It may be hard to believe, but some money experts say you need to take more time for yourself! You may feel like you don’t have enough time for your family or yourself and you’re not alone. Making time for yourself and your family was the top goal for readers of Money magazine in 2006.
Look at it this way, if your stress level decreases, it will allow you to make better decisions, and in turn, get ahead! Here’s how:
Identify your most time-consuming, least enjoyable chores, and get someone else to do them for you. Whether it’s your kids doing chores or a service delivering your groceries at a cost of five or ten dollars, it’s worth it. If your needs are bigger, use an online community bulletin board like Craig’s List to find help (for instance with yardwork or getting things to storage).
Automate bill pay
Online bill paying is time-saving and cost-effective. If you’re nervous, start with just one bill. Set up will take less than 20 minutes and once you’re past this initial step, it’s easy to add other bills to be paid at the push of a button. Aim to add one account per month or input the information as the bills arrive in the mail. By year-end you will be fully automated or close to it. Doing the same with a savings deduction removes all the thought from putting away money. And the result will be a bigger cushion for you!
Take a vacation
Some 30% of employees don’t use all the vacation days they have coming. Make sure you’re not among them. More work does not equal better work, contrary to popular practice! “Planning your vacation earlier allows you to time your workload and get as much done beforehand as you can,” says Joe Robinson, author of the popular book Work to Live. It also allows you to coordinate coverage with your colleagues, commits you to a plan, and gives you and your family something to look forward to.
The experts also suggest paying in advance. You’ll be more likely to actually take the time off if you’ll be out of a deposit for cancellation. You’ll come back refreshed and committed to getting ahead. You’ll also feel less need to spend frivolously because you’ve given yourself a satisfying reward.
While it’s tempting, thanks to the breakneck pace we’re used to, stop spending your free time the same way you spend work time – on the computer! Be sure to leave time on the weekend to do nothing or to engage in just one activity at a time.
Experts suggest you look for what researchers say characterizes satisfying leisure: engaging in activities that use our skills or challenge us, spending time outdoors or socializing with people we like. And for goodness sake, turn off the television, computer and gaming! Studies show that long hours spend in front of screens correlate to lower levels of overall personal satisfaction.
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