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Do you tend to view your life as a whole unit with interrelated parts? Or perhaps you see it as a compartmentalized set of individual, unrelated parts?
If you're an American, you probably tend to see more of the latter, not the former.
But we should remind ourselves on a frequent basis that all areas of our lives affect all other areas of our lives – your life can't and must not be separated into nice, neat little boxes.
The temptation is to think that friends and family don't affect our finances, or that our health can wait until we make climb the corporate ladder just a little bit higher. But the truth is, every area of our lives indirectly affects our finances – for the worse or the better.
Today I'd like to show you a few non-financial ways to indirectly improve your finances and end up with more money. Which ones are you going to focus on first?
This is a big one, folks. As it says in Proverbs:
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. – Proverbs 25:24 NIV
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't get much work done on the corner of a roof unless of course I was a roofer – but I'm not.
Men are just as often at fault too – don't take this verse in isolation.
Sit down with your spouse and discuss a few areas that need improvement. Do this on a regular basis. Why? You know what they say: “Marriage is grand, but divorce is a hundred grand.”
Marriage has several kinds of financial benefits. First, there are tax benefits. Second, there's the benefit of potentially having two incomes for greater financial security. Third, there's the benefit of focusing on your strengths while your spouse focuses on theirs – to ensure efficiency and productivity. The list goes on. Fill out a Financial Bucket list together, and talk about your money.
Stay married by always finding room for improvement and taking actionable steps toward a brighter future.
Your health can have a profound impact on your financial situation.
Take your sleep, for example. No doubt you've experienced the devastating consequences that sleep deprivation has on your productivity. Sometimes, there's no amount of coffee that can get you through the slump.
Exercise is another important piece of your health. With four kids, I get plenty of exercise chasing them around the house – maybe you're in the same boat. But make sure to set aside some time at least three times per week to get your heart rate up. Go for a jog, try a workout at home, or cycle your way to work. The key is to do something you enjoy so that you'll keep on doing it.
Make sure to eat right, too. Meal planning can be a huge way to keep you eating home cooked meals and not going out to eat often.
Adequate sleep, exercise, and eating right all indirectly affect our finances. How? We're able to get our medical bills down. The healthier we are, the fewer times we have to visit the doctor and pay for expensive appointments. We're a part of a Christian healthcare sharing ministry, and it's important to us that we put as little strain on that system as possible and pay as little as possible ourselves at the same time.
Improve your health, and you'll save money in the future. It's as simple as that.
If you're married with kids, you know how difficult this one is. With family taking top social priority, it's so difficult to find time to build friendships.
But let's face it: It's important to have a few non-partner friends in our lives who enjoy our interests. Whether it's golfing with a few buddies, or playing tennis at the community courts, we all need that socializing.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur, Author, and Motivational Speaker
It matters though, who you spend time with. If you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you should pay close attention to which friends you hang out with. Some ‘friends' will drag you down, and others will lift you up. You better believe your friends can influence your financial situation!
If you're looking at your life right now and don't see any friends in sight, try making friends at church or other social venues. Spend time with people who will inspire you – but be sure to lift up others too and help them see a brighter future.
By improving your marriage, focusing on your health, and building your friendships, you will see financial improvement and more opportunities than ever before.