Being spontaneous is great. Letting go and seeing where chance takes you is important. However, there are also areas of your life where you shouldn’t let go and see what happens. Some areas need to be managed or nurtured more carefully, in part so you can let go in other areas. Getting a handle on your money, your time and your relationship with your family is easier said than done, but the tips below should help.
Money is one of those things that can seem not particularly important until you do not have it. Managing your money effectively will give you a lot more freedom in other areas of your life, but most people don’t know where to begin to do that managing. Making a budget instead of just spending and hoping you have enough to get to the end of each month can free you up to spurge in allowable categories until you have reached the limit you have set for yourself.
Of course, you should also look at ways to cut back on your expenses and save. For example, you could refinance your student loan with a private lender. In order to truly be in control of your finances, you need to know exactly what you are spending, and a student loan refinance calculator can help you determine what you will pay after refinancing. Once you have lowered your monthly expenses in this and other ways, you can put that money into savings.
Like money, time is one of those valuable things that can slip away from you without your noticing it if you are not careful. The temptation can be to crack down on your time wasting and try to stick to a schedule, but this really isn’t a good solution either. Too much rigidity means you won’t follow the schedule, and life really isn’t meant to be lived as though you are forever on some kind of treadmill of appointments and obligations. A better approach is to teach yourself to be mindful of your time.
It can be easy to waste it in passive activities, like scrolling through your social media or watching TV that does not really interest you. Start trying to notice how you spend your time and thinking about how you could take time to care for yourself and use it in more valuable ways. Remember that valuable doesn’t always have to mean accomplishing something. In fact, learning to daydream without distracting yourself with something else can be one of the most valuable skills you can learn.
You do not want to take your family for granted, but it can be easy to do. In particular, if you are busy and stressed in other areas of your life, you might treat your loved ones as though they will always be there for you. If this sounds familiar, you need to take control here as well—not of your family, but of whatever it is that is consuming all of your time and energy. This might mean starting to leave work earlier, not bringing work home with you or creating family time each week.