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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mental Money Time

Nearly every single day, Val and I talk about money. Our conversations revolve around what to do with it. Both short and long term. Do we buy something new for the boat? Do we put some away? Where do we put it away? Can we cut costs somewhere? What will our financial picture look like in a year if everything continued as it did? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? The conversations are always enjoyable, and never adversarial. Does the story or key points change from one day to the next? Hardly ever. If it does, it is typically a minute change.

This daily dialogue serves us good in many ways. First, it reminds us to be conscious of our plans and spend. Second, it provides a forum to vet all money concerns we may harbor. Third, it allows us to adjust in near real time to the changing conditions of life. Fourth, imagining the long-term mental picture provides us positive reinforcement for sticking to our plans. Fifth, our children hear us talk about money as a tool that can be manipulated and wielded in good ways and in bad. Sixth, it costs nothing to talk about!

The conversations range from 10 minutes to a few hours, all depending on what comes up. In the 10-minute flavor, the discussions are along the lines of “Can you imagine how great it will be in 3 years after we’ve stuck to our plan? We will have X dollars!” The multi hour variety, which doesn’t happen too often, occur when large scale changes are afoot, like with the recent purchase of our boat.

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