Are you in control of your time and money? Whether you think you are or are not, you have more control over the two then you might think. We want to show you some examples and ideas to give you a different way and why to think about how controlling what you can control in these two areas is so important.
You Can’t Control Everything- When it comes to your time and money, there are some things that you are just going to have to do. For instance you need to sleep, eat, shower, go to work, take care of friends or family, clean, exercise, and relax. You need to pay for rent, food, clothing, home, and transportation. You can probably think of more things that you do that take time or money away that you can not change or control and that is okay. Here is where the disconnect is and why you have more time than you really think you do. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Lets break down how this is spent in just one day.
-8 hours sleeping
-8 hours working
-4 eating/family/friends time/relaxing/miscellaneous
=4 hours free time
What About Your Money?- Following the same guidelines above, lets look at a rough budget.
$1,000 income for month=
=$100 leftover income
There are three ways to view these examples and they all play into our mindsets on how we feel what we can and can not control.
- I Need to Make More- I don’t feel I am spending enough time with family or have enough time for exercising. I want to go on vacation or save for a down payment, but don’t have enough money left over to do that. In these examples, you can look at your situation and say, “I am going to find an hour a day or an hour a week to call my family or make time to exercise.” Or for money you might say “I am going to look for a new job that pays more or start a 2nd job to make more money.” Even though we are talking about different things regarding time and money, the mindset is the same. I need to make more of this somehow and am going to find a way do that.
- I Need to Spend Less- This could mean you are watching too much TV, playing too much video games, or spending more time on social media then you would like. If you could cut back even a half hour a day on an activity, over the course of a week you could get back 3 and a half hours! That’s a lot of time to go do something else. For money it could be spending less on rent or setting a limit for fun purchases. If you can’t make more time or money, then you can find other ways to free up more time or money to do the things you want to do.
If we are being honest, those are the only two ways to look at these examples. Both of those mindsets put the control solely in your hands. You decide what works best for your situation. Unfortunately the mindset that many people have is one of ignorance or a victim mindset.
3. Ignorance or a Victim Mindset?- In the case of ignorance, bad habits are hard to change over time. You may not even realize there is a problem or that there is another way to solve your problem. Education and personal responsibility are the two things that help overcome this. A victim mindset is a little bit harder to change. When you have a victim mindset, the situation or problem you are facing is not your fault and there is nothing in your power to change it. As we pointed out above in the time and money breakdowns, there are some things that you can not control and they may not be the most fun things to do or they may take up more time/money for you than someone else. That doesn’t mean that you should just give up or accept the situation for what it is though. Having a victim mindset makes this hard to overcome.
The other problem with a victim mindset is constant judging. You are always looking at others and instead of thinking, how do they do it or what can I learn from them, instead think, they should not have it or they were lucky or they only got this because they had this advantage or connection. This is a troubling mindset because there will ALWAYS be something that someone does that is better than you. We were all dealt different cards in our lives and we need to make the best of the ones we have. Instead of having anger or judgement, try to think of what can I do to replicate that person’s successes?
What we want to point out is that you do have the resources to do the things you say you can not or actually really want to do. Paying attention to and managing your time and money is a key first step to this. The easy and most common answer to these problems is “I just don’t have enough time for this.” Or “There is no way I could afford or do something that nice.” While sometimes these statements are true, on top of controlling what you can control, you can also prioritize what you believe is important. If you think family is important, spend time with your family. If you want to get out of debt, think of ways to increase your income or cut back on your spending. Where there is a will there is a way. Take control of your time and money!