Read enough financial advice and you can start to get the sense that any mistake or flaw in your financial life is catastrophic. In fact the opposite is true. Not only is it okay to be imperfect, but you can turn even the worst disaster around.
As personal finance site The Frugal Vagabond explains, financial imperfection is a fact of life. Whether you rack up more credit card debt than you intended, missed a few bill payments, or just aren’t saving enough, everyone falls on hard times at some point. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed entirely, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t bounce back. The site shares this story in the context of marrying someone who has some financially imperfect habits:
If we applied the same cold, impersonal calculus to relationships that we do to crushing debt and maximizing our savings, we’d probably all die alone. We’d be forever optimizing our choice of partner, looking for the ideal co-saver. We’d demand a high-earning, debt-defying, minimally materialistic badass and accept nothing less. Since most of us are human first, and high-octane savings engines second, it generally doesn’t work out that way. Choosing a partner like we choose a new laptop- based on a list of specifications and features- is completely unrealistic.
Of course, even if you’re the financially imperfect one in your relationship, it’s still possible to get on track. Learn the basics of personal finance, get a budget, start saving, and pay down debt. It won’t happen quickly, and it won’t necessarily feel great, but making the changes necessary to start balancing and out-of-whack budget is feasible for almost everyone, even if you’re imperfect at it.