It is a simple question that my wife and I ask each other each night, “happy and crappy?”
We use this as a moment to focus completely on each other. It’s a moment that allows us to connect more so than the standard “how was your day” conversation.
The phones are put down, TV muted or paused, laptops off of our laps.
We take this opportunity to talk about one good thing and one not-so-good thing that happened to us today.
The answer’s aren’t always profound. But they always matter.
Here were my answers to the question earlier this evening:
Happy – I hit the snooze button a few more times than normal this morning before work. My wife and I were out of town for the weekend visiting friends and did not get a lot of sleep.
Crappy – I was still tired at work, which made it difficult to remain focused and productive.
Some days are just that way.
Other days have more meaningful answers; answers that include big accomplishments, disappointing situations, or unique insights.
However, it is not necessarily the answers that matter most. It’s the time we take to ask each other to reflect and to think about our day critically, highlighting the highs and the lows.
Taking the time
A lot in life, and especially in relationships, takes time.
They take effort, commitment, and communication. All three of which, take time.
But this is not a blog about personal relationships. It is, however, a blog about your relationship with money.
And that relationship definitely takes time.
Managing your personal finances is not a skill mastered overnight. You can read a hundred books, browse two hundred blogs or attend financial conferences, but personal finance still takes time.
And one of the most critical piece of that time is evaluating how you are doing.
What is a simple way to evaluate your finances?
Ask yourself the “happy and crappy” about them.
Focus on the highs and lows
I have previously outlined the 3 Steps to Becoming Financially Savvy, and the 3rd step is to Evaluate Your Decisions.
“Happy and crappy” is one way to do this.
Be purposeful in your reflection. Don’t only focus on what you may have done wrong, or what you would like to do differently.
That is an important part of reflection, but it is only half of the job.
Make sure to think about what you have done well, or what you are doing well.
Don’t forget the “Happy”.
As humans, we too often focus on things that have gone wrong or things that could have gone better.
I want to challenge you to also think about what has gone right.
“Happy and Crappy”
Take a few moments now and then – whether it be weekly, monthly, or just a couple of times a year – to reflect.
Think about what you have done right; think about you have done wrong.
Take these thoughts and turn them into action.
Use these actions to help you set and reach your financial goals, whatever they may be.