Knowing “No” and “Yes”

I always enjoy the relaxed pace of summertime.  This summer was especially great in terms of my time spent reading.  I have really enjoyed some of the stuff I have read over the last couple months, which included everything from finance information to spiritual reading to more time just enjoying the Wall Street Journal.

I am better off for spending this time absorbing words and information.  I picked up tips to help me improve as a fee-only financial planner, improve as a person, and I even learned some stuff that’s just plain interesting.  For example, did you know US Bronze medal holder for shot put, Reese Hoffa, can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than a minute?  He’s a 315 pound puzzle geek!  I didn’t see that coming.

The time I spent reading this summer didn’t simply appear as an extra half hour in my day. My day wasn’t extended to 24 1/2 hours.  I had to make time.  I had to make time by saying “no.”

The great thing about “no” is that it can lead to “yes.”  I said no to something that led me to say yes to spending more time reading.  I’m a fee-only financial advisor, a business owner, a boss, a member of my church and community, and most importantly a father and husband…..did I leave out golfer?  There is always something on my plate.

So, what does this have to do with financial planning?

Often I speak with clients about choices.  Financial choices are the cornerstone to financial health.  Overspending and poor decisions are the obvious culprits of financial harm, but sometimes the wise steps are not always obvious (which is where I come in).  Often our financial decisions need to be driven by “no” to lead us towards financial progress (“yes”).

Saying no is not always easy.  It’s not always fun, but hopefully by saying no we can create more fun and enjoyment today and tomorrow.  I’m a big believer in balance, so I don’t advocate totally sacrificing today (eating rice and beans today to enjoy fillet mignon tomorrow).  We have to create balance. At least this goes for the folks I work with.  For those who are deep in debt and have difficult financial situations, sacrificing today may be the only answer to digging out of a financial pit.  This relates to behavioral finance: a topic I wrote about a few weeks ago.

There is a copious amount of information written on the importance of saying “no” and how it will improve your personal life.  Many of the same concepts can translate into improving our financial lives as well.

Give it a try. See if “no” will lead to “yes” for you.  Keep me posted, and feel free to share your thoughts.


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