Your Money: Smooth-Sailing or a Wild Adventure?
Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? Those were the books where every few pages you had to make a decision because you were the main character. It would go something like this:
You come to a clearing in the forest. On a gnarled and rickety wooden table in front of you is a meal. You’re starving. But tied to an ancient oak tree is a whining little puppy. You can tell she’s hungry. If you eat the whole meal, turn to page 47. If you share your meal with the puppy, turn to page 53.
Always a sucker for puppies, you give her some food. When you turn to page 47, you discover that as soon as the puppy eats, she transforms into her true self—a growling orc with two heads! It promptly bites you in half, and sells part of your corpse to a passing band of witches, who immediately cook and feed you to their pet pumas. THE END.
Now, I love an exciting adventure in a book, but in my finances? No way.
If my financial situation was a boat ride, I don’t want tsunamis, fierce sea creatures, and an undead mutinous crew. I want a smooth, easy-going, peaceful ride down the quietest, most beautiful river in the world. In an extravagant yacht. With a personal butler who hand-feeds me grapes, and… well, you get the idea.
The thing about money is that, like it or not, we are all on our own financial adventure. Remember though, you DO get to choose your path.
Unfortunately, most people unintentionally create all kinds of excitement in their financial world. Some of it good (“I got a huge raise today!”), and some of it not-so-good (“I maxed out another credit card and can’t pay the electric bill…”).
What’s your personal finance situation like? Is it calm and peaceful? Can you fall asleep in seconds at night, or does your mind keep you awake, racing, trying to figure out how you’re going to pay this bill, and wondering where your last paycheck went, and wishing you knew how to save for retirement, etc.?
If your finances are a little more exciting than you’d like, I want you to realize a couple things:
Any mistakes you’ve made are all in the past. Acknowledge the fact that you made some mistakes, but then move on. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
Also, you need to realize that you can improve your financial situation. It might not be easy or quick, but you can do it. And through this column, I’ll help by sharing strategies for saving money, getting out of debt, funding your retirement, and a host of other financial challenges. If you have a question for me, or would like to see a particular topic addressed, please contact me.
Here’s to your financial adventure. Preferably a smooth-sailing one!