In the big scheme of life, it’s easy to look back and see why some things turned out the way they did. Why did LeBron James become one of the best basketball players of all time? Why was Tiger Woods such a dominant golfer? Why was Peyton Manning so good at diagnosing defenses and putting the football right where it needed to be for his receivers?
We can talk about all the things that they did to get to where they were. But one thing is abundantly clear. None of it was by mistake.
Whether it is learning a new skill or trade, picking up a hobby, or trying to Figure Out Finances, there are steps that need to be taken to take you where you want to be.
When Josilyn and I were dating, I was managing a hotel in Missoula. The pay was good, but I had bad habits. I was eating out almost every day during the work week. I started doing it every once in a while, then three times a week, then almost every day. It became a habit for me. It should come as no surprise that I wracked up a healthy amount of credit card debt due to my lack of attention to the details of my financial life.
One day I was honestly just curious to see what I was spending. I printed out three months’ worth of statements from my credit cards and my checking account. It was bad. Really bad. Some months I was spending over $600 on dining out alone. OUCH. I knew something had to change.
Since then, eating out has become a once in a while nicety. Jos does an incredible job of cooking meal preps each week for both of us for lunch. She makes awesome homemade dinners. We eat a lot of cereal, eggs, and toast for breakfast. We almost always have coffee at home instead of going to pick it up at a coffee joint.
Intentionality is what gets us where we want to go. I realized I didn’t want to live with debt forever. It took some growing pains to get to where we are now, but the reward is great as we watch our total debt balance drop like a rock each month. Our choices matter, and where we end up is not by mistake.