My career in the investment world repeatedly put me in situations well over my pay grade. Often, my husband and I would have to attend special events. From charitable events, parties in art galleries, open houses in a million dollar neighborhoods to yacht shows. It was always a running joke as we walked away from the sales person that would inevitably say “we accept checks” that my husband would in his best wealthy English accent jokingly tell me “Oh you take checks!? Then we’ll take two”. We could have written checks all day for those extravagant expenditures, but they would have never been able to cash them. We would have been lying to them, and ourselves had we written a check. There is a connection between character choices and cashing checks.
Building character before building habits
To explain, let’s consider some things we would like to write a check for. Some examples might include writing a check to:
- pay off a credit card, mortgage or other debt
- purchase that vacation home
- travel to Europe
- invest in a companies stock
Obviously, to be able to write these checks and have them clear the bank, we must first develop the habits that stack up the cash. A point often overlooked is that it takes more than discipline to develop these habits. It takes character to develop the habits.
To put it another way, we must be honest with ourselves. We can’t spend every penny today if we expect to perfect those dreams tomorrow. It’s important to realize without the humility to live within our means that we’ll never get our head above water. It is our character choices that cash checks.
There is a direct correlation between positive character traits and positive cash flow. -@KarenZeigler tweet
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on these ten character traits essential for happiness and journal your answers to the following questions.
- Where do my personal finances take account of these character traits? Do my habits reflect that also?
- What one character trait can I improve upon that would have a positive impact on my personal finances?