The other day, I was returning after placing an order for a rich and sinful chocolate cake for the New Year party, when this quote caught me unawares,
“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” – Anonymous.
Needless to say, I burst out laughing. Although, the words did manage to make me feel a little less guilty about my indulgences, nevertheless I was ready to introspect about how I burned my calories—financial and otherwise between New Year and Christmas. And here are a few lessons that I will take with me, as I stride into the New Year. Lest you confuse these with the resolutions, no they are not. They are just little nuggets of wisdom, which will fill both your financial and non financial worlds with a little more happiness, a little more joy.
Identify Your Sunk Costs
Do you always find yourself apprehensive about taking decisions that might transform your life, because there is so much at stake, so much you have invested in terms of money and effort, that stepping out of the comfort zone feels like a hurdle, rather than moving forward? Here is where the concept of sunk cost comes into play. It is liberating and powerful. It tells you that past, irrecoverable costs, however substantial they might be can never become the basis for making future decisions. For example, if you have installed a particular software on your computer, which is creating more problems than showing results, the cost of the software should not become the basis for deciding whether or not you want to discard the software. Rather you should take into account, the possible clients you might be losing, loss of productivity etc, when making the decision.
If you are always letting sunk costs govern your choices, today might be a good day to separate the chaff from the grain.
Chuck the excuses down the Chute
Excuses! Excuses! They are like the spiraling bad debts on the Income statement. Coming back to the chocolate cake, what would be your excuse for shoving a large piece thrice into your mouth? Perhaps, I would use, “Depleting energy levels”.
On a more serious note, how about replacing excuses like, “I am busy” or “My life overflows with deadlines” with action, this new year? Whether it be finally starting your morning walk or de-cluttering your closet, how about taking a small step in that direction today?
Yes! You have your investment goals and financial goals in place. You have also just announced your resolutions on Facebook, but have you thought about what makes you feel truly rich from deep within? A good belly laugh? A few cozy hours curled up with your favorite book? A picnic, under the warm, winter sunshine? A sudden epiphany when you realize that you are no longer clinging to a damaging friendship/relationship? This year, re-define the way you look at wealth and take concrete steps towards exponentially expanding your riches, both within and outside.
Finally, as you ring out the old and ring in the new, don’t forget to be a little kind to yourself. Veer away from harping about un-affordability and focus on enough-ness instead, gift yourself a life made up of positive, uplifting moments.
Sridevi Datta is a Cost Accountant. After working as a Business-SME in a leading E-learning centre, she now blogs regularly at The Write Journey.