I’m here to tell you about the biggest mistake I made in 2015.
It was about this time last year when I was getting ready for bed late one evening, when as part of my usual routine I soaked a cotton ball* in make-up remover. I then proceeded to rub this cotton ball, first on my right eye, to remove the day’s mascara. (The things we do!) This night, however, the usual routine resulted in incredible pain.
In a sleepy haze, I had soaked the cotton ball in nail polish remover, not make-up remover. (If you don’t know, nail polish remover is essentially acetone.) In terrible pain, and (dramatically) wondering if I would ever be able to open my right eye again, I began haphazardly splashing as much water as I could into this eye. I tried to open it just slightly to let the water in. I wondered how long I should do this… 5 minutes? 10? I kept splashing.
I finally decided to open my eye slightly and see what it looked like in the mirror. It was very bloodshot. More splashing.
I checked again. It was a little easier to open but still bloodshot. As I began to open it more and more, I looked more closely at my eyeball for any signs of serious damage. Though what that would look like, I’m not totally sure…commence more splashing.
After some time, things seemed okay and I went to bed. When I woke up the next morning I remembered my mistake and went to the bathroom mirror. My eye looked okay. It even felt okay. Life would go on.
In the aftermath of “Lucy’s Big Mistake of 2015” my body would automatically react every time I went to put make-up remover on my eye. While to a lesser degree, my body still reacts today, reminding me to ask the question: “Are you sure this is what you want to be doing?”
But I’m okay. My eye is okay. My life has gone on. I’ve even learned from my mistake. My body now has a built in defense mechanism reminding me to double check the bottle!
So, why do I tell you this story?
Because we all make mistakes! And sometimes, people believe that if they have made financial mistakes in the past they certainly can’t make up for them now. They tell themselves, “It’s too late. I’m in too much debt and haven’t saved enough. Making changes now certainly won’t fix my money mistakes of the past! I can’t tell people I’m trying to spend less. Besides, I’ve seen those charts about how much more money you have in retirement if you start saving at 20 instead of 30…or even 40 or 50!”
But I’m here to tell you that excuses and “woulda coulda shoulda” is not going to help your situation. Instead, you can start right now! You can make changes today! You can spend less, you can work your a$$ off and get out of credit card debt, you can save more. You CAN do it!
Not contributing to your 401(k) plan? Make the change today!
Need to get out of credit card debt? Cut your cable, pack your lunches, whatever you have to do, and pay down the debt!
Whatever the thing is, take action to improve your habits and better your situation.
The past can be learned from, and life goes on, but only you can decide whether life will continue to go on as it has or if you will make meaningful changes.
Let’s turn our past money mistakes into the motivation we need to change today.
I mean, you wouldn’t keep dousing your eyes with nail polish remover day after day after day. Would you?
Here’s to change! You can do it!