This quarter, I write to you from Arizona. I just came back from my afternoon walk with my dog, Murphy. I walk him twice a day, when we first wake up and then again in the afternoon- the exercise is great for both of us! While you might imagine Arizona as being sunny and warm all the time, the truth is in the morning I have to put a coat on Murphy as well as myself. So, it’s cold and early, and I really just go thru the motions on auto-pilot. But the afternoon walk is different... the weather has warmed up (I promise, I’m not trying to gloat) and our walk is with intention and pleasure. In the morning, not unlike starting any chore, the first ten minutes are the hardest. Come the afternoon when we walk out the front door and feel the sun and the warm breeze, I realized I actually enjoy it. It slows me down and makes me keenly aware of the moment. And it makes me feel GOOD!
So how does that relate to Financial Wellness? Well, not unlike the first morning walk, I know it has to be done but I'm not thrilled about doing it. It includes sacrifice, surprise, effort, and self-control, not unlike my shopping habits. I don't like that I shouldn’t buy that dress I adored (hi, I'm Elizabeth, I'm addicted to QVC) which I admit, may lead to being crabby and moody. I have to admit though, when I stop, take a breath and think, "Do I really 'need' another dress- I hate to admit it but the answer is usually "not really." I may want it, but need it is another story. I do though, need to think about saving and my retirement years. I also know I want it to be as happy and financially solvent as possible which also leads to great satisfaction. Yes, I do like the instant gratification that goes along with an impulse purchase, but I admit when I look at my IRA statement, I'm proud to know that my “sacrifice” is another small step towards a comfortable life in the future. Not unlike the first 10 minutes of the morning walk when I walk on "auto-pilot," many impulse purchases happen the same way- I came, I saw, I spent. 10 minutes after the impulse purchase, most of us forget we did it, only to put the dress in the far recesses of the closet and even forget it's there... did I really need it? I can live without that dress or impulse purchase if it gets me just a little closer to my goal. I remember a quote from one of my favorite books, “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach, where she said "all I have is all I need." Now THAT makes me feel good and healthy!