For Day 2 we returned to the Military Spouse Wellness Summit for an opportunity to hear from two inspiring speakers on how we can spend with purpose.
The word “spend” often makes us think of our money. Certainly, there’s plenty of intentionality and purpose we can incorporate into our finances. But we have other things to spend as well, like our time and our energy. Learning how to spend — in all areas of our life — is what Day 2 is all about!
Did you miss the first day of the summit? No problem! You can check out my recap from Day 1 before you listen to Day 2 or dive into this recap.
Lara Casey and Jean Chatzky are inspiring women who are passionate about inspiring and supporting other women. Both of them approached the idea of “spending” from different angles in their interviews, but they drove home the same point: how we spend what we have has a major impact on our lives. Yes, we spend money and that clearly determines a certain aspect of the quality of our life; but how we spend our time and our energy also contributes to how well we’re living our lives.
Thoughts from Lara Casey
I had the opportunity to “meet” Lara Casey at MSWS18 and she was just inspiring then as she was today. Instead of talking about burnout, however, this author and businesswoman talked about the importance of understanding how we spend our time and energy today affects how we’ll be spending them in our long-off futures.
Lara is a big believer in grasping the big picture of your life. Her favorite age to think about for future planning, based on the number of times she repeated it, is 80 years old. It’s of great value to think about the questions above and then sit down and write out meaningful answers to them. Once you have your answers, put them in a place where you’ll see them every day so you’re constantly reminded to operate with the big picture in mind.
Much like what Peter Docker [ADD DAY 1 LINK] shared in his interview, framing your daily decisions through the lens of where you want to be at 80 can help you make small but influential decisions every day that will eventually make your dream a reality.
If you think about a time in your life when you were un-enthused about something, my guess is you can honestly say the people around you could tell. On the flip side, people can feel it when you had fun with whatever it is you’ve put your time and attention into, be it your home, your work, your side project or whatever. Why? Because when you’re excited about something, you’re pouring not only your time and energy into it, but your joy and love as well. These are two are powerful components to living the life you want to live that gets others excited about your progress and success.
Thoughts from Jean Chatzky
The Her Money podcast host, author and financial expert Jean Chatzky shared practical and uplifting advice on something we all can use guidance on from time to time: money. Spending money with purpose is something Jean has built her career around, and it was wonderful getting to hear Corie pick her brain on how we can emulate that behavior.
What’s important in your life? This is the question Jean recommends asking yourself when you consider your finances. When you spend money in ways that aligns with what’s important in your life you’re much more likely to feel happy, healthy and connected.
Jean also points out that spending money on experiences, rather than things, tends to make us happier — a fact that’s proven by numerous research studies. Many of us tend to spend out of emotion or spend out of guilt. But you can only spend so much money; your time is much more precious than you realize, so spend it in a way that is meaningful and memorable for your family. Spending an afternoon going for a walk through a local forest and finding an interesting bug on the path can be just as meaningful for your family as going to a theme park in the summer.
It’s likely you’ve heard this advice in the past, but it bears repeating because it is so important. Jean recommends saving about 15 percent of whatever you’re making. That amount includes payments toward retirement, emergency accounts and general savings. By saving 15 percent off the top and avoiding credit card debt with what’s left, you’ll have a mistake-proof way for saving and living within your means.
Like any good habit, saving 15 percent off the top as soon as that money hits your bank account will take time — especially if you’re used to putting it toward discretionary purchases. Stay consistent and over time, it will become “just a thing you do,” says Jean.
Also keep in mind that you can open a separate savings account for anything — like travel! My husband and I have a specific account that we put money into each month that is designated specifically for travel expenses like airline tickets and hotels. With savings set aside in a special account, you’re able to pay for an experience with cash and avoid stressing about how to fund it.
While there was so much both of these ladies shared in their interviews, I believe the lessons above are some of the most important takeaways from Day 2 of #MSWS19. What would you add to the takeaways I shared above? Tell us in the comments below! In the meantime, get psyched for Day 3’s takeaways and be sure to catch Day 1!
Spend With Purpose was generously sponsored by AUSA Family Readiness. AUSA Family Readiness Directorate is dedicated to providing Army families the tools and resources they need to help them manage the challenges of the military life cycle. Through four pillars of support; education, information, advocacy, and outreach, AUSA Family Readiness aims to connect with Army families, both past and present, in tangible and impactful ways. Connect with AUSA Family Readiness today!
About Alexis Miller
Alexis Miller is the Director of Communications for Warriors at Ease, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to bringing yoga and meditation to the military community through a network of trained professionals and through free programs that support them in their health and healing. She’s also the writer behind the blog Wife in the Wild Blue Yonder, where she shares her travel and military life experiences with readers. Lastly, Alexis is a certified yoga instructor and specializes in bringing yoga and meditation to the Yokota Air Base community. When Alexis isn’t busy working, you can find her doing yoga, rock climbing, fly fishing or traveling.