It’s much easier to keep your spending and personal finances in control if you’ve done what you can to get your personal life under control. The fewer loose ends and anxieties given to you from your personal life, the less stress you find yourself under and the easier it is to both keep your eye on the ball and enjoy the life you have.
Over the past few months, I’ve been working on journals for my three children. In each of them, I’m writing to them as though they were eighteen years old, offering every piece of advice I can think of, while also relating their family histories to them as well as a few general reflections on them when they’re young.
I originally started this project out of a desire for my children to have some real memento of me if I were not around as they enter adulthood. I know many people who yearned to know of parents who passed away too early, and I wanted to do what I could to leave my children some way of remembering me.
What I didn’t anticipate is that the project has actually been incredibly personally fulfilling. I simply feel better about my own life with every page I write, every piece of advice I share, every family story I tell.
In the evenings, instead of watching television or something like that, I just turn on a light, pick up a pen, and work on one of the journals. Not only do I feel better about my children’s future, I feel better about me.
This experience has just reinforced in my own mind what I consider to be the biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself since my financial bottom.
The more settled and under control various aspects of your life are, the easier it is to control other aspects of your life.
When I was at my financial low point, my professional, personal, financial, social, and spiritual lives were all in a shambles. There were loose ends and uncomfortable situations spread throughout all of them.
As I moved on from there, I found that as I exerted more control over one area and got it into shape, those changes went hand in hand with changes in other areas. Good choices in all aspects of my life became easier, and on the whole they resulted in a much better life for myself.
What does this mean for you? It means that something as simple as tying up a few loose ends in other areas of your life can make a difference with your finances by reducing stress.
The question is, what areas can you exert more control over? Here are a few ideas.
Personal Get back in touch with people you’ve lost touch with. Start a journal to record your thoughts. Tell people in your life how much you care for them.
Professional Focus on your key job requirements, not on other things. Take your vacation time – and enjoy it.
Social Disengage from some commitments that just feel like “too much.” Set aside time to talk to the core people in your life – your spouse, your closest friends, your children, your parents.
Physical Start a schedule of regular walking, just to get your juices flowing and improve your health. Start eating healthier foods and drinking water instead of other things.
Financial Stop visiting places where you tend to spend money needlessly. Create a budget. Create a debt repayment plan.
Once you start to get a grip on one aspect of your life, it begins to feel much easier to get a grip on other aspects of your life.