Are you tired of feeling like you’re sacrificing precious family time in exchange for your financial obligations? If so, let me shed some light on an otherwise dim subject that we rarely confront.
3 Ways to Avoid Sacrificing Your Family for Finances
1. Create more options for you and your family
My favorite right, as a human being and citizen of the United States, is in my power to choose. A choice is a course of ACTION that we take.
On the other hand, choices are made based upon our options. And, our options are THINGS.
One of the traps that we fall into that forces us to sacrifice family for finances is limiting the number of options that we have to select from when choosing. For example, if we made the choice to buy a new car and have another payment, we have just limited our options.
On the flip-side, when we choose to hold onto our current car and save the money we would have otherwise spent on the new one (loan payments, additional insurance premiums, and taxes) what we do is create MORE options.
This sounds easy in theory, but in practice it can be quite a challenge! Our culture pushes us to buy more. “Easy payments.” “No money down.” “No interest for 12 months.” We’ve all heard the siren calls and have been tempted, if not persuaded, to travel to their swan song.
So here is what you can do: the next time you feel compelled to take on a financial obligation, STOP. Give yourself at least 48 hours to let the idea simmer. In a perfect world, you need to give yourself an entire week, but that is sometimes hard for me to do…so, start with 48 hours.
Do you know what happens when you CHOOSE to wait 48 hours? You typically come to the realization that you really don’t need whatever it is you were considering whether this is furniture, a car or something even bigger (need I say boat?)
As an aside: do you know why car dealerships do everything they can to get you to buy when you’re on the lot right then and there? Because, they know the statistics which tell them that if you leave, you’re only going to come back to buy about 20% of the time. In other words, car dealers KNOW that you will come to your senses.
Give yourself freedom by choosing to be counter-culture and not fall into the “stuff” trap.
2. Trim your expenses and create margin
Going along with creating options, it is important that you trim your expenses as much as possible while still maintaining a quality lifestyle.
Now, the first time I sat down to go through this exercise, I felt like I was about to get my teeth pulled. I was nervous and terrified.
Then, I began to think about the process and how I could be most effective. So, just like the old adage about eating an elephant goes, I decided to eat my expenses one bite at a time. I listed all the expenses I had on a monthly basis in a spreadsheet. Next, I sorted those expenses from least to greatest. I did it this way because it is a lot easier to get rid of a small expense than it is a big one like a car or home.
You know what I discovered? I was spending money on things and services I no longer used or that I had never used! It was an eye-opening experience to say the least. Right then and there, in a matter of minutes, I uncovered several hundred dollars I could eliminate from my monthly budget.
I got on the phone and internet and began canceling these services. And, as another aside, you will discover that these companies will do everything they can to try and get you to remain with them. Do NOT fall victim to this trap. Stay strong no matter how enticing their offers might sound. And consider: why in the heck didn’t they offer this to you before you decided to cancel? Hmmmm…
By trimming your expenses you create margin in your life. Margin gives you more freedom and more options so that you have the ability to make more and better choices.
3. Work from home in a legitimate profession
I am not talking about selling soap or bugging your friends with products they will never use. What I want you to understand is that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who earn great livings by working part or full time from their home in reputable industries.
When you take the action in steps numbers one and two above, you have more income to keep. Most of the time, in my experience, we don’t have an earning problem, we have a spending problem. However, let’s say you’ve cut all the expenses you can but you still are operating in a deficit or are cutting it tight every month.
In this situation, I urge you to consider working from home. That’s what I do! Don’t think it’ll work for you? Well, I am here to cheerfully tell you that it CAN be done. You just need to know how to go about finding legitimate work and understanding your OPTIONS!
And, that will be the subject of my next post: your options for work at home options. Legitimate ones.
Until that time, I encourage you to take some action. Even if it’s just eliminating a magazine subscription costing you $30 per year…that’s $30 you can say is now margin in your life and it gives you more options so that you can make wise choices…
…and choices are what help us to never again have to sacrifice our family for our finances. Because no one ever said to them self, when reflecting back on life, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”