I was putting my son to bed recently and turned on the ceiling fan in his room and observed something interesting. When I turned on the electrical switch, the fan went from a stop to a rapid spin. However, when I turned the electrical switch to the “off” position, the fan continued spinning for awhile. At first, it didn’t even appear to have been shut off, but then it began to slow down. Within a minute or two, it had stopped completely.
A tremendous financial lesson can be learned from this.
I see a lot of people who:
- Get FIRED UP about winning with their money (the switch is turned on)
- Make great decisions (like preparing a monthly budget, focus on building a savings account, begin investing, and start killing debt) that help them build financial margin and eliminate debt (the fan begins spinning)
But then they …
- Get over the initial emotional high (the switch is turned off)
- Stop doing the very things that began helping them – they stop preparing a budget every single month and let crazy expenses begin to creep back into their lives
But they don’t recognize that the switch is OFF because they are still seeing some debt being eliminated and savings are continuing to go up a little because of their previous good decision-making!
Before they know it the fan stops spinning, and they find themselves in the exact same situation they began with.
The reason my bride and I have won with our money over the long term is because we have focused on ensuring that the switch to financial freedom stays ON. Here are a few key things we do ALL THE TIME to keep the fan spinning:
- We prepare a monthly budget (use my free budget tools or App to do the same)
- We talk to each other about our finances each month – it is a great conversation!
- We make sure we save money every month – for emergencies, known upcoming non-monthly expenses, and our dreams
- We invest money every month – for college, future dreams, and retirement
- We give money away every month – it keeps us focused on the needs of others!
- We track net worth every month – it allows us to understand the bigger picture of what is going on in our finances
You CAN do this!