Living Well 2

by teresalaynebennett

photo of a pile of pennies, symbolizing our daily "little" decisions

Pennies and daily little decisions ADD UP.

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.

red box with white text of Jesse Owens wrote about self-discipline

Time to ramp up your personal responsibility!

© 2013 Teresa Layne Bennett