We all know that it is a good idea to prioritize our savings accounts. Yet, more than 7 out of 10 Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck (in this article, it was almost 8 out of 10!) and would experience major financial complications from one missed paycheck.
I used to live this way. In addition to the expected financial challenges, my poor money management skills carried stress into every facet of my life. If I had known all of the non-financial benefits of prioritizing the establishment of financial margin, I’m convinced I would have avoided a lot of unnecessary stress. Perhaps by sharing these benefits in this series of posts, I can help give someone the final nudge needed to begin to prioritize saving money.
Benefit #2 MARGIN = FOCUS
How much time do you spend thinking about your finances each day? Each week? Each month? For most people, money is a near-continual thought. Is it because they are greedy? Is it because they love money? Is it because it is their favorite topic?
I submit that the answer to all three of these questions is almost always a firm, “No!”
If these aren’t the reasons, then why do they spend so much thinking about money? The biggest reason is because they lack financial margin. As a result, they are in a constant state of “juggling” financial obligations. Because of their paycheck-to-paycheck situation, they spend inordinate amounts of time just figuring out how to survive – with little to no time left to consider how they might thrive.
“They spend inordinate amounts of time just figuring out how to survive – with little to no time left to consider how they might thrive.” – Joseph Sangl
A completely different scenario is created by the establishment of financial margin! The countless hours spent stressing about money, on the phone with creditors, and balancing various bills is instead able to be utilized to focus on the future. It is amazing how powerful focus can be in your career, with your family, and for your money.
Anyone who has attempted to focus on a task while constantly interrupted by their child knows how impossible (and maddening) it is to make progress. It is better to just stop the activity, address the issue with the child completely, and then pick up the task at hand at a time when they can remain focused.
The same is true for your finances! Take the time to address the issue (the lack of financial margin), and then pick up the task at hand again. If you’ve never experienced the power of financial margin, you will find a freedom to focus unlike any time you’ve ever enjoyed before! I’ll never forget this moment for me. It was in February 2004. I chose to put my tax refund into the bank to establish margin. It was a life-changing decision. It actually had a physiological effect on me! I could physically breathe in a way that I had never experienced before.
Once I discovered that financial margin allowed me to focus – on bigger picture items, on thriving instead of surviving, on pursuing a dream, on my career, on my family – I never allowed myself to live paycheck-to-paycheck again.
If you feel like you’re living in a constant state of distraction due to a lack of margin, take steps today to remedy the situation. You’ll never regret it!
Ready to take your finances to the next level? Get your copy of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. and get started on your path to a fully funded life!