Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Seize the day!

Some pretty images from my overgrown, drought-stricken garden

Seize the Day!

I have been thinking a whole lot about how to really ensure success in achieving ones goals. Sometimes, of course, life gets in the way. The next challenge for me is doing a budget that will work for us. I'll be quilting until I'm 100, that's for sure. But at least it's a job I like. A recent study found that although self-employed people work harder that those in paid jobs, their rate of happiness is higher.

That may be because the business owner has more control over how they spend their time. Also, any rewards that the business gets through greater sales, increased productivity etc, are immediately enjoyed by the person who created them.

I'm a bit of a consumer and am very guilty of affluenza. Mr Costello (the nicer one of the two brothers) said on TV that compared to ten years ago we (in Australia) have bigger houses with more bedrooms with fewer people in them, bigger mortgages and we spend, spend, spend, on cheaper electrical goods and clothing. And yet we are less happy and more stressed. I have been measuring every cent we spend for about three years. This sounds weird, but when I come home from shopping I put it all in the computer to look at where it goes. After a couple of years I came up with the following conclusions. (Which aren't rocket science and sound a lot like Noel Whittaker)

1. We spend all we earn, and more.

2. Credit cards always get used when they are carried around.

3. The things we worry about (rates, insurance, interest) are only a fraction of what we spend on consumable or discretionary items.

4. Once a "must have" item is acquired it is soon taken for granted and more things are desired.

5. The only way to save is to "pay yourself first" We have now gone into salary sacrifice into superannuation to put $$ aside.

6. 99% of spending is triggered by emotion - a fact well known by advertising people.

7. There is no product that will make us: younger, sexier, happier, wiser, more creative.

8. The only things which have lasting value have to be: earned, saved for, sacrificed for, planned for, and time allocated for.

9. Every human in the universe has only 24 hours each day to work with, money only assists.

10. Finally, high returns = high risk. If you want to earn lots of money working in a war zone, be prepared for some flak. And if it's too good to be true, it probably is. (thank you Noel Whittaker)

Now, to seize the day!

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