Fill in the blank: Your best _______ ever!
What did you say? Was is it vacation, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or a long-dreamed-of adventure?
There is no right answer here. Consider your response a “remarkable moment.” These are the moments we tell stories about, the moments that provide enduring joy and connection. I want to help you get the most out of them.
Too often, I see remarkable moments become sources of stress and financial panic. This anxiety drains the pleasure from what should be a fulfilling, memorable experience. Let’s discover how to minimize that stress so you can truly enjoy the moment.
Typically, there are three ways people react to remarkable moments:
1. They reject the opportunity, saying they can’t afford it.
2. They jump at the chance regardless of the cost.
3. They plan how to make the most of the opportunity without breaking the bank.
No. 1 can lead to regret, and No. 2 can lead to trouble. No. 3 is the path to fulfillment.
You can make the most of opportunities in your life with these simple steps:
Step 1: Assess the opportunity by answering three questions:
Do I really want to devote my time, energy and money to this opportunity?
What will I have to give up to make this a remarkable moment?
Given what I will have to give up, do I want to do it?
Step 2: If you choose to pursue the experience, develop a simple budget to determine how much it will cost.
Step 3: Compare this budget to your available resources. Do you have enough money saved?
Step 4: If you need to save more money, you have three options:
Divide the amount you must save by the number of months until the event, then save that amount each month.
Reduce your budget by limiting your expenses.
Earn some additional money. Consider taking on extra hours at work, getting a part-time job temporarily or selling some things you no longer use.
Frequently, a combination of reducing your expenses and saving and earning a little extra money is the most effective way to reach your goal.
Step 5: Enjoy! You are responsibly pursuing a peak experience. By building a budget and accumulating money in advance, you are more likely to enjoy the moment and reap long-lasting benefits.
These simple steps are tools to reach your goals. My hope is that you make the most of the opportunities in your life.
And, how did I fill in that blank at the top? The Christmas holidays. My sister and her family are coming to Durango. I’m already planning for their visit. I can’t wait.
email@example.com. Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance. Visit his website, www.personalfinancecoaching.com.