I wasn’t bleeding… too much: Money lessons learned from a dull toothbrush

by Belinda Rosenblum

“Well, at least you’re not bleeding… too much.”

As soon as I opened my mouth and the dental hygienist Donna peeked inside, she was pleasantly surprised.

You see, almost 9 months ago I came in for my (overdue) teeth cleaning, and my teeth needed a lot of help – the plague had built up, my gums were hurting, and the off-white shade was starting to be noticeable.image

(Donna felt so bad for the pain she put me in that she even gave me her rose when it was done! Seriously. Well, it was Valentine’s Day – not an episode of The Bachelor.

Those eye protectors were on me SO long they even left a mark on my forehead. I must look overjoyed in this pic because the torture was over!)

Throughout the process, I just couldn’t understand how it got this bad.

Brushing my teeth was an important habit for me.

I brushed every day – twice – with an electric toothbrush even. Plus I flossed once a week. (Yes I know this could be better, but I used to do it once every 6 months, so this seemed like a much more supportive frequency!)

Yet, when I went in, she was horrified at the state of my mouth.

And Donna let me know about it. (She is a tell-it-like-it-is gal who doesn’t hold back expressing how she really feels. You likely know the type.)

So after a few minutes of talking about where I was going wrong, we found the culprit – a dull toothbrush head. Yupimage – check out the before and after!

That one tiny part was causing me so much pain – all from my lack of attention and awareness of the issue.

When Donna was finishing up yesterday, 9 months later, I was proud that I had taken the advice and made real improvement. (It’s one thing to know what to do – it’s a whole other thing to follow through and make the change. You know what I mean?)

When I left she nearly hugged me and exclaimed, “I’m SO happy. You made my day!”

But honestly, when I was sitting there under the bright lights, wearing my silly glasses, and clenching my hands with each scrape of her tool on my teeth, I thought to myself…

“Her job is one I would NEVER want.”image

Then a few minutes later as I walked out of the door, it hit me:

I actually DO something not that far off from Donna AND you are likely doing exactly what I was inadvertently doing too – but with your MONEY!


Tell me if this sounds familiar:

1 – You are going through all the motions that you think you are supposed to do.

2 – But you find yourself frustrated because you feel stuck with mediocre results.

3 – And even confused as to what else you should be doing, when these steps seem like improvements over the irresponsibility of your past…

But if you take a step back, you may need to stop using your version of the “dull toothbrush” and step up your learning, tools, and strategies.

Please note, that I didn’t take this personally. Nor should you. We just need to source the areas where what you ARE doing ISN’T working.

Do you have an idea of what the culprit is for you around your money?

Is it a tracking system that is incomplete or inconsistent? Or a business that has turned into an unintentional non-profit?

Or perhaps some resistance to meal planning, less frequent grocery store trips, and sticking to a list when you shop?

Comment below what your “dull toothbrush” is! Then take action this weekend to stop tolerating and start improving that one area. That’s it. Just one small step.

Because it really is the small steps that you can easily change that compound to create the big results you want in your life. More on that soon…

Have a great weekend!image

P.S. My kids are home for the U.S. Veteran’s Day holiday and I had a funny exchange with my son Seth today. We were leaving a playdate for the kids (pic just taken – mine are the dinosaur and the astronaut) and heading out into a blustery day here in Boston.

Me: Seth, let’s buckle you into your car seat fast, so Mommy doesn’t blow away.

Seth (on edge of sudden tears): Mommy, no! Don’t blow away!

Me (thinking he will really miss me): What’s the matter Seth? Mommy is right here. I won’t really blow away.

Seth: Oh good, because Becca and I can’t drive the car home.

Seriously, sometimes it’s watching the small things we do – and say. lol

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam Galli November 11, 2017 at 4:18 am

It’s the meal planning; actually I plan, list, shop, I don’t make! I just can’t close this deal. Root cause is probably not managing my time/schedule. This would save me a lot of money and improve my health. It’s a good long weekend to practice and a short week for stringing together after work meal success stories!


Belinda Rosenblum November 21, 2017 at 3:44 am

Start with baby steps Pam. Like taking some time on Sunday to cook for a few meals, or at least larger portions and some sides. Last thing we want is you going through all that trouble and then having to throw out the food you just worked to buy!


Christie November 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Tracking is a real block for me. I hate it, I fear it and I make a million excuses why I don’t have time to do it. I write down my spending, I signed up for Mint.com, I just can’t sit down, look at it and analyze it. I’m so afraid of what I’ll see.


Belinda Rosenblum November 22, 2017 at 4:10 am

Oh yes Christie – I totally understand. But really once you get started, it is SO much easier than the stress of THINKING about doing (or not doing) the tracking! Have you tried our tracking templates? You can get them at http://www.ownyourmoney.com/track – lmk if any questions once you take a look. It is better to know than to stay in the panic of the not knowing… I promise. I’m outstretching an arm to help you along… you got this!


Renise Welbon November 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I think mine would be tracking as well…I never started and somehow I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not even able to save anymore…frustrating!


Dr.Hamid Mousavi November 12, 2017 at 9:53 am

There is no alternative for love but love!


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