Most of us have the natural want to give. Whether it be to church, charity, or someone who is in need of help, we all want the ability to be the person who can step in and be the difference maker. The problem is most of us aren't in a position to be that person. We find ourselves torn between feeling a strong desire to help, but knowing we're financially unable to do anything. This is a terrible feeling, and unfortunately it's one most of us know all too well.
How many of us have experienced a situation similar to this: During the course of a normal conversation, a friend or family member begins to describe a tough situation that they are facing. Maybe they just got laid off at work, their spouse or child is in the hospital, or they've experienced some other life event (a fire perhaps?) that has suddenly caused a large financial burden. Like most people, they haven't planned for something like this and have no cushion to fall back on. They suddenly find themselves thrust into an extremely difficult situation, and they're completely overwhelmed. We listen to the details of what they're going through and our heart breaks for them. All we want to do is be able to provide some sort of relief to the pain they are facing. We offer kind words of support, but we know this isn't what they really need. We desperately wish we could provide the one thing that WOULD help.
Money. Not $20 or $30, but REAL money. Let's say it's $1,000 - enough to actually alter the situation and make a difference. Enough to pay their mortgage this month, help keep food on the table, or enable them to take extra time off work so they can be with their spouse or child in the hospital. Ten $100 bills is the difference between them being in a place of peace, or a place of anxiety and hopelessness. We think to ourself, "if only I could help them...".
So why can't we help them? Simple - our cup is empty. Our savings cup that is. But how did this happen? Over the course of our life, we've made sure that too many other things are full. Our driveway is full of nice vehicles (with large payments). That driveway is connected to a very nice house, also with a large payment. Our house is full of nice things and nice furniture, a lot of which never even get's used. The closets in our house are full of name brand clothing and shoes (most of which doesn't even fit!). Even our calendar is full with plans for weekend getaways and vacations. We have prioritized filling so many other "cups" in our life that most of us neglect to fill the ones that really matter, and our savings account is one of them.
The weird thing is that while we're listening to our friend/loved one hurt, most of us could care less about all of the material things we just talked about. All we want to do is be able to help, and we'd gladly trade our expensive furniture or last weekend's getaway for the ability to give them some relief from their pain. But that's not how it works. The money is gone. Our choices have consequences, and we're forced to live with them. Not being able to provide help and be that beacon of hope for the people we care about is one of those consequences.
The beautiful thing is that from here forward, we have a choice. We decide what our priorities are going to be. One choice is to stay on the financial path we're on and continue our inability to give and help others. Another choice is to take a stand, say "I'm not living like this anymore", get our financial act together, and give ourselves the ability to be the person who can truly help someone in their time of need. It's up to you. Make the right decision, and start filling your cup.
*You can have a full cup to give from, and we're here to help make it happen. Schedule a free meeting at our Aberdeen office to learn more about Baseline Financial Solutions and our financial coaching program. Send us a message, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (605) 252-5972 to get started.