No one randomly forgets the season and goes out in shorts and slippers during winter. We prepare and embrace the season, just as we should with unexpected and inevitable life circumstances. While we make things happen, life can also happen to us. In this episode, we will honor our seasons and discover how we will use them to navigate our finances and goals.
- Constants. Not quite Planck’s constant or Konstanz Germany or Constanze Mozart. We’re talking about the things that are constant in your life despite the changing seasons. There may not be many, but what a gift they are! All these constants have joined together to highlight another constant that can be incorporated into your life and that’s the Friendletter! It comes from your constant and consistent friends to your inbox 3x per week and includes updates about freebies, tips for saving, and money mindset ideas to help you do better with finances. The Friendletter. Make it a constant.
What do we mean by life seasons? What are the various seasons of life?
Life is not static. There are changes, shifts, and surprises that make each one of us dynamic. Recognizing your seasons, such as your short seasons (e.g., school fees, vacations, moving day, etc.), long seasons (e.g., kids, aging parents, loss, divorce, etc.), and even your financial seasons (e.g., job loss, inflation, windfall), all of these compound and intersect with one another and bear weight with how we engage with our finances.
Jill firmly encourages you to honor your season and resist comparing someone else’s current season to yours. Life’s seasons are not setbacks; that doesn’t mean you cannot do what is within your capacity.
Why is it important? How do they impact?
A significant concept Jill learned in the field of social work is “Person In Environment,” or “PIE” which means recognizing that each one of us does not exist in a vacuum; we are individuals experiencing varying situations or circumstances, such as our physical and emotional experiences, and our environment, in which converging all of it matters when it comes to helpful interventions, resources, tools, and support. It impacts the decision we will make.
Jen wants you to start being honest about your past, present, and future, as it will inform you about your decision-making. But they should not control you. While you cannot change the past, you only have control over where you are in the present.
How do we know what season we’re in?
Write it down! Jen finds it extremely helpful to write down these simple ways to know what season you’re in. Allow yourself to be curious. Take a look back at your past and your whole personhood (physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial) and ask yourself if it’s still defining your life right now. Then consider the obvious part of your season or your present circumstances. Do not forget to add external categories such as the environment, economy, location, etc. Now identify your priorities from your past and present and integrate them into what’s next.
Still, look at the obvious: is it about to be winter? Summer? Never ever forget to be kind to yourself during the process of acknowledging your season. Give yourself permission to slow down.
What do we do about it?
After you have identified your season, Jen and Jill strongly advise looking at your current spending patterns by revisiting or tracking your 90-day transaction inventory. Your Frugal Friends wants you to look at your past before you begin changing your present in order to identify your spending triggers. Consistently, Jen asks you to write again, this time about your money goals and both your short- and long-term goals in line with your season. Every month, your spending plan should be happening, says Jill.
Afterward, you finally bring everything into a realistic alignment, which is a complicated yet crucial step as you will be synthesizing and meaning-making.
How does this help us spend in alignment with our values?
From recognizing our season to taking action in planning ahead for the next step forward, we are going to curate it solely for ourselves. Jill advises you to try to talk to your spouse, close friends, or anyone you can ask for an expert opinion just so you can create a realistic alignment of your finances with your season.
Being fully aware and embracing your season helps you plan realistically. It creates a sense of self-awareness that you can’t afford every way to meet a value every time, especially not all at once.
How would you describe your current season? How have you aligned your $ goals with it?
Both Jen and Jill are in a happily married home. Jen has two kids, amidst a home renovation and a career shift with her husband that has lowered their incomes. She’s glad that they are not maxing out their retirement; she frequently goes outside; and above all, she wants to continue being kind to herself.
Jill is also in the middle of making shifts in her career and in her post-renovations. While she is getting paid less for now, she is hopeful for flexible and enjoyable work in the future.
Bill of The Week
Thank you Lauren for sharing about a duck bill – of a duck named Waddles!!
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