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Are You Insane?

12 Nov

I have heard on definition of insanity as:

Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

I would also describe this phenomenon as false hope, wishful thinking, pipe dreams etc.

Sometimes we get stuck in a way of thinking that keeps us where we are when we want to moving somewhere else the whole time.

This dawned on me the other day at the grocery store. I have been struggling with a wrist injury that doesn’t seem to want to heal all the way. It has been 10 months and although I have gone to the doctor and modified my movements I am stuck at about 60% better. I am grateful for the 60%, don’t get me wrong, but I have stalled out and keep wishing and hoping for something to change.

The thing is… deep down I know what I need to do. I need to completely rest, not just modify so it doesn’t hurt, and eliminate foods from my diet that might be adding to inflammation (dairy).

I have known this for a while, so why do I keep fighting it and thinking something will change anyway?

Fear maybe? Fear that my injury won’t get better? Fear that I can’t stick with the diet and workout changes I need to make?

Yeah I think that’s it.

Then I started thinking about how this applies to everything!!

Our money situation won’t change if we don’t. Our career situation won’t change if we don’t. Our health won’t change if we don’t. Our relationships won’t change if we don’t.

When it comes down to it, we must change if we want our lives to change. There is no way around it. No amount of blaming our situation on someone else that will change it.

I MUST CHANGE.

And deep down I know what I need to change. I didn’t need someone else to tell me, although sometimes it isn’t a bad thing if someone does. I know in my heart what my life needs to be better.

Do you need to change? Have you been acting insane?

Do you need to stop spending money you don’t have?

Do you need to be nicer to your spouse and change your behavior rather then trying to change them?

Do you need to stop talking about your career goals and actually do them?

Do you need to make a commitment to your health and stick with it?

If you are like me and need to change something, stop acting insane. In the words of Nike:

Just Do It

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Halfway There: An Honest Look at This Years Goals

22 Jun

It is almost summer and that means the year is already halfway done.

If you are like me, you made a list of goals to start the year off.  Making goals is a great first step to learning and growing, but it is always good to review them periodically and see how it is going.

So that’s what I am going to do today!  I will fill you in on most of my goals for this year and find out what ones I am doing great at and which ones need more focus.

I followed Zig Ziglar‘s wheel of life plan for making my goals.  It is the concept that there are 7 main areas of life that need to be balanced.  If one is out of line, then everything starts to get shaky.

Here are the 7 areas and my goals:

  1. Physical: Lose 20lbs by the end of the year and get down to 135lbs.  Accomplish this through portion control, CrossFit at least 3x a week, swimming/running once a week, Paleo+butter and cheese.
  2. Financial:  Become debt free by May 2012. Finish 3 month emergency fund by the end of the year.
  3. Intellectual:  Read one business/self-development book a month.  Take 3 classes this year for college.
  4. Family:  Go on more regular dates with my husband.  Call my mom and sister at least once a week.
  5. Social:  Hang out with a girlfriend every 2 weeks.  Call a friend from home (Syracuse) once a week.
  6. Spiritual:  Listen to a podcast once a week.  Spend an hour every week contemplating life and goals.
  7. Career:  Score well on my Navy rating exam (for promotion).  Get a great evaluation at work.

So there they are.  Now it’s time to see how it is going.

  1. Physical: Well, I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any either.  Nutrition is my downfall.  I don’t drink alcohol or coffee so at least once a week I will have gluten free pasta or full on gluten filled pizza for fun.  Portion control when I eat these things unfortunately goes out the window.  The past couple weeks I have been feeling fed up with myself on this issue. I have now been a week of Paleo+butter and some dairy, and I am feeling good about keeping it up.  On the upside, I am seeing great improvements in strength and metabolic capacity from my workout program which is encouraging!
  2. Financial:  We’re debt free!  As of May 15th we paid off our last school loan.  We have begun saving for our three month emergency fun and I feels great.
  3. Intellectual:  I am averaging one book every 2 months.  A bit slower than I had wanted but still progress.  I am also in my second college class and on track to take a third before the year is out.

    My sis and I. It is really important to me to stay close when we live far away!

  4. Family:  Dating my husband at least once every 2 weeks is a blast.  Getting out of the household routine is really fun.  I have been keeping in fairly good touch with my mom and sis as well.  Some weeks are really busy, but we usually make up for that.
  5. Social:  Calling friends from home is great, especially since we are moving back in a year and a half.  However, I struggle with making time for girlfriends out here.  Everyone is married and several have young baby’s so it is sometimes hard to work that out with schedules.  I want to work on this area.
  6. Spiritual:  No podcasts, but lots of time spent contemplating.  I think this is an area I would like to spend more time in.
  7. Career:  I am really happy with this area.  I scored well on my test and am moving closer to promotion.  I also got a good evaluation.

