Monday, 1 February 2016
Planning ahead is something I am good at, if I want a vacation. I research places to stay and things to do. In fact, I am always ready with Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D.
But, it has never occurred to me that I am really rotten at making long term – really long term – decisions.
This is why we are in this financial mess. We can “handle it” but can we “afford” it?
No, we cannot afford it. We cannot afford it short term or long term. Neither of us tend to really have any great stick-to-it-iveness, and have a “take care of it tomorrow” attitude. We could blame it on mom and dad, but that is so lame. Let’s just lay the blame on ourselves and move forward.
Short Term, Long Term
There really is a big difference in mindsets here. Tomorrow is so near, it is easy to think about. We need groceries, let’s plan tomorrow’s trip.
I want to retire in 179 more Mondays. That is long term thinking. Really long term thinking. LIke, thinking about infinity. That takes discipline. It means saying “no, we cannot buy that right now” when the other half wants a particular bottle of whisky on sale.” It means saying “no, we cannot afford that right now” when I want to get a really great camera at a really great price.
LIke I said in an earlier post, “No” has a lot of power.
“No” to unnecessary spending.
“Yes” has a lot of power, but it is, in some ways, harder to do when the goal is in a galaxy far, far away.
“Yes” to necessary saving. “Yes” to remembering the goals. “Yes” to the future in a way I probably cannot imagine.
And what does February bring? It brings a pay raise for me, a substantial one. And a pay raise for the other half, and a bonus.
This means more money every month, and it also means that it would be so, so easy to slide into spending it. Now is the time to really think about things . . . and to keep a lid on it, too. And say “no” and say “yes.”
These are seeds for the future. It is up to us to see if they take root and bloom.