Vacation and Perspective – Simplify Your Finances

by The Happy Rock on May 6, 2008

jim-thorpe-pa.jpgThe Rock Garden went vacationing this past weekend to Pocono Mountains of Pensylvania just outside of Jim Thorpe, PA. We got a great a good deal on a modern three bedroom house with a scenic view that I will post about later. Despite a wash out on Saturday and some allergies, it was a great vacation. I am not here to talk directly about the vacation though, but rather something peculiar that I noticed.

The Satelitte TV wasn’t working in the house and there was no internet. The amazing thing was that after the 36-48 hour withdrawal period, I began to notice some changes in my brain activity. The further I was removed from overloaded email boxes, must see TV, Twitter, flashing phone messages, to-do lists, and daily bustle of life my brain began to exercise areas that it doesn’t normally use. It seems like the immediacy of our daily lives keeps our brains focused on surface tasks. These surface tasks often impede us from focusing on the things that will truly bring us joy or things that will provide much greater value.

I was able to think about were I wanted to be in a year, or five years without getting overwhelmed. I was able to step back and view some of the daily grind with objective glasses. Our spending patterns became much more visible when I wasn’t focuses on the latest Target receipt. I found new oppurunities for passive income and areas for frugality, all because I had time and mental energy to devote to thinking about such things. One of the big things we realized is that we really need to tighten the reigns on the budget/spending if we want to have the type of down payment we desire to move in around a year.

So what does this means to our finances? It means that our lives and our financial systems need to be simplfied to the point that our brains can jumpstart idle areas of our brain back to life. Areas like creativity, chasing dreams, and romance. I think it will take years constant growth and changes to really understand, but I know that when I look back in five years I will be amazed out who much more my brain is alive.

Here are a few ideas that I will be doing to help simplify and set the daily tasks on auto-pilot:

  1. Cancel Those Extra Savings And Checking And Credit Account – If I am honest, the added headache and management time just isn’t worth it.
  2. Improve Your Bill Pay And Budgeting System – Setup up automatic reminders. Call and change the due dates on bills to be the same time.
  3. Get Out Of Debt And Get Security– Finances are so much easier without debt and with an emergency fund. It really is night and day.
  4. Sell Or Give Away Stuff – Furniture you don’t need. The garage full of junk. Books. You may need it someday, but it probably isn’t worth the hassle of keeping it around just in case.

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