Fear of failure keeps me from budgeting

I’m serious!

I want lots of thing. Lots and lots. In my head, my want list looks like this:

– winter vacation to Mexico

– climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next year

– French classes paid in full

– guitar lessons

– a new computer

– a Mini Cooper (I’ve given up dreams of the Lexus)

– a downtown loft

– another trip to France to visit D

But I refuse to sit down and plan out the cost. I don’t want to make little goal tickers to measure my progress — hell, I don’t even want to know how much I’d have to save every month to accomplish all of the above.. probably $2957249274 + tax. So long as I don’t sit down and do the math, I get to exist in a happy universe where everything I want is possible. I feel like knowing the pricetag to my wishlist would be a rude awakening to a reality in which I have to make adjustments to my plans. Maybe I can’t have everything.. or maybe not all within 12 months. And that’s sad to me. I want it all!

When I look at the list, I feel good about it. I don’t think anything on there is frivolous and should be cut. The car and the loft can definitely be procrastinated for all time & eternity, but trips and self-improvement are worth shelling out for in my opinion. I mean, it’s not like I’m striving for a closet full of designer shoes or you know, really expensive dresses… ahem. What I’m saying is: because I feel like these are worthy goals, I feel like I deserve them, so I don’t want to entertain the possibility of not receiving them.

Now, we all know a sense of entitlement is a dangerous thing when it comes to spending money. It’s the best and most often employed justification for ringing up debt.

I think of “I deserve it” or “I earned this” a lot like getting on a bus for a pub crawl. A debt bus. Where every bar is actually a store and you start buying and buying, growing more and more intoxicated with every purchase. Finally, it’s the next day and you have a credit card hangover that feels like it will never, ever go away. But it was fun… right?

So I’m not ready to lay out the details of just how much I have to set aside to get to Tanzania or have $16,000 to put down on a vehicle. That’s way too scary. I’m not ready to set up a timeline because it would just add to the pressure. What if I don’t make it? I’m getting as comfortable with failure as I can — and by that I mean I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of failure for other people, but it’s still not yet something I could possibly do. Don’t worry, I’m working on this.

Just writing all those things down is a step for me. Look how expensive I am! I’m cringing as I read this. Oh spoiled girl, your wants have no end.