The end of year is near and America is driving closer to the cliff, the fiscal cliff. While we watch and wait to see if our country falls; I am assessing my relationship with money or let’s call it… my fiscal fidelity. The further we get to the cliff; the more I am determined to not have a fiscal fall. With our national debt and individual Americans’ economic woe and personal debt, the true scandal is our fiscal infidelity.
J. David Cox, Sr., the national American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) stated: “ the Right wing lawmakers can't keep using federal workers as a tax cut piggybank.” But…as a federal employee depending on a union president, depending on the President, Boehner, the Congress or the Senate is fruitless.
In the coming year, a resolution is a different and improved relationship with money (not that we weren’t getting along). We will maintain communication, we will assess our relationship on a quarterly basis, I will create a stop doing list-identify those activities that do not support our relationship. I will plan (more) for the unexpected. I will erase frivolous spending and lean more to frugality. I will say no to an overpriced car, no to an unreasonable college son, no if the item is more than I plan to pay, no to office potlucks (why should I spend my money on or break bread with co-workers who don't mean well) and an absolute no to people who buy what they want and ask me for what they need.
We (money and me) will be committed to a long term relationship of total fidelity. Our relationship is exclusive. I will maintain a healthy relationship with my money.
Financial Experts advise us to establish these types of relationship with money: Set up and stick with an automatic savings plan. Consider a tax-advantaged retirement plan through your employer, such as a 401(k), 403(b) or TSP. Establish your own retirement account through an IRA, particularly if your employer doesn't offer a plan (Only 42% of American workers have figured out how much they need to save for retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute http://www.ebri.org/.
Find some like-minded people, choose someone we know and trust to hold us accountable, experts advised. Studies show that we're much more likely to attain a goal if we tell someone else about it. The experts also say to: Have a specific plan of action. Don't just say that we want to save money. Decide that we will spend the first month working on reducing our grocery bill. We can choose the second month for our household utility bills. Each month, we can focus on a specific action to attain fiscal fidelity. I once heard- ---each penny must have a purpose.
Rome was not built in a day. Neither is our financial fidelity. There are many of us who are building and maintaining a true relationship with money, there are many of us who are making this road trip to fiscal fidelity. Come travel the same road. This journey will take us up the hill and not over the cliff.