It’s that time of year here in the Pacific Northwest where we are teased with the emerging signs of spring - the first flowers are blooming, the air temperature has warmed, and the sun is out. Daylight savings time has returned (although the first few days are very painful for us non-morning people), and sunset is now past 7 PM. It’s a great time of the year - hope emerging from the dreary, rainy days of winter. At this time of the year sunny days may still be fleeting in parts of the world… but they do give us some encouragement and inspiration. At our local ski areas, we had a weekend of bluebird days - which are really some of the best days to go “shred some powder” - and I had the great fortune of spending the entire day on the mountain yesterday with my six year old.
It’s days like these that encourage me - regardless of tough days at work on the “job.” It’s also days like these - weekends like this - that encourage me to focus on the more important things in life. I work in a demanding job - career for that matter - and unfortunately “value add” work is limited and the focus is on artificial deadlines and expectations. Many I work with value long hours, and don’t recognize that working smarter is a better approach. Their view is “work long hours, that’s how you measure what you are doing.” I’ve always been of the mindset that working smarter is the better way to go. Many years fighting the “you plan your life so you can work all the time” culture in accounting has been draining. It’s never been my thing.
All so often, the siren song of culture and profession tell us that we need to work hard so we can afford the nice things in life - a bigger house, a nicer car, a nicer bottle of wine. And for many of us we get trapped into thinking “just one more promotion” or “one more role” and it will get better - things will come into their own, and we’ll be in the promised land. I’ve had that hope - and as spring arrives, I see the fallacy in that thinking once again. Money is simply a tool - and if we listen to others, we’ll become owned by those siren songs of culture. We’ll find ourselves in the constant rat race - thinking about more, but never quite reaching that more.
Spring is a great reminder of why our personal finances are important. As the new shoots emerge out of the grayness of the winter season, it’s a great time to start thinking about a new approach to personal finance. It’s a time to tune out the cultural noise that influences each of us, and really focus on where our hopes and our dreams are calling us. It’s a chance to get things in order once again after the dregs of winter.
Where do you want to go? Do you seek a level of freedom from your employer? Do you want to spend more quality time, and time in general, with family and friends? If so, you are not alone. Many of us seek these same things.
Take some time this week and really reflect on where you are at, and where you want to go. Once you have reflected, start thinking about what step you can take to move in that direction this week. Life is short - and we only get one chance on this earth to live it. Don’t stay stuck… as those shoots burst forth with new life, take advantage of this emerging season and start making changes. Your family will thank you. Your physical and emotional health will thank you.
If your career or your workplace is holding you back from happiness and enjoyment, fix it by looking at what your next steps are. If you are working for a boss you don’t like and you don’t see eye to eye with, start looking for new opportunities. Tough work situations aren’t worth it.
If your personal finances are holding you back from your goals, it’s time to start changing how you look at them. For many, the hardest part of personal finance is simply starting to address the “pain points.” Once you start working on personal finance, and start figuring out your steps - things will start coming together, and a path will be more clear. It isn’t easy - and may require significant change related to both income and how you spend money, but the most important thing is to simply start.
Spring… it’s a time of hope and opportunity. It’s a time to clean things up. As you do spring cleaning around your house, it’s just as important to do a little tidying up on your personal finances as well. As we quickly move towards the Spring Equinox on March 20 take some time and get ready - spring is knocking on your door.
Trevi Tip: We are knocking on the doors of the Spring season. Create that budget. Prioritize your expenses. Cut down on debt. Reach out and start a side hustle. Get rid of the clutter in your house and in your life.
Spring. It’s your season. It’s my season. It's a new season. Time to start making change and making a better life. Your family and your friends will see the difference as you start living into your passions. And the world will benefit as you find new energy in how you are living - each of us have the ability to change the world for the good, we just have to step out.