Do you ever bite off more than you can chew? I do. This blog is a great example. When I started it, I planned to write a gazillion articles each day, post 10 comments on other blogs each day, interact with the blogging community daily, and on and on. Then came reality (a.k.a. my wife, my kids, my job, etc.) I had to slow down, and sometimes, we need to do the same thing with money.
A good example of this is in deciding how much of our salary to save. My personal goal is to save 20% of my gross income. I’m not there yet. Although it fluctuates from month to month, I generally save 12% of my salary. At times, usually after reading a book that has motivated me, I get ahead of myself and try saving the full 20%. I may even succeed for a short time, but right now I’m just not prepared to save that much. Eventually, not only does my savings fall back below the 20% goal, it sometimes even boomerangs back down below 12%. That’s when I know I need to slow down.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t push ourselves. I think stretch goals are ideal. We need to figure out just how far we think we can go, and than go a little further. For me, that was pushing past a 10% savings rate. But we should not lose sight of reality. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt:
Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.