I learned that a neighbor, always known for her resourcefulness, practices the “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” philosophy by scouring furniture put out to the curb, taking it home and refinishing it; selling it at a nice profit. She is helping support her family with this act of creativity and passion. Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book “Simple Abundance” (be warned, I’m only going to keep quoting this woman’s book, so you might as well purchase it) says “Love knows that whatever you lack in your checking account can be made up by investing time, creative energy, and emotion.” This neighbor has all three; but most of us don’t.
The Great Recession has brought out creativity and resourcefulness for many of us, and I feel this is no small blessing. The unemployed have the time and the need, but may require some inspiration and energy to get the ball moving. The rest of us may not think we have the time (psssst, we do). I think that one of these two requirements – inspiration – is part of my job. (You may note in the upper right corner of my blog that it says “Inspiration for better money management.”)
My sister-in-law said yesterday that she had seen a great idea on HGTV. We no longer have extended cable (we weren’t watching that much tv and didn’t WANT to be watching that much tv, so why pay for it?) but one of the channels I miss most is HGTV. You could get the best ideas from that channel for all kinds of projects around the house; inspiration and tactics to update your surroundings (something we all need from time to time) or fix certain areas of your home and/or yard. So, if you have cable, maybe watching a program on this channel could spark something in you. Or you could go to your local library and peruse the magazines there (for free, I might add) and/or take out a book on the type of project you’d like to take on, or a “how to” guide to fixing things around the house. Better yet, why not enlist a retiree who would undoubtedly enjoy teaching you? It’ll give you both something to focus on besides your financial situation, will provide a sense of accomplishment and pride, and will very likely save you (and even make you) money.
The financial plans that I create for my clients include a net worth page but they also include a listing of resources they may possess that can greatly impact their financial situation, such as talents, skills, abilities, passions, curiosity, patience, and faith, just to name a few. I think it’s important to point these resources out to clients because, unfortunately, we all forget how wonderful we are from time to time and it’s nice to be reminded (inspired). It’s true that there are some things in life you simply cannot control but, to borrow a line from “The Serenity Prayer”, I hope you can muster the “courage to change the things” you can.