do this!
PS – Want a spot in Dumpster Dog’s recorded webinar on investing during these wild financial times? I’ve got you! Click here and leave a comment on this post from Monday, and I’ll give away a few spots by Friday! (She’s really fantastic no matter how much or little you know about $$$.)