For the Next Thirty Days

When I tell people I don’t have a television, I’ll get comments like, “You must get a lot done.” Or I’ll get looks like, What rock do you live under? I’ve been offered at least one television a year for eight years.

I’m not advocating everyone giving up their television. (Having one per house, and not in the bedroom, maybe.) I am encouraging people to look at what they do with their time, and think of what they’d do if they had more time. What have you thought of giving up? (Gossip, swearing, smoking, sugar, fat, negative thinking. . .) What do you want to do? (Yoga, sing, read, water color paint, cook. . .) Don’t have time to cook a healthy, tasty dinner? Get the family involved in the activity. Husbands can shop. Teens can chop onions. Families can talk during dinner (oh, aren’t we glad we gave the television away!)

Here’s a six minute video about trying something new for 30 days. By the way, it takes 27 days for something to become a habit. Once a habit is formed, you’ll miss it if you break the pattern.

with whom do we spend time?

We tend to mimic behaviors of people with whom we spend time. Did your parents ever reminded you, “You’re known by the company you keep”? I have a friend who recently shared with me his dad would always send him off with, “Remember who you are and what you stand for.” I love that. If you’re hanging out with people who spontaneously spend, or try to keep up with the Joneses, it’s likely that you’ll spend more money. Hang out with people who are frugal, or plan (have a budget) for their big expense. By doing this, you’ll most likely fit into that behavior, at least when you’re around them. 101-ways-to-build-wealth

A study at University of Southern California found along the same lines, the more inward-looking a neighborhood, the higher the likely hood a resident will buy the same car as their neighbor, or outshine the neighbor’s car purchase.

Re-think the attitude, “One more drink on the Titanic.” (The ship’s going  down, so what’s one more expense?) Consider spending time with, perhaps volunteering for those less fortunate. A study at University of New South Wales, Australia found for every extra dollar earned by the people around you, you’ll put .09 cents less into savings. It’s not about dumping the richer friends, it’s about being conscious, and as William Shakespeare put it, “To thy own self be true.”

Another study, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman, showed that happier employees earn more money. The happier employees aren’t working 24/7. They’re spending time with family and friends. If you’re not fitting into this family/friend love fest, ask yourself if you like your neighbors? Can you meet new friends? It’s about having a supportive network, not necessarily similar genes.