Your Finances, Your Life!
By: David Smyth, February 15, 2018
Here we are in that time of winter when it's gray outside, and seems to rain for days on end. Without the Olympics as a distraction, we'd all be suffering from a bad case of cabin fever. For a lot of people, this is when they start really thinking about how their life and their finances are intertwined.
We hear many families tell us this is a tight time money-wise, as they've just made that last Christmas payment, they're starting to think about spring break, and Girl Scout cookies are everywhere. Not to mention it's about to be birthday party season. Does anyone else find it odd that it seems like there are no kid birthday parties in January?
In the midst of all this financial chaos, you're probably gathering your tax documents (see below for when to expect your documents from us), getting them to your accountant and trying to wrap up 2017. All-in-all, it's a hectic time.
You might have started off the year with some very responsible, adult resolutions that probably included things like eating better, sleeping more, losing weight, or reading one of those novels you keep buying but are all still sitting on the shelf. It may be that you started January strong, but now you're slipping, and that's normal. And for those of you who had a glorious Valentine's last night, all that steak, chocolate and wine probably hasn't let the guilt set in yet. But it will!
Seriously though, I know each of our staff members and each of you started the new year with the best of intentions. I also know it's easy to break all those good new habits and revert back to the old ways, whether that's reaching for the chips and pizza while you watch the Olympics on the couch, or cleaning out the grocery store of all that half-price Valentine chocolate, or simply deciding it's too rainy to go to the gym or even read that book. (Note - this is something your Family Financial Partners editor would never say. Rainy days are made for books. ~Becky)
The point is, it's easy to get sidetracked on those goals, and one thing I'm continuing to try and do is set an example for my staff, and hopefully for all of you, by reminding everyone that the one thing you can't replace is your health. Have you seen Alex's and my recent features in Tops in Lex? Hard to believe how different I look from just five years ago.
Health means different things to different people. In my journey, it's not just about the number on the scale, although that's where most people start (including me!). It's not necessarily about a certain body measurement or clothing size. Your health consists of adequate sleep for you - I know some people who need four hours and some who need 10 to function well. For some, exercise is a form of working out stress and also a mental break in the day, when you can't think or worry about anything but staying upright on that treadmill, or not getting swallowed up by the stair-stepper. For others of you, it's about eating or not eating certain foods that can have an effect on your daily energy level. For some that's cutting out sugar or alcohol, or, for some on our team, it's about cutting out all vegetables and living on pizza and Pepsi. And I'm not judging. :)
Lastly, many of you take care of your mental and emotional health through task-oriented activities like yoga, meditation, yard work, walking your dog, working on your car or your home or reading. Each of us has our own ways of being healthy. I encourage you to take some time this weekend to evaluate the things you're doing in your life, and whether they're having a positive or negative affect on you. Where should change be occurring? Because trust me - as your financial planner, we want you around for a long time - and we also want you to be able to handle stress in your life. That might be self-serving, but based on the last 10 days, I'm thinking the next five years in the stock markets could be a doozy!
On behalf of our entire team, we hope you had a wonderful, love-filled Valentine's Day, and we look forward to continuing our conversations with you throughout the rest of 2018.