Dear Smart Money People,
Something I have always believed in is a balanced life. I remember when I was interviewing for a job with a large corporation, I was on the fence about if it was the right move for me and my family. Out at dinner with friends, I shared my struggle. The husband of one of my besties asked me what I was afraid of, I said “losing my work life balance.” He laughed and said, “there is no such thing and I hate it when people say that.”
Clearly, the conversation ended.
I, however, DO believe in a balance of work and life. I love to work and contribute to my customers, my readers and the community. I love knowing that I can possibly help someone in some way every day and I make that a priority. I ALSO LOVE MY FAMILY. I happen to really like the guy I married and the kiddo’s I brought into this world by the grace of God.
I am invested in having a strong relationship with God, a happy marriage, great kids that are learning life skills and how to manage their way in this world. I care about my health and my emotional well-being. I care about a lot of things. Work is one of them, but not the only or most important.
My first career out of grad school was as a social worker. I worked at an inner-city hospital on the Oncology Unit. I ran the support group for cancer patients, the hospice group, and the survivors group. It was no joke. I will tell you the one thing NO ONE SAID EVER was “I really wish I had worked harder at my job/ career.” I cannot recall one person that ever said anything about work.
I am not saying don’t care about work, I AM saying, care about your life and what is important to you just as much.
What is interesting, if you think about it, each life area requires the same life skills. The SAME SKILLS.
I am so passionate about finances because I use the SAME SKILLS that I use for all of the areas I mentioned above. You can too. Money is not just about money, it is about: (woo-woo alert. If money management is all spreadsheets and numbers for you, you may NOT want to read on. I welcome you to stay, but just given you a heads up we are going to feel some feelings….)
1. Intentionality in your life– What do you want in your life? Think about it and then on purpose work toward that life. That intentionality relates to money too. Where do you want to be in 10, 20 or 30 years? Be intentional TODAY to work on getting there.
2. Continual growth– always be learning. I have a stack of books on parenting, spiritual growth, marriage, health, nutrition, woo-woo stuff like Law of Attraction, and almost anything Oprah recommends. My podcast app is FULL of shows that I cannot get enough of. They range from all topics too. Finance is one I have playing in my ears to assure I am never losing sight of what I need to do to continue to grow my knowledge about money.
3. Self-exploration– we all have work we can do within ourselves. Regardless if it is aspiring to be something you think is beyond your capabilities or overcoming a past hurt or transforming the way you react to certain situations. I had a lot of growth to do with finances. I had a belief that money caused pain and it was scarce. I had to dig a little deeper to figure that out. Once I did I was able to move on and that opened a new door for Bill and me around money.
4. Accountability– one of the most important things you can do with your life is own your life. It is not your momma’s responsibility to make sure you have what you need after a certain point in your life. It is YOURS. Own it and see what is possible for you. See skill # 2, you can learn anything. I had to own my spending and my attitude about what I deserved. When Bill and I established a budget, it was easier for me to know what I could spend and when the money was gone for that month. I owned it and it was AWESOME.
5. Being uncomfortable– I love saying “get comfortable being uncomfortable”. That is where the growth happens. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Is it fun, possibly, depends on how you look at it.. which brings me to skill # 6. (Was it uncomfortable to have to decide what categories we needed in our budget and put a number in there and STICK TO IT? Sure was, but I have a paid off home, no debt and a fully funded retirement to show for it and that is SUPER COMFORTABLE!!) So there’s that.
6. Perspective– invite others to give you perspective. It is a point of view that you may or may not have considered. Bill is my go-to for perspective. I love when someone says to me “have you thought of it this way?” And if I have not, it is amazing where my brain can go with a different angle on something. Seek counsel from many advisers and you will benefit. I have asked many people their opinions on money and I love the responses I’ve received. It has helped me decide what MY perspective is.
7. Going with your gut– at the end of the day, you ultimately know what you want out of your life and, if you are being honest with yourself, you know if you are, or are not, heading in that direction. It is the same with money, you know if you are not on track to where you want to be. Ignoring it is also a skill we use to cope with something we don’t want to look at, but you know at the end of the day what you are doing.
Obviously, it is your life. But just imagine for a moment that everyone practiced the skills of intentionality, learning, self-exploration, accountability, uncomfortableness, perspective, and gut checks. What would the world look like?
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear your thoughts. Does any skill resonate with you? Send me a message at karenandbill @smartmoneycouple.com. We’d love to hear from you!!
I wish you peace and happiness today!
Always in your corner!
Karen & Bill