Although it was a vicious cycle for many years, I’ve finally learned to stop making financial decisions based on emotions, which only represented heartache down the line for me regardless of how earth shattering it felt in the moment. As I carefully weighed the pro’s and cons of the options considered for what to do with my refund (spend it all on a birthday gift for me, get a new garage door which I will need in the near future, spend it all on a birthday gift for me, get two new water efficient toilets for the home which will help save on the water bill and bring more value to my home long-term, spend it all on a birthday gift for me, make an extra payment on the mortgage to help pay my home off faster which speeds up the time frame of all other goals, or spend it all on a birthday gift for me, lol), I had a heart pounding bring out the horns and drop confetti everywhere moment! Maturity had emerged and blindsided me while I was looking the other way!
Receiving a tax refund is less exciting these days since realizing that meant I loaned the government too much money during the year and they are only returning what was already mine. However, what can I say, I still get a thrill when receiving unexpected money in the mail! The good news is that it is a lot less than what I normally receive which is a clear indicator that I’m headed in the right direction and I will continue to adjust my withholding until I get it right. I’m making progress in that area since I’m finally receiving less than $1,000 so ^5 (high-five) for me! My AHA moment was how different my thought process is since taking Financial Peace University for the first time eight years ago!
The beginning of each year (before learning to make better financial decisions) not only offered opportunities for growth, it also provided lessons on patience as it found me anxiously waiting at the mailbox each day for the mountain of paperwork (always arriving painfully slow!) required to file my taxes. The idea of having extra money to throw away on what I thought I deserved just for being an adult, was as provocative as an addict waiting for that first hit on their drug of choice after a lengthy absence. Thankfully I’ve matured since taking Financial Peace University! As Dave Ramsey says, “children do what feels good, adults devise a plan and follow it”. After careful deliberation over the course of a few weeks, I’m pleased to say that my money is going to the toilet, but in a good way. I have finally broken the life-long pattern of spending without thinking and mastering that concept opened the doors to financial freedom! Nothing feels as good as being debt free!