Awhile back, I wrote a post about my transition from full-time to part-time work after the birth of my son. Now I’ve added a daughter to the mix and the son is in daycare, which puts a strain on my part-time paycheck. Because of this, my husband and I had to do some serious thinking and budgeting. In the end, I knew I needed to work, not for the money, but for my quality of life. I need to get out of the house, get a break from the kids and use my brain building a career I really love. Not to mention that I eventually want to go back full-time and don’t want a big gap of time in my resume.
As a wealth management firm, we help clients save their financial capital to meet their goals, but we also stress the importance of balance and enjoying life in the here and now. What good is money if you aren’t fulfilled personally? And it’s not just work – what really makes you happy? Is it taking that dream vacation you’ve been putting off? Contributing to a cause close to your heart? When you’re faced with a situation that may affect your finances, I urge you to follow these 3 steps:
- Listen to your heart and make a plan –take some quiet time to reflect and to really examine the situation. What do you want? Make a pros and cons list. If you implement your plan, what effects will have on your quality of life? What effects will it have on your spouse and family? Discuss with your spouse or life partner. Make sure you understand their views. In my case, it was an added bonus to have my son in daycare where there is a structured environment and he can play with his peers.
- Look at your finances – how will your actions affect your cash flow? What kind of sacrifices are you (both) willing to make to increase your quality of life? Maybe you’ll have to put off major purchases or work longer before retirement.
- Take action and evaluate – Finally, put your plan into action. Then make sure you evaluate how things are going in 6 months. Does it still make sense to continue? Have you noticed that you are enjoying your life more? Are you really missing anything you are “giving up” in order to be happy in the present?
Sometimes we can get so caught up in saving our money for the distant future, we lose sight of what’s going on in the present. It’s important to stop and take a look at how you can really Make Life Count!