Someone told me that my blog header photo (glass ware from The Corning Museum of Glass, a totally awesome place to visit in Central NY) was a “non sequitur” so I had to look up “non sequitur.” It’s Latin for “does not follow.” I think that’s part of my blog’s charm: Teaching you about money management in ways you don’t find threatening or confusing.
So here I go again. Some other headers I’ve used?
I asked my Facebook followers what they’d like me to blog about and my friend and colleague Partha Iyengar who created the blog Life and Money asked me to write about the difference between selfishness and self-care. My funny nephew Brian Punturiero who owns Back to Basics Chiropractic suggested discussing chickpeas which are neither chicks nor peas (but they are part of the legume family, yes?). Okay, to be fair, another follower asked that I write about tax refunds. So there you have it.
There is indeed a fine line between being selfish and self caring. The first is fear-based but the second is love-based.
Because so much of our financial lives cause us to fear (because there are simply so many things we cannot control), we tend to think of money management in the selfish and greedy category.
But financial stewardship is based on love; loving and caring for part of your life that affects so many other areas of your life. As Wealth Intuitive Christine Mathieu says, “all aspects of life have a financial tether.”
I believe defining your values and priorities goes a long way in helping you be the best possible steward of your finances. When you know what is most important, you’ll have a filter through which to run decisions (I.e. “If my family is most important, then is this particular decision reflective of that?”).
When you can change the energy around financial decisions from one of fear to one of hope, everything else changes. This is why I write in (with?) non sequiturs: to help you change your thinking around money so you can change your experiences with money.
You might be surprised to know that it’s easy for me to blog about chickpeas in relation to finances because they are a great source of protein and fiber – important for self-care – at a very low cost. Healthy, wealthy, wise.
On to tax refunds.
Most people prefer to have more money taken from their paychecks by the government than necessary because they fear having to pay extra taxes and possibly a penalty.
It is a fear-based decision.
As a result, they get the extra money refunded sometime in the spring. According to an article by mint.com, 44% of people put their refund into savings. A close second, 40% use it towards paying down debt. The rest use it towards purchases and vacations. The average refund is $2800.
Traditional financial planning tells people that they should only withhold what’s necessary, and automatically save the rest because then they have access to the money throughout the year (rather than just at tax time) and it could earn interest in the meantime (this part of the argument understandably lost its luster when interest rates plummeted).
But the problem most people have is that they spend what money they have; unless it’s taken from them, they may not possess the discipline necessary to retain the money in savings. This is not purely a discipline issue, though. I think most people are merely reacting to life and, to re-state Christine Mathieu’s comment, “all aspects of life have a financial tether.”
So, learn to be kind and gentle with yourself, make financial decisions from a place of love, eat healthy (eat your chickpeas!) and think about how that tax refund can be best channeled to improve your financial situation. I leave you with one more photo just to make my point.