We've just been to the most amazing place.
Last Tuesday night my husband and I flew to Calgary, Canada and then drove over to Banff to stay at the Fairmont Banff Resort.
It was incredible.
I turned 40 back in November and our 20th Anniversary is tomorrow, so for Christmas James surprised me with a “we-really-have-survived-this-long-so-we-need-to-go-somewhere-amazing” trip.
No internet. (Well, very little internet.)
(Y'all, I like my kids and would miss them if we'd been gone much longer, but 4 days without hearing Mommmmmm was just a nice little reprieve during summer break!)
On one trail we literally climbed straight up for 2.5 hours, but when we reached the top, the views were worth every step.
As we were climbing for what seemed like an eternity, I couldn't help but think of how many ways determining to keep hiking was so similar to sticking to a budget.
There were several moments when I just wanted to quit, turn around, and head back down the mountain. But a few things kept me going, and they might just help you if you're trying to stick towards budgeting too.
1) Don't go alone.
Having James determined to reach the top just a few steps ahead of me was such motivation. If I'd been on my own I undoubtedly would have given up way before the top of the mountain, and never have seen the views that you can only see when you reach the top.
If you're struggling to stick to your budget, have your spouse or a friend join you as you go. Decide concrete goals and share them with one another, set your plan in advance, and encourage one another so you don't turn around before you reach the finish line.
Fresh snow as we hiked up ~ in June?
2) Sometimes you'll need to slow down.
As we were climbing, there were times when we just had to slow down a bit. It wasn't that we were going to completely quit, but we couldn't race ahead at the same speed we'd been going and just needed a few minutes to slow down.
There are times in your finances where emergencies arise, life changes, and you can't fight as hard at whittling down your debt as you normally would.
But that doesn't mean you give up.
Instead, keep going even as you slow down a bit, and don't lose sight of your long term goal.
3) You will want to quit.
did you hear me?
YOU WILL WANT TO QUIT.
(Folks, I wouldn't say it out loud to my sweet hubby who'd just had a heart attack 5 weeks prior to this trip and was still hiking like a pro, but there were plenty of moments when we were climbing that I WANTED TO QUIT.)
But don't quit.
Remember your goal. Remember changing your finances is worth. it. And know that you're definitely not the only one who would like to turn around.
But you'll never see the top of the mountain if you turn around, so pull up those big girl panties and just keep moving.
The view of Lake Louise from the top of one of the trails – at the top of the lake on the right if you look closely you can see the Fairmont Inn Lake Louise where the trail started from ~ it took us about 2 hours to get to the top!
4) Once you reach the peak you'll barely remember the struggle.
As we climbed and climbed and climbed straight up for what seemed like forever I thought I would never forget quite how miserable some of those steps were. (Y'all, we were huffing and puffing along the way ~ 200 flights up is no easy feat!)
Foyer of the Fairmont Banff Resort
But the minute we reached the top I totally forgot just how long the hike was, and was ready to find another mountain to hike the next day.
Once your finances are in order, you will remember the sacrifice, but the victory is so sweet that you won't regret the steps one bit.
5) The view from the top is amazing.
Twenty years ago when James and I got married I would never-ever-never have anticipated where we would be at financially today. For years we've worked to whittle down student loans, paid off car payments, and chosen to live on a budget to reach our long term goals.
Even on days when we didn't really want to we skipped dinners out, chose second hand clothes, and clipped coupons to eek out every last penny we could.
Twenty years later, good gravy, the view is amazing and worth every step.
Having the financial resources that allow us to enjoy crazy amazing trips, take care of our family, and give abundantly is so much more than I ever dreamed.
Decide that this is worth it. Know that the sweetness you'll find on top will be worth the temporary sacrifice you're making today.
It's worth it. I promise.
I just can't imagine a better view.
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