A Richer Understanding: Head and Heart

December 19th, 2015 was the eight month mark of marriage for my wife and me. Although we have been together for many years, marriage has helped to improve my perspective on four letter words beginning with L and ending in E.

Of love; I’m recording my observations with the thought of writing an essay on our first year of marriage.

Of life; I’m reconciling 2015 and eyeing the future.

Grand Opening, Grand Closing

We opened the year with excitement for resetting our lives and now we prepare to close it out with holiday celebrations and reflection. Looking back on the goals we set; spiritual, financial, physical and mental, one journal entry stands out “saving money is about emotion and contentment.” It was a teaching moment during a financial literacy program I attended; it resonated with me because of our variance in style and thoughts about saving.

Saving Money is About Emotion and Contentment

Of Emotion; I understand my own mind-set about money, it is equally important to understand my wife’s.  By default our conflicts on simple everyday spending led to more meaningful discussion about long-term goals. We are working through those differences, and hopefully on the right path to a harmonious and financially secure future.

Of Contentment; One of my comments to Michelle when she starts to go on about desiring more money is that she (we) should make more or desire less. It is usually followed by a beautiful smile and a few not so pretty words. I counter by painting a pretty picture, a visual image of our goal(s). Again, I understand my contentment level, it is equally important to understand my wife so that we can help each other rein in what could become a never-ending affinity to expand.

Wants vs. Needs

The textbook definition of saving money is simply spending less than you earn. This means being content with what you have. I ask myself before most purchases if it is a want or a need. Is it going to enhance my life or is it another shiny thing that costs too much.

I’ve learned valuable tips reading the posts and comments alike here on RS, most are straightforward, however they may be easier said than done for some. I’ve found the most helpful tip has been to know how much you’re spending. We absolutely underestimated how much money we were spending and it was reinforced during pre-marital counseling when we were asked to present a spending plan. We were wasting a lot of money on wants and trying to figure out where our money was going.

As it relates to saving money there can be a conflict between our head and our heart. For some, emotions tell us one thing and our mind tells us something else. The result is like swinging; back and forth, back and forth… that light headedness can make you emotional to the point of irrationality at one moment and logical the next.

Learning how to blend the head and the heart has been added to the better thinking goals for next year.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Brian

Brian Tramuel
 

Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.

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