Do you often ask yourself, “Why can’t I save more?” It doesn’t have to be difficult to be a better saver and have money for reaching your financial goals. You can start saving more by making just one small change in your spending habits. Try this tip to ramp up your savings.
Simple acts of generosity can often have a powerful impact on not only the recipients, but for you as well. Many studies have shown that being generous can boost your health and happiness levels. Studies have also correlated increases in happiness levels with increased social connections and relationships.
Somewhat by accident, my husband Steven and I found a simple way to increase not only levels of personal well-being, but also those of people in your community. Here’s what we figured out…
I started cycling a few years ago in order to spend more time with Steven. Prior to this, most of my outdoor exercise revolved around running. While Steven would be out biking for hours, I’d be running with people in my running club. I realized I was spending more time talking with the people in my pace group than with my own husband.
I knew how to ride a bicycle, but had never ridden a road bike. As someone who’s been accused of being relentlessly upbeat, I found myself in a mental spiral of terror out on the bike trail – afraid of falling, afraid of someone or something running into me, afraid of being stranded with a flat tire. It’s gotten better over the past few years; I’ve become more confident, but still hyper-focused on safety.
One thing I learned from an experienced cyclist is that often drivers can’t see you, especially if you’re heading straight on the road and they are turning left. It’s like their brains have a blind spot, as they aren’t looking for you. He suggested making a movement to get their attention, such as a wave. So, I started doing this and added a smile.
Steven started running this past summer (while training for his first Ironman triathlon). I had told him about the smile and the wave, and he noticed when he did this as he was running, most people would smile and wave back. Interesting…
We started an experiment of smiling and waving and seeing how many people we could get to smile and wave back at us. We would smile even more with each wave back and realized that people really liked a simple acknowledgement of their considerate driving and a momentary connection.
A smile and a wave. That’s it. Simple. Friendly. And, I’d say in today’s age of staring at your phone, an act of generosity.
I’ve been trying for a week and a half to write about patience. The concept is one that I find to be very important, but every time I sat down to do some research on this I got, well … impatient.
Being a patient person is even more virtuous than it used to be. Most information is easily accessible on your phone in seconds – we aren’t used to waiting. Amazon Prime can deliver within two hours in some locations – no need to wait that agonizingly long time of 24 hours to get your order any more.
In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds; in 2016 it was 8 seconds. It’s believed that goldfish have a 9 second attention span. This seems like a problem!
The real hurdle here is how a lack of patience may affect your day-to-day life, wellbeing, and of course, your finances.
Why Does It Affect My Money?
Well, patience certainly pays off when it comes to your savings. We’ve all heard about the magic of compound interest. This is where your interest earns interest and over time this can add up to big returns. It can also pay off if you defer spending until you have the money you need, as opposed to running up your credit cards. Or you could wait until the item you think you need goes on sale. By then, you might even realize that you don’t really need it.
How Can I Cultivate More Patience?
This very well may be a learned skill. One good step is to notice when you are feeling impatient. Next time you are in line at Starbucks and you want to scream at the person in front of you who orders 6 complicated drinks and then changed his order, instead, take in a few deep breaths. Concentrating on your breathing helps you to feel calmer and less annoyed. Next, ask yourself this question that I got from Mark Ewert, author of The Generosity Path: “What is the most generous response I can have right now?” Doesn’t that feel better than the question, “Why is this person such an idiot?!”
I got to flex my patience muscles as we updated and launched my website. When we started, I thought it would take two months at the most. It took ten months! I had to keep reminding myself in divine timing. We’re up and running now. I hope you’ll check out my new programs.
I’ll wrap this up now – don’t want you to get too impatient reading!
Did you know that money stress can actually stand in the way of creating wealth and mess with your health? Here’s an easy way to shift your focus that’ll make you happier and healthier- and maybe even boost your wealth. Give it a try and see what happens.
If you haven’t seen the stats, according to The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report, at the pace things are changing it will take more than 200 years for gender parity in the world. Seems pretty messed up to me.
Maybe this is why the theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #PressForProgress.
Economic participation and opportunity is one of the four main areas looked at in this parity assessment. I see this as one of the most important. Studies have shown when women have increased economic empowerment there are amazing benefits for the economy as a whole, in addition to health care and education.
I’m more hopeful about the economic future of women…
I can’t get my head around it actually taking more than two centuries for economic parity – here’s why I’m more optimistic:
- In the US currently 51% of the wealth is controlled by women and this number is growing. Worldwide women control about 30% of the wealth. These percentages are growing each year.
- Approximately 50% of US women are the primary bread winners and two-thirds of households have women as the sole breadwinner or co-breadwinners. Yes, I won’t deny they are often still paid less than their male counterparts, but women are in the workforce in growing numbers. And, for younger women they are actually out-earning their male counterparts.
- Women are great philanthropists. According to research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at IUPUI women are more likely to donate than men. And, women give more to charity then men. Here’s another hopeful finding – women believe in giving to women’s and girl’s causes as a way to effect social change.
Be the change…
If you want to see a different future for yourself and other women here’s what you can do:
- Boost your financial confidence – women still lag behind men in financial confidence. Is that because men tend to be overconfident in general? I don’t know – but I want you to feel great about your financial future! Education is power – take 5 minutes a day to learn something new about your money or take care of a financial to-do.
- Systematize your charitable giving. No matter how scared you feel sometimes about your financial future you are better off than most of the world. So boost your giving. It will have you feeling wealthier (yeah, I know that doesn’t make logical sense but it’s true) and you’ll be using your money to effect change in areas you care about.
- Picture your prosperity and the prosperity of other’s as well. I’ve been accused of being Pollyannaish (by my mom) and relentlessly upbeat (by the NY Times). I’m perfectly fine with that. What good is it going to do to sit and be bummed out, thinking women will never close the gender gap? We have the ability to create a better world for all of us. Seeing this as a possibility is the first step.