Finance Freaks please step forward…
Are you like me? The Personal Finance FREAK of the house? The one who is always pushing the envelope, always trying to cut costs, boost savings, etc. If that sounds like you, then let me first say… Well done!
If you stay the course by spending less than you earn, reducing expenses, paying off debt, and building your savings, you will eventually reach the sweet land of financial independence.
It might not happen quickly, and it probably will not be easy, but slow and steady adherence to these principles will help guide you to the land of financial peace. Now, for the next question…
What about your loved ones? Are they as “on-fire” as you are? Or are you pushing them too far, too fast? When is the last time you asked them how they feel about all the new (or old) money strategies? To paraphrase Janet Jackson… “What have you done for them lately?”
Don’t suck the life out of your loved ones!
“If your loved ones ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”-Matt Jabs
A wise man once said, “If momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy!” I like to expand on that quote to included all “loved ones” because the truth of the matter is… If any of your loved ones are unhappy, everyone involved will be affected in some way.
Remember… No matter how staunch and/or passionate you are about getting your financial house in order, others in your family might not share your passion. Your significant other might be aware that the changes you’re trying to implement will pay dividends in the long run, but they might still resent having to “suffer” through them.
This is especially true if you implement things too quickly, or without consulting others. So… Bring your family along patiently, and with compassion. Involve others in a way that they can understand, and always keep the doors of communication open. No question is a dumb question, and every concern is legitimate.
Here are five simple ways you can reward your loved ones in an effort to help maintain peace and balance in the home:
- Consider others before yourself. One of the easiest ways to remain tuned in to what your loved ones are thinking and feeling is to place their needs ahead of your own. Before you make any financial decision or institute a change that will affect more than just you, think carefully about the effect it will have on them, and ask them for their input. Believe me, they will recognize your effort, and will really appreciate the concern. A little consideration goes a long way!
- Establish traditions. Growing up, my father always kept us under some pretty tight financial constraints, but one thing he did that I’ll always remember was to take us out for pizza every Friday night. It was a pretty cheap date, but it something special that we appreciated and always looked forward to.
- Do individual date nights. Take the time to spend a full day with each person in your family. Do something that they love to do. If your wife is an enormous fan of the Russian Ballet, then take her to see one. If your son loves baseball, then take him to see his favorite team. One day of special and personal attention can fill their love tank for a long time.
- Make exceptions for them. If your boyfriend is a die-hard Michigan Wolverines fan (like me), then make sure that he can catch all the games. For example, if you canceled your TV service (also like me), then consider re-ordering it during football season… He will NEVER forget that you did this for him! If you can’t do this, then make sure you set up a place for him to watch the game each and every Saturday. Your thoughtfulness will not be quickly forgotten.
- Include them. Don’t just impose your decisions upon others. How would you feel if someone did that to you? Your loved ones, will be much more willing to accept whatever changes you propose if you include them in the decision-making process. Including your loved ones in the planning process will provide many benefits to everyone involved.
If this seems a bit overwhelming to you, try focusing on just the first suggestion — considering the needs of others before yourself. Once you have that down, everything else will fall into place naturally.
What about you?
Do you have any suggestions for keeping the financial peace in your household? If I skipped over any strategies that you employ, please leave a comment and let us know what’s been successful in your home… And with your loved ones.