The Tortoise vs. The Hare

Lately I’ve been dreaming of the lotto again–a sudden radical leap to the finish line of financial independence with zero effort, zero waiting, and zero control. Like the hare, I want a quick and easy victory, a gift from the universe.

Reality is more like the tortoise. No great leap forward, not even $1,000 saved this month, but another $417 set aside like last month. Another step on the way to $5,000 saved this year, $25K in five years. Not fast, not exciting, but steady and boring. It could be worse.

September’s Final Numbers
Total Income: $2,664.71
Total Spending: $2,135.12
Difference: $509.59

I wasn’t as careful about tracking my spending in September as in August. I was surprised to tally up how much I spent in restaurants this month when if you’d asked me yesterday, I would have said that I’d hardly eaten out at all. Restaurant meals so easily forgotten probably weren’t worth the price.

I look at the individual totals and see big exceptions.  I bought a bike. I finally paid for my bridesmaid dress. It’s easy to say if it hadn’t been for those purchases, I could have saved $1,000 this month, so theoretically I should be able to save $1,000 next month. But, every month sees big exceptions. Next month my membership with the Clinton 2030 Foundation (tax deductible! still regrettable!) is due, an unusual $230 I already know is coming. There’s H’s wedding and my birthday and the work gala, and I have no idea how any of those events (especially the last one) will derail my spending.

It’s better if I can try to be the tortoise: take it slow, write down my spending, forgive myself if I *only* save $417 instead of keeping the big money. It’s still savings. It’s still progress. It’s not small potatoes. But it is hard to see it that way when a couple of months ago the higher bar seemed so achievable. Turtles climb under bars and keep going.

One comment

  1. I like your comments about the tortoise and reality, the turtles and bars–they are short and precise, and ring true in my experience. A little less bang as we chug along– unlike the modern culture. with quick hi tech fixes or media hype.

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