The other night as my wife and I were sitting at the dinner table with our three hyenas, we had had enough. It’s the middle of the summer, we’re eating later than normal, and the kids are just acting like wild animals. So with a deep clearing of my throat, we paused the “game of dinner” to yet again go over the rules. See a few months ago, in an attempt to bring some shred of decorum to the dinner table, we gamified meal time. We made up the rules, based on manners and respect – and with me as the watchful eye, every infraction would lose you a point. On this night, we started to go over the rules and the points. My oldest daughter chimed in “No talking with your mouth full, no getting up without being asked to be excused, finish all the food on your plate, no interrupting…” and as she took a breath, my seven year old son added to the mix, “And no nudity.” You can’t help but laugh in the moment, and also agree. Although we thought it went without saying, anywhere else in the house feel free to dress to your level of comfort, but at the dinner table, absolutely no nudity. Nudity is an automatic three point deduction, even if you’re chewing with your mouth closed.
In the game of money, there are also some rules that go without saying, yet much like nudity at the table, maybe it doesn’t hurt to say them anyway. So here are a few infractions that will also lose you points:
- Spending more than you make. Short periods of time where outflows exceed inflows are not the end of the world. Long term, no bueno.
- Credit cards are not bad, but not paying off your balance in full every month is bad.
- Making financial decisions based on emotion is the same as gambling. You may end up being right this time, but the house always wins in the long run.
- If you’re reading about the “next big thing,” chances are the million people who read it before you have already jumped on the opportunity.
As you set the table for dinner tonight, or are setting up your finances for years to come, please heed the above advice and remember to dress appropriately.