Presented by Nancy J. LaPointe, MBA, CPF®, ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®
Who are you? Roger Daltrey and The Who were on the right track, as were the ancient philosophers who stated “To thy own self be true”. It would be great if each of us came with a manual, an instruction book, explaining how we work, what sparks our engine, causes damage, and the maintenance program we need to adhere to. However, that is not the case. Self-reflection, good friends and family and counseling are all things that may give us a clue or two. Knowing yourself is an ongoing progress; one I encourage you to part take in.
Savers and Spenders, Misers or Spendthrifts, Tightwads, and Irresponsible; if only it was that easy. Individuals are much too complex to truly be broken down in to simple categories. What I find to be more true is tendencies or patterns of behavior, along with circumstances that trigger or have triggered such behavior. Part of self-awareness is acknowledging when your behavior is not constructive to your overall health and achievement of your goals.
By starting to learn the roots of some of your behaviors, you can increase awareness of the triggers. With that knowledge, you are on track to build success and achieve your objective. Without a strong base of self-awareness, you can be your own worst enemy. If you are in a relationship, you can be engaged in a mutual dance of frustration and contradictions that is unhealthy. It will cause tension and potentially be destructive to you and your relationship. You will get in your own way, not allowing yourself to reach your potential or goals due to the manifestation of counter actions or fears. Opening your mind and exploring your past behavior is a good start. With many, professional assistance, focused questioning, self-help books with exercises, and counseling can greatly help facilitate the process. The awareness starts and ends with the individual, for again there is no manual.
To help motivate you to start down this path by yourself or with a loved one, here are a few questions to ponder. How does spending money on items such as an ATV, DVD, linens, electronics or even a complete room makeover, feel to you?
When you save $20 by using a coupon or traveling to a different store to make a purchase, how does that make you feel?
Are you driving a seven year old car or the newest model? What motivated you to make that decision?
How many premium television channels do you have or do you have a TV at all? Again, where did this lifestyle decision come from?
Do you rejoice or resent taking vacations? What kind of social activities do you feel comfortable participating in and struggle with? Do the funds spent have a part in how you feel?
Do you find yourself using a version of retail therapy and going on a shopping spree for dresses, sports equipment, a new boat, or granite counter tops? Where does the urgency to make these purchases coming from? What is the trigger?
I encourage you to take the time to explore your emotions and behavior around your saving and spending activities. Too often, our actions do not support our objectives. It is not intentional that we sabotage ourselves but it happens for a multitude of reasons such as lack of defined goals, a willingness to take action, and failure to understand the need to coordinate or design a process for success. Your behavior triggers will not allow you to have the complete success you are capable of. The achievement of goals in an overall healthy manner is possible only if you acknowledge and address those behavior triggers.
Nancy J. LaPointe, MBA, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®, may be reached at Navigate Financial, located at
4520 Intelco Loop SE, Suite 1D, Lacey, WA 98503. Tel (360) 628-8175 Cell (360) 402-3200 Fax (360) 236-0317 [email protected] or via the website at www.navigatefinancialNW.com
*Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.