How to Manage the Complexities of Finance
When we were children, our responsibilities were nonexistent. The only thing that concerned us was when our next meal was and how much play time we could get away with before our parents made us do homework or go to bed.
Now, as adults, everything is different. We hold all of the responsibilities, and for many this includes being responsible for their own children. The financial responsibilities added to all of the other responsibilities might give us the feeling of being overwhelmed and not in control of our lives.
I have been faced with my own responsibilities, and since I don’t like the feeling that comes from not knowing what to do because there is too much to do, I have stumbled upon something that has helped me get a grip on everything. Maybe it’ll help you, too.
The answer is to systematize as much as possible of your life. Now, the word “system” might seem cold and remind us of industrial machinery, so feel free to substitute your own name for it, but I think the idea of systematization works and is the only way to manage a life in the 21st century.
Many of us have been using systems without realizing it. Getting Things Done is a system, person-to-person borrowing and lending with Lending Club is a system, and working with any exercise “program” is a system. According to the dictionary, a system is “a group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.” Doesn’t that describe your life? Which is a group of interacting and interrelated elements, or areas of life forming your complex life as a whole.
Now that we have determined that your life is like a system, it’ll be easier to break it down into different compartments, processes and responsibilities, which are much easier to work with than having to manage the entire life at once. Once we realize that we can work and manage our lives just like we can any system, and break it down into its most atomic elements, we’ll no longer be overwhelmed. Because now, to change anything, all that is required is one tweak here or another there.
We can look at our finances as a system within the bigger system of our lives. By looking at personal finance with logical thinking, we can break it down, analyze it and change it accordingly to get the results that we want. Because the goal is to retire wealthy, we’ll work on our financial system in this next series of posts to see how to achieve this goal.
Saturday, January 26th, 2008 at 8:39 am