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Happy and Crappy

Happy and Crappy

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 pieces 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.

Mind Blown

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.

13 thoughts to “Happy and Crappy”

  1. I’ll play:

    Happy – 75% savings rate.

    Crappy – Too much cash that should be invested…. A gross, stinking pile-o-cash.

    1. Whoa nice! 75% is an extremely high savings rate – nice work. Deploy that extra cash somewhere too, unless you’re saving it for a specific reason like a down payment or real estate investment.

  2. mrs. me was taking a bunch of crap at work years ago and would start telling me all about it 1st thing through the door. with much humor (i work in a factory environment) i would insist on a time limit and follow up with the fact that i would win any crappy day contest. humor rocks and will keep everybody calm to carry on.

    1. Highs and Lows, Happy and Crappy… same idea! 🙂 It’s all about taking the few minutes to ask the question and listen to the answers.

  3. This is an awesome way of looking at things, and I especially like the reminder to focus on the “happy.” I’m very guilty of looking at stretch goals that I didn’t make and feeling like I failed. Maybe, but I’m also way closer to where I wanted to be than when I started!

    1. Yes, it’s good to remind ourselves of what we have accomplished! It’s so easy to look at what we didn’t – I’m guilty of that as well.

    1. Perfect! Great way to get the family engaged. “Happy and Crappy” is just one way to look at it. Happy, sad, mad and glad is another great example. Four questions would really make me start to think haha.

  4. I love this idea! Using ‘happy and crappy’ makes it sound like a fun conversation starter but I can see how you can get into deeper conversations when the timing is right. Taking the time to check in with your spouse is so important. We can get so caught up doing our own thing that communication gets pushed off (I say that as I’m currently reading blog posts and my dude is playing video games).

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