Being the Ringmaster of Your Wallet

In these tough economic times, several people I know have been adding a 4th ring to their circus-a financial ring. If you think your finances don't affect your performance in your other rings, consider these scenarios:

  • Most financial counselors advise families to have 6 months of savings available in case there is a job loss or catastrophe. Having very little to "fall back on" can affect your job performance because you are motivated primarily by fear of losing your job instead of doing the best job possible. You also limit your ability to take a better job, start your own business or work on a higher degree, especially if it involves a temporary reduction in income.
  • A lack of savings can affect your relationship ring. When a spouse or child talks about something involving money, your ability to listen clearly is sometimes limited. Again, it's the fear factor.
  • Not having a healthy cash flow is definitely detrimental to your "self ring." Due to increased stress levels, people often eat less healthy, exercise less and limit medical attention to emergencies only. Talk about the wrong things to do!

If your financial ring is lacking quality acts, remember-you're the Ringmaster. Even if the lineup has had many bad acts, you can change at least some of them immediately. The audience might not be cheering wildly, but at least they won't be booing you again. Other acts may require a major overhaul, and taking small steps today will make the difference in the future.

Many poor financial decisions are based on impulse purchases. If that's the case for you, remember the line from Juggling Elephants-The ringmaster always reviews the next act before bringing it into the ring. Ask yourself if the intended purchase makes sense in your lineup-will it help you accomplish your purpose for that ring? Working on this ring may help you get more standing ovations in the other rings of your life as well.