I was starving after I finished playing tennis on a recent Sunday morning and had some time before meeting my wife at our daughter’s gymnastics class.
What ensued was just the latest example of the internal battle between Old Brian and New Brian.
Old Brian would have found a greasy spoon diner. Preferably one with a counter so I could see the glorious amounts of eggs, bacon, and sausage being prepared. I would have knocked back a continuously refilled cup of coffee with cream and sugar.
But New Brian found a boutique coffee shop, had avocado toast (first time — it was delicious!) on gluten-free bread, and a caffeine-free herbal tea.
Why spend $16 on avocado toast and loose leaf herbal tea instead of $8 on delicious bacon, eggs, and coffee?
Because I’m clear on what matters most to me and that’s what drives my spending decisions. In my family, our priorities are health, family, and travel.
We spend a ridiculous amount of money on food. It’s organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. We could be a doTerra distributor at this point with the amount of essential oils and diffusers we have in our house. Michelle and I both see the chiropractor on a regular basis and she’s got an acupuncturist on retainer as well.
Does this sound insane to you?
It still sounds insane to me as I write it! But health is important to us because it’s something we’ve both struggled with. Michelle’s had asthma and allergies her whole life and five years ago I discovered my sensitivity to gluten was why I only ate because it was necessary to survive and never felt well afterwards.
Spending money on our health makes a world of difference to our well-being.
We have a cleaning person that comes twice a month and have a lawn & landscaping service that comes regularly. We do not have a big house or a big yard. But instead of bickering about whose turn it is to clean the bathrooms or finding time to cut our lawn every weekend in the spring and summer, we can take our daughter to the zoo together and have enough time available to coach her soccer team in the spring and fall.
Outsourcing some tasks means we’re able to create the family dynamic that works best for us.
We spend Thanksgiving in Maine with my family, see them again in the summer at a Rhode Island beach, and then take a winter trip to somewhere warm. And that’s not counting summer excursions to the lake in Michigan.
These trips aren’t cheap but they’re essential in our household because travel helps us maintain our mental well-being and family time is important to us.
Have you established what matters most to you and your family?
Our priorities came into view when we realized…
It’s hard to enjoy anything if we’re not healthy.
Time is a limited resource so exchanging money for time makes sense.
Living well comes from the experiences we share together, not the things we accumulate.
Are these your priorities, too? Or are yours different? Are you unsure if your priorities match your partner's? If you’ve defined your priorities, is your spending actually aligned with them?
Next time, I’ll give you an exercise that you and your partner can do together to help identify your shared priorities.
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