We’re not cutting costs just to cut costs.
There’s not an inherently “right” way to manage finances, I believe. It’s part of why I named my business Love The Zeros. I do love the openness and flexibility in all of life’s important areas. There’s not one “right” way to do food, or sex, or relationships; money is no different.
Sure, I can find the “best” way for me as of today, but even that approach will likely change over time. Life is so incredibly dynamic. Every day we’re changing, priorities can shift, and then I just want to adjust my actions accordingly.
Sometimes I can get entranced by the details of financial tracking. It’s easy to get lost in, because there is so much constantly incoming information. So many decisions to make, day after day, about how to spend my money or not. It’s like watching water flow in a stream…all called the same thing, but constantly changing, swirling, absorbing light in different ways, etc.
The theme of this issue, is to remind all of us to spend time and attention on the bigger picture on a regular basis. Take a moment to ask yourself, what is your ultimate goal when it comes to your financial life? And if that is too overwhelming of a question, you can tap in to, “as far as I know right now, what motivates me to keep going in life for these next 5 minutes?”. Because they are actually the same thing, in my experience.
For me, I want the freedom that peace of mind and integrity bring. (Or at least, the maximum possible amount!) I want to be able to make changes and transitions gracefully. And sometimes that takes having unspent funds available to support the transitions.
Still other people want to have as much fun as possible. That also takes “extra” money from time to time. Still others want to maximize their sense of security, for themselves and/or their families. Very important to have some type of funds, or equity, or other forms of wealth, for this to be true over time.
So, day after day, it can be easy to start to resent the need to “save” money. I hope it brings some relief and clarity to go back to your own bigger picture.
For those of you with some discretionary money, and a taste for artisan food and wine
I am so delighted to have worked with Dave and Jackie Bos for years. They do biodynamic farming and winemaking in Napa Valley. This family is vibrant in their community, as well as in their practices of financial integrity. The next time you think the money stuff is hard, think about Dave and Jackie, who run TWO busy businesses, have TWO small children, and their own animals and gardens to care for! Phew!
They have brought to fruition (HA! grapes pun!) the long-held dream to begin a specialized wine club, which pairs their excellent wines with locally harvested foods like almonds, salumi, and other yums that go perfectly with the all organic and biodynamic wine they make.
As a recovering alcoholic, I haven’t tasted the wine myself. But I’ve seen the ecstatic looks on peoples’ faces when they’ve had it. “That look” alone is enough for me to highly recommend their wine club. IF it fits in to your plan and priorities, of course.
Their next quarterly bounty goes out later this summer. The club has some spaces left, but will sell out closer to time. If you’d like to get on the list or learn more about it, contact Jackie@BOSwine.com and please tell them I send my love!
Speaking of recovering from addictions…
I know it is easier said than done to say simple things like, “either spend less, or earn more, or both”.
For those of us who are doing some deeper work around financial choices and decision-making, often compulsive thinking and cravings can be quite strong.
There are 2 resources I’ve been enjoying, that I wanted to share with you here. May they benefit and hold you as you continue the path.
Resource 1: Hoopla
I’ve had Brad Gilbert’s (a local former tennis pro, and even more famously, Andrei Agassi’s coach for a good while) (I drool) book Winning Ugly on my reading list for years. Tennis is such an intense practice for me, especially when it comes to mental toughness in competition. So I got swept up with NEEDING BADLY to get that book immediately. The craving had caught fire.
Something has me pause long enough before ordering it from Amazon or Powell’s, to remember that I’ve had the book on my want list for years. So probably if I needed to wait to get it from the library, I would survive. ; )
Not only did the library have it, they loaned it to me in audiobook form for like a month!! For free!! (Well, for the cost of my portion of taxes that goes towards the library system. Which are my favorite taxes to pay, for the record. Shoutout to the libraries!!)
Hoopla is hooked to my library card, I can get up to 20 titles per month, and I am so impressed with how many books and albums it has available. Check it out for a world of resources for free.
I’m glad to pay for things if I need to. But if I can use that money in other ways, and still have the experience, I will be even more glad.
Resource 2: Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet from Byron Katie
I imagined last week, a family who lives in a neighborhood where they try to keep up with the Jones’. I wondered, for how many people is this a fun and helpful exercise, this chasing of the Jones’. If it is indeed fun and helpful, then I hope people will work really hard to keep up with their neighbors’ perceived wealth displays! Wheeee!
But, if it’s turned compulsive and unfun, I recommend using Byron Katie’s Judge Your Neighbor worksheet. Another free resource, where all is takes is some time and honesty.
To continue my tennis compulsion example…there is a particular team in my league that I now officially have beef with. There have just been things here and there that have added up to rumbling in my system. Ironically, we were supposed to play this team today but got rained out.
So, the worksheet helps me get to the root of the problem. Is it inherently that they have done anything “wrong”? No. They are just doing their blankety blank thing. So I get to be curious, and wonder why I’m swerving on their side of the street to be grumpy about them.
The painful thought that drives the grumbling, is probably something like, “They are better than me.” Or, “They think they are better than me.” Something like that. I have a chip on my shoulder, some insecurity in there. The questions help pull apart the beliefs I have going on, so I can get free of the negativity.
You can also use this to revisit old wounds that are still active inside of you. Like, your sister got a pony for her birthday one year, and you didn’t get anything near as awesome as that. (That would be a hard one to work through. But it’s possible!!)