Next Month Syndrome

There was a time when I was infected with a terrible condition – Next Month Syndrome

When my credit card bill came in the mail, I would make a promise to myself -

Next month, I’m going to do better.

When I reached for my credit card to make ends meet, I would promise myself -

Next month, I’m going to do better.

When a friend would mention that he was living on a budget, I would promise myself -

Next month, I’m going to do better.

When I would read a story about someone saving for retirement, I would promise myself -

Next month, I’m going to do better.

Here are some common side effects of Next Month Syndrome -

A failure to regularly balance one’s checkbook

A propensity to run out of money before one runs out of month

A constant worry about higher and higher interest rates

A rolling credit card balance, which rarely goes down, but often goes up

A stack of bills, unorganized, or even, unopened, piled high on the kitchen counter

A box of abandoned budgeting software and personal finance books

A growing sense of worry and fear

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, fear not!  There are cures for Next Month Syndrome!

Gather up all of your most recent bank statements, your checkbook, and a calculator.  You need to find out exactly where you stand.

  • How much money do you have in cash?
  • How much money do you have in savings?
  • How much money do you have in checking?
  • How much debt do you have?

Create a budget.  It doesn’t have to be overly-complicated and you will struggle for the first month.  That’s okay.  The purpose?  You need to know exactly how much money you bring home and exactly how much money you spend.  Resources -

Develop some system for organizing financial documents.  For me, I use an expandable file box and I file bills alphabetically.  I use one file folder for each year’s bills.  At the end of each year, I simply store that year’s file box, and buy a new one.

  • Set aside some time, monthly and weekly, to manage finances
  • Encourage each member of the household to participate in the process

Consider reading the 33 Days Series here at No Credit Needed.  This information-rich resource should help those who are looking to save money and get out of debt.

If you are in debt, and you are ready to get out, consider the following resources -

Now, I’ve saved the most important step for last.  See, when I had Next Month Syndrome, I was in denial.  I wanted to live just like everyone else and I wanted to own what everyone else owned.  Then, I discovered something, a deep dark secret – all of those people – the folks that I wanted to be “just like” – THEY had Next Month Syndrome, too!

I made a decision – the most important decision I’ve ever made.  I decided to do something about Next Month Syndrome.  I created a plan, I set myself with determination, and I turned away from my old lifestyle.  It took some time, and I still feel some of the long-term effects, but I was able to overcome Next Month Syndrome.  You can, too!

Remember – All of the planning in the world is useless, unless that planning is coupled with determination.  Make you plan – and then do all that you can to stick to it.  Don’t wait until Next Month – do something NOW!

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5 Responses to Next Month Syndrome

  1. Blech. I still suffer from this somewhat, although to my credit I am improving. Thanks for posting this — I needed a swift kick!

  2. This post made me laugh – I’m a chronic next monther!

  3. I used to be guilty of this myself. My only problem is that “next month” turned into “next year”.

  4. Zengirl says:

    ncn,

    so true, most of us seemed to be waiting for next month or next milestone to start living, saving. we miss out on many things that way.

    btw, i am posting comment first time but have been reader for past 6 months, great info.

    zengirl

  5. gurgle says:

    I’m a tomorrow man, forget next month!!