You Have The Power


January 30, 2024

Hey friends,

All the BEST moments I have with my clients have something in common.

Power. ⚡️

I experienced such a moment this week. A new client had just finished organizing her spending categories and gathering all of her bank account information.

She was looking at a number that represented all of the money she had to her name in that moment. She knew the number was accurate. And then I asked the question.

“What do you want to do with this money?”

I live for the reaction people have to this question. Sometimes, it’s the first time in their lives that they feel empowered to answer it. And that’s incredible.

She allocated most of the money to pay for obligations and wants coming up between now and her next pay check. She was surprised to find that she had money left over! That’s a new feeling.

And that’s when things got really fun.

Should the extra money go toward next month’s expenses? Toward an extra-aggressive debt payment? Or, toward being a little more generous this month? She moved the money from one budget category to another as we discussed how each option made her feel.

An hour earlier, she had told me, “I just feel like there’s too much money going out to too many places, and I can’t keep track of it all. I’d like to pay down my credit card debt, but I never know if I have enough money to do that.”

Now, she knows. She chooses. An hour later and everything is different. That's power.

Have a great week!


❤️ My Favorite Things This Week

📚 Book - ​Wanting: The Power Of Mimetic Desire​ by Luke Burgis. This is the second book I've recently read that really challenged me mentally and emotionally. The author warns that the first part of the book may feel like visiting hell, and, at least for me, that warning was appropriate. Why? I found it extremely unpleasant to confront the idea that perhaps the only reason I desire the things I do is because other people desire those things. Is there even such thing as wanting something intrinsically? Or are we all just sheep? Anyway, after challenging my own beliefs about agency, free will, and self-determination, the book goes on to suggest ways an awareness of these ideas can help us become better agents by discovering our very own deep desires. Whew.

🎵 Song - "White Winter Hymnal" by ​Fleet Foxes​ (and excellently covered by ​Pentatonix​). According to Fleet Foxes band leader Robin Pecknold, the lyrics of this song are "​fairly meaningless.​" But I don't buy that. Not for one second. They definitely mean something to me.

🎬 Movie - ​The Imitation Game (2014)​. I guess I'm still on a world war movie kick. I enjoyed this portrayal of Alan Turing's contribution to defeating the Nazi's in World War II. I found Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of the tortured genius quite touching.

🎙️ My New Podcast Episodes

🧐 Retrospective: The First Year(ish) Of The Podcast - Our 30th episode! If you've ever been tempted to start a podcast, this one might interest you. We talk about numbers (surprisingly not zero!), popular and favorite episodes, paradigm-shifting episodes, and some advice, which you should take with a giant grain of salt!

📕 Book Club: You Need a Budget - Basically a therapy session where I burn down my budgeting system and rebuild it with an emphasis on achieving my financial goals faster and continue to fail at not spending my emergency fund on non-emergencies.

✍️ Quote Of The Week

No one reaches adult faith without doubt. Frequently people encounter doubt and then move toward a faith that is more complex, paradoxical, and ultimately more mature.

From ​Learning To Pray: A Guide For Everyone​ by James Martin. Resurfaced by ​Readwise​.

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