Monday, April 16, 2012

the why factor

Anyone out there a Storage Wars fan? I bet you know my answer:
thanks, dave
Anyway, Darrell "The Gambler" Sheets is always talking about "The Wow Factor", but I'm going to talk about "The Why Factor". This past week, I've been listening to a few podcasts about money and my favorite by far is Adam Baker's Man vs. Debt podcast. Seriously, I have about four pages of notes/quotes on the subject. Here's a little nugget:
We've been sold a myth...that the pursuit of a living environment filled with things is going to grant us security- even grant us happiness. In the pursuit of these things we start to identify with these things... [without stuff] it's easier to bounce back of anything negative that came into life... what happens when you need to adapt? Either physically, emotionally, financially to any situation? At best, you're restricted, you're clogged, you're congested...How much more fufilling would life be if you started collecting experiences instead of things
That's just a brief synopsis - he talks more about how we're in a cycle of working longer & harder in jobs we don't like and rewarding ourselves with more stuff which is putting us deeper in debt so we have to keep working. I make no bones about the fact that I don't like my job all that much, but I stay because of the salary. How great would it be if I could take a pay cut and not worry about whether I could pay my bills? (the answer: super great).

Today is the hubs' and my first wedding anniversary. On Saturday, we invited some of our friends over to have a little get together. Afterwards, we were in the kitchen talking and I asked him what our goals should be for Year 2 (the goal for Year 1 was just not to kill each other). He looked at me kind of strange at first, but I kept talking about what we should be working towards as a couple and how by researching topics for this blog I had learned a lot about goals. And I essentially admitted to him I had more credit card debt than I was comfortable with (I didn't give him the exact number), but I was ashamed to tell him about it. Of course he told me I shouldn't have been worried and he expressed he felt like he wasn't contributing as much to the household as I was and that's probably why I felt like I was coming up short each month.

While we didn't set exact goals, we agreed to work together towards paying off my debt. It was really nice to have an in-depth conversation about what we wanted - which we dont do nearly as much as we should - and I hope it's something we can continue to do in the future.

Back to the podcast (this all relates, I promise) - the central theme Baker talks about is "Your Big Why":
[the] real, honest, transparent, selfish reason that you are getting out of debt or you are stepping up to take back control of your finances. The real reson.
He says there are three levels: In the first level, we take the "why" at face value-
"Debt is bad. Being rich is good. So I'm going to pursue this thing that's good and not this thing that's bad." Baker says "We simplify that much because we aren't willing to really dig deep and analyze the big why, the deep why, the real reson that we're doing this - why do you want to get out of debt? why is debt bad?"
Obviously, my first level is along those lines as well. But why? In the second level, you answer that why. It may be because you want to have extra money to buy expensive things with cash instead of credit. Baker emphasizes it's okay to be selfish here. He literally says what my second level is in the podcast "I just want to get away from the stress. The stress of having to pay bills. The stress of this debt. The weight of this debt. I just want to get it off of me." But why?
Your Big Why exists three levels down... Why do you want to get rid of the stress of your debt? What's the real reson deep down?"
I feel like I'm falling short of what I really want out of life. The hubs and I have talked in the past about moving out of state and I would love to be able to do that and not worry about if I'll be able to find a job that pays what I make now. I want to be a person who works because they love what they do, not because they have to. I want to be able to explore other career paths without fear that we won't be able to afford our monthly bill payments. I used to be this really fun, spontaneous person who was always up for anything and now I feel like I plan everything and I don't do or experience as much as I used to because I'm always concerned about money. I'm sick of settling.

Today's step of Financial Literacy Month is about making the commitment. They recommend creating a visual map of your goals and surrounding yourself with them. That's definitely something I'll be doing in the coming days so I can be reminded daily about why I'm on this journey.

What's your Big Why?

Monday Spent: $3.84 Wawa breakfast
Monday Saved: $0.00

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