Many people start out with the good intention of providing for their family. They believe “If I’m out there working hard, earning money, then I am taking care of my family.” But somewhere down the road, relationships with family members start to suffer. It starts out small with longer hours at the office, missed dinners and forgotten baseball games. Eventually it results in broken marriages and children who grow up not really knowing who their parents are.[bctt tweet=”Making money never equals taking care of your family if there are casualties along the way.” username=”RichLifeAdvisor”]
I hear many stories from my clients: “My dad didn’t attend any of my sporting events.” “My mom had no idea who my friends were.” “No one even knew what I liked or wanted.” Money is necessary, yes, but there must be a balance. Children can grow up in a wealthy home with all the stuff money can buy, but what they long for is a close relationship.[bctt tweet=”No amount of money can create or replace the human connection.” username=”RichLifeAdvisor”]
My father died at an early age, but he left me with many wonderful memories. From the time I was five years old until high school, he was my football coach. This is a man who was running a business almost seven days a week and yet somehow he made time for me. This cost him no money, only an investment of time. Because he thought I was worth that, I grew up knowing he cared and that I was important to him. As a parent, you can rationalize that by working you are spending time and energy caring for your family, and this might very well be your intention.
But this way of thinking is a trap that can lead to bankrupt relationship accounts.
Make time now. It’s easy to forget that relationship withdrawals add up, too. Because family are the people you count on every day, these relationships can become taxed, over-drawn, and maxed-out. If you wait too long, you’ll find these accounts closed and the very people for whom it was all for no longer there.
In order to achieve balance between work and family, relationship accounts need to be replenished with regular investments. One must become a good steward. Small investments now with whatever time, energy and money you have are better than waiting. Invest in what I call a RichLife Term Policy. By setting this in place, you will insure that the people closest to you will be there to enjoy and share in your future successes. TERM is an acronym for:
T – Time If we invest our time in things we really don’t care about, or things that aren’t taking us toward our goals, that time is wasted.
Take a look at “time leaks” in your schedule and replace them with relationship investments.
E – Energy The same is true with investments of energy. Our energy should be invested in the areas that bring us closer to our definition of a RichLife. This includes time with family.
Sometimes we stay in old relationships that no longer suit us. Take a look at relationships that you find draining, and set up clear barriers. By being a better steward of your energy, you will have more to give to the relationships that do matter.
R – Relationships Be a good steward of your relationships. The last thing you want is to make the mistake of bankrupting your personal accounts with the people you care most about. If you do that, all the money in the world will not help.
Set aside a block of time to invest in a relationship important to you. This can be as simple as taking a walk or a planned date night.
Give yourself the goal of how much and by when:
I plan to invest in my relationship with _______________by spending ____________________(amount of time) with them doing ___________________beginning on______________________.
EX: I plan to invest in my relationship with Sam by spending 30 minutes playing catch this Saturday morning.
M – Money Being a good steward of your money in the simplest terms means:
- Living below your means
- Paying yourself first
- Giving back
There is no better investment than giving back to the people we care most about.
When it comes to money/family balance what are your thoughts and experiences?