Go Ahead: Screw Up

If you have something large that you want to achieve financially, just getting started can be intimidating.

It doesn’t matter what that something is either — it could be anything from getting your spending under control to saving up for a down payment on a house.

It’s usually the size and importance of what you want to achieve that’s intimidating. Breaking it down into smaller steps can help immensely. (After all, it’s a lot more feasible to send $40 to the bank today than it is to magically have a $40,000 down payment tomorrow.)

But there’s one more thing that can help: give yourself the freedom to screw up without thinking that it’s the end of the world.

It’s normal to make mistakes and to be less than perfect.

This means that it’s not the end of the world (or, the end of your intentions) if you spend more than you’d planned in a certain category, or if you don’t quite save as much this month as you had hoped. Of course, don’t just screw up and think oh well, whatever. Try again instead.

Remember that it’s a learning process, and that you’ll improve and reach our destination if you keep coming back to it consistently over time.


  • Amen! I like to remind people that life is one big learning curve. As a perfectionist-wannabe, it can be hard for me to accept less than stellar results. But I’m learning to just dive in and do it. Of course my work will rarely be perfect. There are always things we could have done without spending money on. But it’s a helluva lot better than doing nothing and then regretting your inaction!

  • Yup, or never actually completing anything and leaving a trail of half-finished projects.