The Journey

In this get out and build wealth thing – yet another unwelcome discovery: The journey is at least as important as the destination. Like every other endeavor that requires behavior change, merely arriving at the destination is not enough.

If you could go to bed fat and wake up thin, I guarantee it would not be long before you were fat again. Similarly, many of those that benefit from a financial windfall find themselves right back where they started in a short time.

We all want the quickest easiest path from where we are, to where we want to be. We don’t want to think or consider how we got here or even where here really is.

In our heads, we know the quick fix or magic pill doesn’t exist, but in our hearts we want to believe it does. This feeling in our heart is real and powerful and often overcomes our head knowledge. People trying to get out of debt almost always want to borrow their way out. These are smart people. They would readily advise a stranger that you cannot borrow your way out of debt but, when it comes to their own situation that logic seems to vaporize.

Spenders that force themselves into spend-free fasting, do save money and do pay down debt.

IF, while on this fast, we take the opportunity to explore our mindless pursuit of stuff, we CAN change forever our relationship with money.

However, without considered thought as to what need we are trying to fill with the endless pursuit of possessions; we spenders are destined to bounce right back to the old behavior and continue to spend more than we make, accrue debt and fail to save.

Newsflash! This is your life. You spend a huge chunk of it making your money. Take the time to discover what makes you truly happy before you spend.

Preparing a budget each month before the month begins is one concrete way to be intentional with your money. You look at every budget category and decide how much it should be. Don’t care about TV but desperately want to go out with your friends on Friday night? Fine, cut out cable and increase going out. Hate, hate, hate that old couch? Make adjustments in your budget that allow you to start saving for a new one.

Buying something because it catches your eye is NOT being intentional. That unneeded, unplanned new pair of shoes just set the purchase date of your new couch back a whole month. If you tend to buy things that you think you really want, only to get home and a) discover you already have one or b) you’ll never really use it, you need to spend some time thinking about ways to change this behavior.

Choosing not to be fully present when making financial decisions is how we got here. If we can’t learn to be present and untangle our decision-making we will revisit this place again and again.