Dear Dave,

I started working your plan earlier this year. I even budgeted for Christmas and got my shopping done early, but in the process I overspent and blew my whole monthly budget. Now I'm having a hard time getting motivated again. Do you have any suggestions?

Misty

Dear Misty,

Lots of folks make mistakes like this, even though they went into things with the best intentions. The Bible says that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but it yields a harvest of righteousness.

The best way I know to encourage you to get back on the wagon is to ask one simple question: Where do you want to be in five or 10 years? Is your current path going to reward you with a financially secure life? Is it going to give you the ability to retire with dignity and to have fun living and giving in your golden years, or is it going to leave you broke, scared and desperate? There's one simple answer if the path you're on isn't going to get you what you want and where you want to be in life: Change the path!

Most people don't even take the time to identify where they want to go in life or how to get there. They just shuffle along, blame others and circumstances for their situations, and think someone will take care of them. That's called being a child. Children do what feels good at the moment, but adults devise a plan and stick to it.

Lazy is always easier, and more fun, in the short term. But it's a huge mistake when it comes to the future, Misty. Think ahead, plan ahead, and jump back on the wagon!

-Dave

Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover,EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.