Living Well 2
Q: What do self-discipline, living well, and personal responsibility all have in common?
A. Little decisions. Lots and lots and lots of little, relatively painless decisions.
Let’s just take one example. Let’s take Great-Grandpa’s “take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves” advice which, incidentally, he stole from previous generations. This time-worn, self-discipline advice was – and still is – spot on.
Yes, inflation has chewed up pennies and spit them out as dollars. And yes, I know you’re much more in-the-know than poor old Great-Grandpa. Bless his soul, he’s just so out of it, soooo unbelievably un-cool, and so clueless. What does he know? That $5 latté you buy every Friday as your pre-weekend treat is of no consequence in the long run, for Pete’s sake. That $50 pair of sandals you bought at a killer sale last spring (the ones that look almost like the ones you already had in your closet)? No big deal.
No? Those 500 pennies you spend once a week on a latté add up to 26,000 pennies in one year – $260. What could you do with $260? If you buy just two pairs of good-quality, but unnecessary, shoes in the spring and two in the fall, all for a very thrifty sale-price of $50 each pair, that’s $200 you could have saved or spent elsewhere. What could you do with $200? What could you do with $460?
Some, depending on their finances, may answer “not much.” Others, perhaps not so flush with cash, will revel in all the possibilities of having an extra $260 or $200 or $460. However, listing the alternative things we could do with $260 or $200 or $460 isn’t the point.
Here’s the point.
When we make hundreds of these kinds of decisions every week, they collectively add up to a great deal of money – maybe even enough for _______. Fill-in-the-blank time. What would ring your chimes? Fill it in. A trip to the Bahamas, is it? $460 might get you a cheap flight. Now for a good deal on a hotel; how much would that cost? Hmmm. What else could I give up for a while?”
See how this works? Little everyday decisions about how you spend small amounts of money add up. They add up in dollars. They add up to increasing self-discipline. They add up to the habit of personal responsibility. They add up to living well.
Your turn. Give us another example.
© 2013 Teresa Layne Bennett