Confession: Sometimes I think that I’m approximately 80 years old at heart.
I would much prefer sitting at home, drinking tea, watching Airplane Repo on a Saturday night rather than going out to the bars.
(wait but seriously, have you ever watched Airplane Repo? YOU SHOULD. So good. They repossess AIR-freaking-PLANES. Like literally sneak into the airplane and fly away before the owner notices. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Mike thinks the show is fake but I like to believe it’s real)
Or sometimes something chill like apple picking. Mel, I stole your idea about apple picking and we went on Saturday! It was fab.
Or mayyyybe if I'm feeling wild and crazy, a [free--- duhhhh] outdoor concert downtown.
So anyway. I generally like staying home/laying low and being old and lame. It makes me happy. But sometimes, I question my decisions. Mike and I will go on a walk during happy hour or later at night on weekends and we’ll see all the bars near our house PACKED… and I’ll be like “but everyone else is out partying tonight and I just want to sit at home... I'm so lame and weird!”
But you know what? I'm only seeing one subsection of people. Just because I see those people at the bar doesn't mean they are "normal". There's a whole other subset of the population who are at home, also watching Airplane Repo, but we don’t SEE them (unless their blinds aren’t down and then I’m peeking in their house) so we assume that the people we see are the “normal” ones.
Does that make sense?
That same “normal” idea can apply to saving money.
Sometimes it is REALLY hard to want to save money, especially if your friends/coworkers/family (the people you spend the most time with) are not so frugal. By surrounding yourself with those people, they become your "normal", and you start to look around and say, “well, they aren’t saving money, why should I be?”. Or maybe they're digging themselves into a hole of debt, or maybe they are overspending their income every month… but dang, their closet full of new clothes make you jealous.
But you know what? There’s something you have to remember: Just because these people are your “normal”, that doesn’t mean they are actually “normal”.
So... how can you change your "normal"?
You're currently reading my blog, so this tip might be right up your alley: one of the best things I ever did for my finances was stumble upon the personal finance blog world. Find some personal finance blogs to add to your daily routine— reading the blogs and scanning comments will show you how many people are out there that care SO MUCH about their money! They love talking about it, finding tricks and tips to save more money, etc. That’s the “normal” you’ve gotta align yourself with!
You can also try actually talking about this money stuff with friends & family... I know generally it's frowned upon to talk about money but I think maybe just starting to broach the topic with your "normal" groups, you might find out that they are stressed about money just as much as you!
And quite frankly, just reminding yourself that the people you see aren't necessarily "normal" is a good tip, too. I mean, don't tell them that-- they might not get the kinda "normal" you're talking about ;)