As summer begins to make its final turn around the bend, reality begins to set in. Summer will soon be over, and the best life I was living is going to show up in my budget deficit. Yikes! With the hot summer sun, and barbeques that beckoned for me to partake, I must admit that I may have overindulged a bit. At the start of the season, I had no empty hangers in my closet, but I felt I needed to buy a few more sun dresses, a couple fresh pairs of sandals, and a hat or two. Last summer already saw me in the old clothes. (or at least that’s what I told myself)
Of Course, the summer wardrobe needed somewhere to go. The concerts, karaoke nights, movie premiers, and cocktails with friends were perfect destinations. Then add in the fact that I needed a few dinners on rooftops and patios, and VIP was the best seating at every night club. I knew that when I sat down to balance my budget for the month of July I was going to be in trouble and I was gonna have to eat beans.
The background: In 2017 I became a divorcee. I didn’t want my life to change, I just wanted to live it without my husband. Since I did not want to sell the house, or any other assets I agreed to keep all of the marital debt. It sounded good in theory; I could handle the bills on my own. I was an independent career woman after all. I handled it in stride for a year.
Then in 2018, I realized that my stride included financing some areas of my life on credit cards, and my savings was not as juicy as it had been during my marriage. I took a good look at my finances, and determined I make a good living, except for every penny is going back out the door in the form of the 29 easy monthly payments I had. Yes that’s right I had 29 individual pieces of debt that were all my very own after the divorce. My good credit had gotten me in a lot of good debt. I decided to take my financial life more seriously and begin a strict budget, that would allow me to pay off and close accounts and pay off things sooner so I could have more of my own money.
I am usually very disciplined with it, and I deny myself most of the things I really want, and only buy the things I need. Summer 2019 took me all the way out of character, and for the first time in 12 months the extra $250.00 I had been using to pay down debt on my snowball was not there. As I reviewed my budget, I had to count up the cost of the best summer I had in a while. I am not regretful for the splurges I made. Because they did make me feel good. Everyone deserves to feel good. I had to be mindful that I didn’t fall into the cycle of splurging all the time. So I set out to correct my 2 months’ worth of summertime splurges by eating beans for 2 weeks, weekend not included. To make myself feel better, I decided to increase my optimism and positivity on the subject. I came up with 5 very compelling reasons why everyone should eat beans and balance their budget.
Savings- A bag of beans, celery, onion, and bouillon cubes costs $6.53. 1 bag of beans last me about 5 days, so add another $1.89 for the 2nd half of my bean dinners and I have will have eaten for 10 days for about $0.84 per day. That is a savings of about $60.00 on my food costs. It’s obvious, If you want to eat good and save money, eat beans!
Health- Did you know that beans are just about the most perfect food you can eat? They are the most nutrient dense, have the highest fiber content of any food around. Beans are great for your heart, your glucose levels, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol. So based on my bean eating I am saving on future doctor bills because I am doing a great thing for my body. It’s obvious, If you want to avoid going to the doctor for preventable health conditions and live a long life, eat beans!
Accountability- When you tell the world you are eating beans for a week; they really want to see you do it. So, wherever you go people shout at you, ‘Hey Nicole! How’s the beans?’ So, I can’t sneak a $4 for 4 at Wendy’s or anything, because people are watching me. So, it's obvious, If you lack personal discipline in your life and need to be held accountable. You guessed it, eat beans!
Weight Loss- Beans are good, but you don’t really want to eat a lot of them! So, you literally only eat when you must keep from passing out. Since they have a lot of fiber, they keep you full for a long time, and the calorie content is pretty low. It’s obvious, If you want to slim down your waist and beef up your bank account, surely you should eat beans!
Time- When you already know what you are going to have for lunch and dinner it saves you a ton of time with deciding on your next meal. So, you can spend all your extra time writing blogs about the connection between beans and budgets. Obviously If you need to put extra time back into your day, the best solution is, Say it with me, eat beans!
Okay I think you kind of get the point, eating beans is a great new way of life! And it will help you save money, lose weight, save time, and be healthy. If you don't like beans, this could be a problem for you, and you may have to find something else that is equally beneficial. Or, I am just forcing myself to be extremely positive to make my recalibration more palatable. Whatever it takes to get back on track.
The point is, we all want to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and there is nothing wrong with it. Just like any other plans, we must re-calibrate when we get off course. For me, I had to eat beans to get back on course after the best summer ever took me off my path to financial freedom. I paused and told myself, you began this journey for a reason, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to get back on the horse and ride off into the sunset of a financially free life. It’s just up ahead.
I challenge you to ask yourself where in your journey to financial freedom did you fall off? What will it take for you to recalibrate, and start working toward your goal again? Can you find a way to see the silver lining in doing the things you don’t want to do for a short time? How about when you know you will be able to do the things you want to do for a lifetime as a result? What are you willing to sacrifice today? Is it an apartment that you don’t like? Are you willing to drive a car that is not the newest? Pack your lunch every day? Eat beans for 10 days? If you take the time to evaluate your destination, you will find something worth the sacrifice to get there.
If personal finance is a struggle for you, and you have not yet started your journey, I can help you get started, visit https://www.gofundyourlife.com for a jump start to your personal stabilization plan. I promise not to recommend beans as a solution, unless you request the bean soup recipe. Your best life is the life you can afford to live. Let’s plan to Go Fund Our Best Lives!!!
If you liked this blog, like it, share it, and leave a comment, If you don’t like it, well you can Eat Beans!
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Nicole A Simpson, MBA, CFEI