Well, let me tell you what happened to me recently. I had some family stay, one of whom decided to cause a big argument after we all a lovely day out together. Typically, emotions ran hot and all sorts of nonsense was said. The first sibling accused us of not providing food for the whole family and not being hospitable without question. Another family member joined in and said we were too focussed on our budget.
Of course, neither of these accusations were true, and both siblings were speaking out of their own hurts and their own negative past experiences. The first sibling didn’t pay their rent, because they spent their housing benefit on something else, so ended up in “temporary accommodation” before being very lucky and getting a pretty decent council house (actually better than their previously privately rented house), the other sibling didn’t pay their mortgage (even though it’s pretty small and close to finished) because they spent their money on something else and their payments are now in arrears, but thankfully they have have a plan to pay it off completely.
Stimulus… Reaction – How Long is the Gap Between These Two?
- Who are you? What are your characteristics, personality, and talents like?
- What do you enjoy, truly? And I don’t mean that pizza you ate last night, I mean the deeper things in life like what are your passions e.g. music, walking in the countryside, being creative with woodcrafts or cooking, or knitting or team sports, etc.
- Do you feel like you may have a vocation? To feed the homeless, to be a nurse/dr/teacher/pastor etc?
- Where do you see yourself in five years, ten, or twenty years?
- Do you have dreams, no matter how obscure or wild, small or large? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, run a marathon, feed ducks with your grandchildren, or simply enjoy learning a new skill like woodwork or car repairs?
All of this is really about our relationship to our own past, present, and future self. Some people might say you exist in all three states at once, although I think if you concentrate too much on your past, you occlude the vision of your future self, and have a terrible time being yourself in the present!
But part of the reason why I like saving, budgeting, and dividend growth and value investing is because it concentrates on the long-term, the more middle-to-distant end of the future. When you begin to imagine, and have the beginnings of a vision of yourself, you operate in this manner, essentially saying: ” I believe there is a future ahead of me, and that future is going to be better than my present”. This is because if you can see a future for yourself, that means there is life ahead of you, and where there is life, there is hope.
This type of money management means you live realistically in the present and look forward with hope to the future. It does not try to quickly satiate some kind of void in life, or attempt to the soothe pain of the past with a useless salve, but it is a means to achieve more freedom. This freedom is often just spoken of in terms of time, because when you are retired and living off those savings and dividends etc. you can choose to use time much more flexibly. But importantly, this freedom should also include freedom from your past self’s problems, because you are working towards that hopeful future day…
I’m not going to splurge the (hopefully) substantial amount of capital when that future day of retirement arrives, but instead I will use that freedom to spend more of my time building relationships with my family (who I love to bits, despite their and my own flaws), my friends, doing more voluntary work, and yes to do some things that I am interested in and have dreamed of like travel, without the hindrance of being tied to a 9-5 job. It is a journey towards that day, and I do hope that I will be free from my past self’s hurts.