Quite often I hear people mention something along the lines of, “We had no idea if we could, but we needed to save $10,000 in 5 months and we did it!” I proposed to my wife on a Wednesday in November because nothing says romance like a Wednesday evening at home in your kitchen. We then found a wedding date that worked in June of the following year, which gave us less than 7 months to save enough to get through our wedding day with no debt on the other side. To this day, we talk about how we “just made it happen.” These are the beautiful moments when life and money work together harmoniously. Your drive to rise to the occasion of the goal, is met with perfect supply of income and assets. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it!
Now let’s bring in some friction. These experiences of money bliss are great motivation and to see them play out is a testament to how dynamic our finances can be. However, the majority of the time, your life and your money are not sitting around a campfire holding hands while you tinker away on the guitar. You want to give up a high paying job for more time with the family, but you are three years from helping your oldest with college. You want to take more vacations, but as soon as you open the laptop to look at flights, your dog needs an x-ray and his teeth cleaned unexpectedly wiping out a good chunk of savings. Even more often, you’re just not sure what your goal is at that moment in time, which makes saving for it a different kind of difficult.
In the end, these moments of money bliss should be celebrated and appreciated, but not expected as the norm. Many of the best things worth saving for require real work, day in and day out. They require a plan and a contingency plan, as much as they require your passion for achieving them. It’s Friday, so give yourself a break, but on Monday, harmony or not, get back to the work needed to save for the things you deserve out of life.