Overall,  I am feeling fairly balanced.  A bit more time in the spiritual and social areas would do me good though.

I like having direction and goals to move forward to, but I also try to be realistic and cut myself some slack.  Goals should be inspiring, not a vehicle for guilt.

How are you doing on your goals?  Have you accomplished any big goals so far?  What do you want to change?

4 Financial Relationship Scenarios

18 Oct

Money is a big deal.

Money fights are one of the top reasons for divorce, so it is important to evaluate our relationship with our spouse as it relates to money.

When we discuss the positive and negative aspects of this part of our relationship, not only will communication improve, but we might feel that we got just a bit richer!

With that in mind here are some of the most common relationship styles when it comes to finances:

Combined but ignorant: In this relationship your money is pooled together, and one person handles the finances. The downside is that one spouse is almost completely uninvolved.  They don’t know what the financial situation is, and have little to no part in decision making.

This leaves the partner that handles finances with the full burden that money can be.  If it fails it is entirely their fault and it often is overwhelming to have that responsibility.  Not only that, but the spouse that is ignorant can blow up the budget with one swipe of a card because they don’t know what is happening with their money.

Combined but controlling: This scenario is similar to number one in that one spouse handles all the finances and incomes are combined.  The difference is that not only is one spouse ignorant of the finances, but they are kept that way on purpose.

They may want to be involved but their spouse doesn’t trust them enough, or they may not be allowed access to the available money.  It is kind of hard to believe that this scenario happens, but it does.

Separate and roommates: In this relationship it is your money and mine and we split things up accordingly.  Basically it is living with your college roommate for life.  I know that this is a very popular scenario, especially with couples where one or both have been previously divorced.

My qualm is that if we keep this huge part of our lives separate, it is like we are preparing for separation.  It can be hard to trust someone to link you money with theirs, but if we aren’t ready for that commitment we aren’t ready to marry that person either.

Combined and communicating: This is obviously my favorite scenario since I have been pretty negative about the others.  Here we have combined our money and are making decisions together on what to do with it.

Both partners know what is happening that month and what they have or don’t have to spend on certain things.  Each person has an equal vote, and while one person may take care of the actual mechanics of bill paying, they aren’t left to handle the responsibility of making all the decisions on their own.

So why is scenario 4 the best option for your marriage?

When we said marriage vows, we committed to becoming one in all areas of life, this should include finances.

Two really are better than one!  Whether you currently handle finances separately or only one of you makes the decisions, you are missing the valuable input of your partner.

In marriage, 1+1= more than two.  What I mean is, together we can come up with something even greater than we could have done separately.

When we agree on finances, we end up communicating about more than money.  Long term goals and dreams come up and we learn something new and take our relationship to a deeper place.

From personal experience I can tell you that when my husband got on the same page about money, our whole marriage got better!

What does your financial relationship look like?

If you want to read more posts related to finances, check out this post:

Contentment: Living with Secondhand and Loving It

 Want to know how my husband and I learned about finances?

Check out Financial Peace University and sign up for a local class!

NOTE:  These scenarios do not account for special situations such as gambling or mental illness, please seek professional council on how to address finances in your marriage in those or similar situations.

Contentment: Living With Secondhand and Loving It

23 Sep

When you and your spouse need a piece of furniture or appliance do you:

a.  Buy new furniture and the latest appliance.

b.  Collect extra furniture from family.

c.  Frequent garage sales and Goodwill for home items.

d.  Become a Craigslist ninja in the furniture and appliance section.

I think there probably was a time when the majority of young couples never thought of buying new stuff off the bat, but I think many of us (with the onset of credit for every purchase) have gotten used to the idea of needing new right away.  I will admit that about four months after living together my husband and I made that trip to the fancy furniture store thinking the same thing.  However, we didn’t have the cash to buy it right away and something didn’t sit right with me about buying a couch on credit.  In my mind you bought a car or a house on credit, but a couch?!  We didn’t get the new furniture and boy was I glad.  Shortly after that experience we got smart about our finances and debt, and since then I have answered b., c., and d. to the above question.

Frequent your local store for great finds!

I can count on one hand the larger items in our house we bought new, and our house is clean, comfy, and pleasing to the eye.  Sometimes it has been hard not having things just as I want them, such as matching couch and loveseat, but it has taught me a great lesson.

CONTENTMENT

When you put aside the impluse to get exactly what you want right away for a higher goal, such as getting out of debt, or saving to buy something important in cash, you teach youself to be satisfied right now.  Often we all give in to thoughts like: “When I get a new ______ then I will be really happy.”  That just doesn’t make life fulfilling.  Satisfaction should come from the people and experiences that make up our lives. 

My goal is to strive to be content in my present situation.  Instead of being dissappointed that I can’t buy new, I have fun finding great deals and beautiful pieces that I didn’t spend hundreds on!

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