I have a lot of knowledge. I'm also wonderful at giving advice. My own personal issue is putting my 'theory' into practice. I have been working on this, and am slowly making progress. My finances show that I am. We are no where near the hell-hole of debt we were in during the early months of 2009.
But I've swapped some bad practices for others. Bad me. Recognising that I have done so is good. Now about fixing those mistakes as well.
"I can't spend what I don't have." - My take on pay yourself first. The RRSP and RESP accounts are untouchable in my view, so therefore, the more money I put in them, the less I have to spend on stuff. I must put away money for retirement or I will be working until I die. I don't want to have to do that. The kids will have to have a post-secondary education, and I want to offset their costs as much as I can.
" I will spend less today to finish paying off the past." - The debt from years ago still lingers, and it is really starting to tick me off! I cannot spend or save what I want with today's income because I am still paying for the mistakes of my past. I want this debt gone, pronto!
"Budgeting is merely a spending plan that allows me to decide where my money goes." - Budgets aren't bad. I control the budget, and use it to prioritise what I need and want to have in our lives. I cannot get better with the budget if I don't follow it.
"The perfect is the enemy of the good." I always have trouble with this, in everything thing that I do. I strive for perfection, and if I cannot attain perfection, I lose focus. Especially with my savings/planned spending goals. I am trying to give myself some slack on this. I have to remind myself daily that we are not perfect, therefore I do not need to expect perfection from myself.
"Doing something is better than nothing." I also remind myself that while I am not perfect with our finances, I cannot allow myself to become stagnant either. In the past, I have been so paralysed with fear, that I did nothing, making the situation worse. Anything I do to make our situation better, is still better than nothing.
"Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without." I'm learning that I don't need as much as I once thought I did. I'm also learning to use up things before I buy more or new, and how to make do with things I already have. My urges to spend frivolously are decreasing in frequency, which is a very good thing.
In summary, I've learned a lot over the past two years about personal finance, mostly about how to personalize the tools out there to fit our unique situation and circumstances. I haven't reached all my goals yet, because I'm still learning while I'm putting all the theory into practice.