Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 14, 2008
So after spending the last few years overhauling my finances you would think I would hit a point where I consider everything done. I could say “So what’s next? I’m done my list.” Yet I’ve found this isn’t the case.
Personal finance is one of those very interesting things to study and apply in your life because it never stays the same. There always seems to be something new to learn or to optimize in your finances. In my personal journey I find I keep having life changes, like a second child, that completely turn my original plan on its head.
At that same time you do hit a plateau where most of the big things are all done and you now only have to modify some of the smaller things. You moved from seeing big results to seeing little ones and this is likely the most dangerous spot to be in. Why? Your motivation is in danger of dying on you.
It’s easy in the beginning when you start living below your means and start to see your debt vanish to be excited by personal finance. Yet after a while when the initial momentum fades and your left holding a fragile dream in your hand for example either “retire at 45″ or “get debt free”. That dream can be crushed by the constant pressure to go buy more stuff. You start to question why am I worrying so much about my spending and saving, one coffee isn’t the end of the world.
This most interesting phase to be in, since you are now trying to find the Balance. The Balance is a zen like state of perfection of personal finance between saving for a goal and living in the now. It may be achieved for a moment or two and then things shift again and you need to find it all over again. It’s the dream of finding your highest level of happiness on the least amount of spending.
So in the end you carry your dream in one hand and the Balance in the other. Your living in the now and the future. You can finally answer that ancient personal finance riddle: if a lonnie falls in an empty mall does anyone here it? I’ll let you guys propose the answer to that one.