I spent the last week on vacation with my extended family and it felt great to get away for awhile. We rented a house in California and I had a lot of down time to spend with my husband and baby. I had so much fun that I am having a hard time getting back into the swing of things now that I am home. A few things blew up at work while I was away making my first day back pretty painful and leaving me with a bad case of post-vacation blues. Not only am I having a hard time getting back into work, but I am having a hard time making the time to write and have been having a case of writers block.
This has me thinking about one of my favorite quotes, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. I hear this all the time but had to Google the source, I have Voltaire to thank for this quote. There are so many times in life where I am paralyzed by the need to have a perfect solution when all that is required is to get started and give a good effort. I don’t work out because I don’t have time for a full workout. I get take-out rather than make a quick dinner because I don’t have time to make the elaborate meal I have in mind. I avoid writing a blog post because I have yet to come up with the perfect topic. In no area is this more true than in personal finance. Here are some areas where I, or people I know, have struggled:
Not contributing to your 401k because you do not love your job. Waiting for the perfect job can cost you months of tax savings and possible employer matching.
Not contributing to your 401k because you cannot yet afford to save the perfect amount.
Putting off charitable giving because you have not come up with the perfect giving strategy or found the perfect charity.
Not opening a college saving plans for your kids because you don’t know exactly how much you should save, can’t save as much as you would like, or are unsure whether or not you are saving in the perfect vehicle.
Avoiding tackling debt issues because you do not yet have the perfect debt reduction plan.
Putting off drafting a will because you do not know the perfect way to get it done.
These are all things where doing something, even if it is not perfect, it so much better than doing nothing. Start contributing to your 401k even if you only plan to be at your job a few months or can only save a little each month, it is amazing how quickly monthly savings can add up. Start paying a little more each month on your debt payments while you you work on creating a master plan. Or look online and find a will that is sufficient while you do more research on the optimal course for your personal situation. All of these actions, no matter how small, are better than being paralyzed in the status quo.
So take a few minutes and think of steps you can take to move in the right direction even if you do not yet have the perfect solution mapped out for yourself. And bear with me while I get back in the swing of things.