Your finances are more than dollars and cents

The money in your investment account isn't just a number. It represents the possibilities of the life ahead of you. 

Muhammed Muheisen/AP/FIle
A bird used by a Chinese man, unseen, to perform, holds a yuan collected from a tourist as it prepares to drop it into a piggy bank, in Houhai district, in Beijing, China. Hamm writes that a financial balance is more than just a number.

When I look at our financial accounts, I don’t just see dollars and cents.

Whenever I look at our checking account, I see Sarah sleeping peacefully without a financial worry in the world. She’s not worried about paying the bills or making the property taxes. She’s dreaming without anything like that weighing on her shoulders.

Whenever I look at our savings account, I see myself being pretty calm after the transmission goes out of a vehicle we own. I recall the time I got extremely upset circa 2005 when a tire blew out on my old pickup truck and I know I don’t have to freak out like that any more.

Whenever I look at our investment accounts, I see Sarah and I sketching out the floor plan of the house we’ve always wanted to live in. I see a house rising up out of the ground and the two of us walking in the front door, hand in hand.

Whenever I look at our retirement accounts, I picture the two of us sitting on a porch somewhere, gray hair covering our heads, watching our grandchildren play in the yard. Honestly, it’s not that different than right now, except we’re older and it’s our grandchildren instead of our children.

Whenever I look at our children’s 529 accounts, I picture them leaving for college as they continue to chase whatever dreams they have in their head. I try to picture them as eighteen year olds, full of youth and energy and optimism and a sense that they’ll be all right, no matter what.

Whenever I look at our monthly budget, I immediately visualize planting seeds in a garden, as I know all of the little sacrifices of insignificant creature comforts will eventually blossom into the big things that I’ve mentioned above.

These accounts aren’t just numbers. They represent the possibility of life ahead of us.

Every time I find a way to contribute a little more, that picture becomes brighter and even more real.

Every time I fail, the picture starts to fade, like the children fading out in Back to the Future.

If I let myself just see numbers when I look at the accounts, it’s really easy to let go of the real-life importance of things.

It’s only when I let go of the numbers and see what they really mean that it all comes to the forefront. It’s when I connect those numbers with the people and things that I care about the most and I see how the choices I make alters those destinies… that’s when I’m inspired to keep making good moves.

When you look at your accounts, don’t just look at numbers. Picture in your mind what those numbers may mean for your life if you make good choices and keep those accounts healthy. It’s a powerful inspiration.

The post What I See When I Look at Our Finances appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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