The past two months have been a blur for me. It's been a rough haul filled with intense emotions, overwhelming exhaustion, and moments of just sheer and outright anger.
For those of you who don't know, I lost a baby. I found out at 10 weeks that my baby was gone. I don't want to get into the whole story right now. Honestly, I don't think I ever will get into the whole story. It still just hurts too much.
For weeks, it felt like a struggle just to put one foot in front of the other. I was wrung out and I felt like life had really beaten me down. On top of all of that, Jason was gone. His job had him traveling all over the country. For five out of six weeks, he was gone.
So I let a lot of things fall by the wayside. I didn't clean my house, I barely cooked any meals and didn't take on any extra responsibilities. I am okay with all of that. I needed that break.
And I can honestly say I am getting better. Physically I feel like I have finally recovered from the blow my body took. But my heart still hurts. I think it will for a while. It's not the intensity it was just a few (loooooooong) weeks ago. But it still hurts sometimes.
However, my budget.... my budget is still in a state of recovery. We ended up having to dip into our savings to cover medical expenses. And I will be really honest, I let my emotions get the best of me when it came to spending. No, I didn't go on huge shopping sprees or rack up thousands or even hundreds in credit card debt.
None of that happened.
But I did hit the drive thru up instead of cooking, I did buy a few things "just to make myself feel better" and I didn't show the usual caution I do with spending. I am not beating myself up over this. I am not angry with myself and I don't feel overly guilty. But I do know that I need to get back on track.
So what do you do when your life has derailed and taken your budget with it?
1. Make a new plan
Whatever your old plan was- that doesn't work anymore. You need a new plan. So pull up your spreadsheet, or grab your notebook or whatever it is you were using and make a new plan.
Maybe you budget a little bit more for convenience foods instead of cooking from scratch. Or maybe you budget for a babysitter for a couple hours so that you can have a break. Whatever it is, look at what's not working anymore and change it.
Maybe you need to slow down some of your savings goals or make a new timeline. Just take an honest look at your plan and rework something.
2. Stop making excuses
If you've gone through something horrible it's normal to want to shut down. It's okay to take the time to breathe and grieve.
Even good life changes need an adjustment. For example a newborn, BIG ADJUSTMENT! Moving to a new city for your dream job? Adjustment. Getting married... you get the picture.
But don't use these things as an excuse to get off track or stop budgeting altogether.
While I am all about giving yourself grace, I think there is a fine line between being gentle on yourself and just giving up. So give yourself space and time and then pick yourself up and start over.
3. Develop a new goal
So much of the saving and getting out of debt mindset goes back to setting good goals. Sometimes when life pushes you off a cliff you lose sight of those goals. Or maybe they shift altogether.
Take some time to reevaluate what it is you want. Develop a new list of priorities. Allow yourself to dream. It's okay to throw out the drawing board and start over.
4. Realize it won't be forever
Okay, get ready to roll your eyes because what I am about to say sounds SO dramatic, but sometimes when you're in a pit of despair you feel like you will never get out of it. But you will.
This pain lasts but a season. There is still great joy in the world even if it doesn't feel like that today. You can move past this.
What about you? Are you starting over in your budgeting process? Leave me a comment below.