Z is for Achieving a State of Financial Zen
Personal Finance from A to Z
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner
I am now coming to the end of an interesting journey. On April 20, I started working my way through the alphabet with my weekly Personal Finance from A to Z column. I began with A is All About Accumulating Assets, which is necessary for long-term financial stability. It seems fitting to end with achieving financial peace of mind. So Z is for achieving a state of financial Zen.
At the end of each day, achieving financial peace of mind is important. Everyone’s financial situation is unique. Here is how I achieved my financial Zen:
I finally found the right career path.
During my first career change, I knew what I wanted to do, but had a very difficult time getting on the right path. As a result, it took me 8 years to find the right road to take. Once I found it, charting my new course has been a lot clearer.
I follow my own advice.
In my J is the Joy of not keeping up with the Joneses column, I talk about how my husband and I live within our means, have very little debt, and have an adequate emergency savings fund. This allows us to have flexibility along the road of life.
I started saving early for retirement.
When I started my first job out of graduate school, I signed up for the retirement plan and contributed as much as I could. There were some years that my husband and I were able to save over 20% of our income for retirement. Now that I have started my own business, we haven’t been able to save as much. But we got such a great start that a few years of low or zero contributions will not hurt us.
I listen to that inner voice.
I used to tell my students on the first day of class that they would not get away with anything because my initials are ESP. Seriously though, if something sounds too good to be true, I stay away from it. If a bill or charge bothers me, I look into it.
Achieving financial Zen will help you sleep better at night. Many bad decisions have been made by people who do not get enough sleep! The cycle keeps repeating itself.