Famed personal finance guru Suze Orman uses the tagline ďPeople first. Then money. Then things.Ē This quick saying gets across a vital message for living with abundance while still maintaining some semblance of financial stability. In fact, people who put their pursuit of money before everything else in their lives often end up unhappy Ė and the source of many a midlife crisis movie. Most of us are implicitly aware of this ideal and believe in it, but itís easy to get away from living it in our day to day lives.
The following questions are candid ones. Think about your answers and be honest with yourself.
Do you know to the penny how much your monthly bills are but forget your sisterís birthday? Hey, maybe you are your sister arenít close. In that case, you have no worries. Otherwise, if you find that your knowledge of your personal finances is so detailed and minute that it occupies central space in your mind over caring about the people in your life, take a step back. Put some of your financial obligations on auto-pilot and then go back to living your life.
Do you avoid going out with friends or family simply because of the cost? Sometimes that is necessary to do, especially if you are in a tight spot financially or are new to budgeting. Donít forgo enjoying your friendsí company, however! Instead, scope out less expensive options and offer them up. A coffee or dessert bar instead of a full restaurant, for example, can be just as fun. Visit a local museum or play tennis at a local park instead of buying for amusement park tickets. There is no reason to let money be the sole reason you miss out on fun.
Have loved ones complained to you that youíre too stingy? Perhaps your family members donít like your newfound financial responsibility. They could spend too freely, and thatís something you have to learn to juggle against your own frugal ways. Consider, though, whether it is possible that they are right and you do skimp too much. Instead of just scoffing at their concerns, take some time to think about whether they may be justified and how you can compromise.
How much time to do you spend saving money by ďdoing it yourself?Ē Some people are born do-it-yourselfers. They love to restore furniture and repair their cars themselves. Itís a hobby as much as a money-saving measure. Sometimes, though, that mentality can bleed into the need to fix, make, or do something that you should just buy. Even if you spend a few extra dollars, the savings in time and emotional energy may well be worth it.
If, as you are reading through these questions, any of the answers spark something in you that would rather not find, be gentle with yourself. Think about how you can make changes and then go do it!