With Labor Day approaching, it’s time to start saying our goodbyes to summer. More than just an extra day off of work, it’s important to remember what Labor Day is really meant to celebrate.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City, in accordance with the Central Labor Union to celebrate workers’ contributions to the well-being of our country and the economy. Many years later, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law to make Labor Day a national holiday.1 Now, the first Monday in September is annually dedicated to the hard work and achievements of American workers.
While it’s great to celebrate Labor Day once per year, we wanted to use it as an opportunity to refocus on priorities.
The purpose of financial planning, and investing for your future, is to allow you to live life on your terms. It’s not to stress you out about hitting every little milestone along the way. It’s to free you up so you can focus on the bigger picture.
With that in mind, in this post we’re going to suggest 4 financial ways to better your work life balance.
Labor Day 2021: 4 Financial Ways to Better Your Work Life Balance
Build Personal Time Into Your Plan
While we ARE NOT proponents of spending more than you make, we ARE huge proponents of spending within reason. Don’t spend excessively. Spend meaningfully. What is the most important thing(s) in your world?
For me, personally, my favorite hobby is golf. I know it’s an expensive hobby, but I love being out on the course. So I build that expense into my plan, and know how many rounds I can get in per month. I save in the winter months and that enables me to spend more in the spring/summer/fall months when I know I’ll be playing more.
Set aside some time, and money, for you to do something for you. Financial plans aren’t meant to be restrictive and force you to pinch pennies. Once you find out what “within reason” means for you, go ahead, and book some personal time, and spend within those guidelines.
Schedule “Unplugged” Time
Brendan uses this phrase on our podcast a lot, “investment accounts are like a bar a soap, the more you touch them, the smaller they become”. We get it, it’s hard not to look at your investment, checking and savings accounts. You want to stay on top of things and make sure everything is going as planned.
The reason we tell folks to look at their accounts as little as possible is because the more you look, the more you feel compelled to act, and the more you feel compelled to act, the likelier it is that the compounding will be interrupted.
It’s fine to look, but don’t overlook. Set boundaries for yourself. Use the screen time controls on your phone. Schedule times to check, the 1st and 15th of each month, something like that.
Invest in Your Health
One of the first questions we ask folks when we’re investing their money is, “what is this money for?” This question helps us understand what our clients are looking for. And that SIGNIFICANTLY impacts our investment decisions.
Well, one of the best “investments” an individual can make is investing in a healthy lifestyle. We don’t like to give blanket advice here, but, any investment made to improve your health is generally worth it. Whether that means joining a gym, spending more on healthier foods, or being more active outdoors. These are all great investments.
Folks always like to ask about returns when it comes to investments. “What can I expect to earn on my account?” If you were to ask the same about investments made in your health, the answers are much more apparent.
There is no return like a return back to health. There is no return like living longer. There is no return like getting the most out of life. There is no tomorrow, if you don’t take care of yourself today. So invest accordingly.
Invest in Relationships
Along the same lines, there is a reason experiences are valued more than things. Time is our most valuable asset. And the best use of that asset is usually spending it with the people who mean the most to us.
One of most popular responses we hear when asking folks “what is this money for?”, is I want to help my family. Whether that means helping your youngsters go to college, helping your parents out when they get older, or passing your legacy along to your family. The people you are helping are the MOST IMPORTANT investments.
Yes, most people appreciate financial support. But if you were to ask anyone, I’m sure the majority would want to spend more time with a loved one rather than have their financial help.
Finances are priorities. And I don’t mean to make your finances a priority (even though they should be). I mean finances ARE FOR priorities.
Time with loved ones. More time in general. Safety. Fun. Fullfilment. Connection. These are the things money is actually for.
So this Labor Day, we urge you to check in with yourself and your family and re-assess. What are your priorities? What is really important to you? What is your money for?