When was the last time you did something just for you? I’m not talking about buying a cup of coffee or picking up take-out. I’m talking about something special, relaxing and truly just for you. The kind of special something that feeds your soul.
As women, we always put ourselves last. If you’re in a relationship, he comes first. If you’re a mom, the kids come first (fur babies count too). If you’re married with kids, (like I am) then you’re screwed, because everyone comes first. If you’re lucky, you might be able to fit something special into the budget for you, that’s if your guilt doesn’t get to you first.
Being a wife and a mom, I am all about putting everyone else first. My family has everything they need, I make sure of it. They might not even know they need it sometimes, but it’s my mom/wife radar that keeps the house stocked and everyone caught up with their day-to-day needs. Me on the other hand, I can do without until I absolutely can’t. I bet most of you can totally relate.
This month I changed it all up. I did something for me that I have been wanting to do for ages, and guess what—no one died. The earth didn’t come to an end, lighting bolts didn’t zap me where I stood. Life went on, and I didn’t even feel guilty about it. (Well, a little at first, but I quickly came around.) My husband and I took a decadent trip away from the kids, we went on a second honeymoon cruise. It was amazing, romantic and so much more. Seven days later I came back refreshed, renewed and feeling better than I have in years.
I am here to tell you, it’s time start thinking about YOU. What YOU need, what YOU want and hell—what you would like to have even if you don’t need it. I know, you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t afford to do that. I don’t have that kind of extra money. My kids need it more than me.” I understand and know just how you feel, but all you have to do is put you on the NEED IT list along with everyone else. Put it right up there with the kid’s new shoes, and tires for the car.
You are that important. Nothing functions without you, so why are you not adding yourself to the household to-do list? You take care of everyone. You work, clean, toil, and worry – more than anyone else in your household. You need a break, not once in a lifetime, but every year (more times if you can swing it). A special getaway that allows you to refresh yourself and renew who you are. Treat yourself and take that trip that you didn’t think you could afford. Leave the kids at Auntie’s and reconnect with your special someone. Your relationship will be stronger and you’ll be happier.
How do you ask? Easy – just follow my Six Steps to Escape Your Life.
- Hit the bank, make a budget. I know, I hate budgets too, but you need to find out where your money’s going. You can’t save money until you know where you’re spending it. Sign up with your bank online (if you haven’t already) and download your past account activity. Some banks only allow a few months, others allow a year of account history. Download as much as you can, the more the better.
- Look over the results. You are going to be floored when you see where you are spending most of your money. It’s not the house bills or the car payment that’s making most of us broke. It’s the little things. So where is all your money going? Is it fast food? Coffee? Soda or maybe snacks at break time? It all adds up. Quickly!
- Cut the fat. With the bank results, you can tell instantly where you need to start cutting back. Wherever you are spending the most try to cut that amount in half, or even a third will help. You are going to take that money and put it into a “You” fund, yes YOU! Not the kids, not the dogs, not even the hubby. It’s all for you to do with as you please.
- Open an account. You are going to open a separate bank account that you can move your saved money into, preferably through your bank’s online banking account. Make sure it’s easy. Each payday, move the amount you’re saving into that account and don’t touch it again. I want you to imagine that account as off limits. I don’t care if you need it for a rainy day, don’t touch it. You would have spent this money anyway, so imagine it’s gone and not for daily needs.
- Set a goal. You’ve done all the hard stuff, now comes the fun part—planning your getaway! You need to figure out where you want to go and how much you’ll need to save to make it happen. Research, research, research. There are huge deals to be had out there. Cruise the world, escape to Europe or maybe you just want to take a trip a few cities over. You can do whatever you like. You are in control.
- Sit back and relax. You have your destination in mind, you are moving money over each paycheck. You aren’t taking any extra money away from anyone. Your family will get all their needs met as usual, and no one is the wiser. Over the next few months, you will continue to pile away your saved income. Within three to six months you might have enough to take a quick getaway, or within a year you could go on that second honeymoon you have been dreaming of.
It’s all possible, and it’s all within your reach. You just have to take a few simple steps to make it happen. The sky’s the limit, and you’re the captain, sometimes in life we forget that.
So remember whose life is this? YOURS!
So start saving today and make your OWN dreams come true.