A few weeks ago, my infant daughter was admitted to the hospital after contracting a stomach virus. Due to some complications and a slow healing gut, what should have been a 3-4 day stay, turned into two weeks of my wife and I living and working out of the hospital while our baby girl recovered. I came away from the experience incredibly grateful for my daughter’s recovery and health, but also with a new-found respect for what I now think of as the cornerstone of successful personal finance: The Rainy-Day Fund.
As we tumble into another year, we must gird ourselves for the inevitable: we are to be bombarded with blog posts, step-by-step plans, and advertisements imploring us to 'get in shape'. It gets worse, as the metaphor isn't relegated only to the fitness industry. There is simply no end to what we can apply this metaphor to! We can, of course, start with our bodies:
Your 12 Step Plan for Seeing your Abs in 2018.
Or, our partnerships:
How to have a fit marriage in 2018.
I’m going to propose something that might seem ludicrous at first: Successful personal finance is about gratitude.
When it comes to personal finances, rare is the person who feels successful. There’s always at least something that makes us feel anxious, stressed, or inadequate. So, isn’t feeling grateful putting the cart before the horse? Shouldn’t we feel grateful after we are financially successful?
Nope. Quite the opposite in fact.
The Heart of the Matter
Developing a healthy emotional and intellectual understanding of money is where we get to the heart of the matter. And I mean heart in a very real sense. For like heart, which is both a beating entity and a symbol of all things love, there is both a tangible and intangible reality to money.
There is the physical entity that we earn, spend, and save and then there is the less tangible, but no less real, significance that we attach to money and the ideas, beliefs and philosophies that spring forth from such impulses.
Have you ever been in the middle of a task at work or school when somehow you end up on Amazon (or a similar site) and order all the things you’ve been wanting but trying to resist? Or maybe you’ve come home from work, after a long and stressful day, hopped on a food delivery site and ordered EVERYTHING - even all that fried food you know you shouldn’t be eating. Later, after your spending or eating binge has subsided, you find yourself assuaged in guilt. What was I doing? What came over me? Why am I so weak?
To kick off our series of mindful money habits, we start with the 10x10x10 Rule. I recently heard about this rule as a tool to facilitate quality decision making and avoid short-term, or myopic, thinking. I immediately saw how it could be harnessed tomake better financial decisions that are reflective of your values and help you achieve your goals.