How to look at your finances as OR instead of AND

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Like everything else in our life, when it comes to our finances, we often get frustrated by trying to do too many things at once. We tell ourselves that we want to pay down debt, buy a bigger home, save for our children’s education, spend less money overall, go on a vacation, save more into retirement accounts, remodel the kitchen, and give more. Turns out though, when we try to do all of these big goals, we really don’t do any of those things well and we get frustrated and throw our hands up in the air.

The real reason is because our money is finite and we only have the capacity to do so much with our money. Granted, we know this fact in our minds, yet we still try to doit all anyway. The reality is that when it comes to our finances it’s an OR thing not an AND thing.

  • In a given year you can really only pay off debt OR go on vacation.
  • We can only save more in retirement OR remodel our kitchen.
  • We can start to save for our child’s college fund or buy a bigger home.

With that being said, I’ve found that the power of being focused and deciding to do one thing well for a specific amount of time will get you to where you want to be. So in the short term, if you decide to focus on getting out of debt OR remodeling your kitchen OR increasing your retirement contributions, in a few years you will have gotten out of debt AND remodeled your kitchen AND increased your retirement contributions.

Have you applied the OR not AND principal to your finances? If so what was the result?

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