At a recent board meeting, we were discussing the merits of paying off the organization’s office building mortgage and using the payment money to obtain a higher interest rate in another way.  

The conversation did not go very far, because one member made the point that it was a dangerous policy.  He felt it would be too easy to “get used to” having this extra money so when we needed to make payments again in the future it would be difficult to find such a sum in the new budgets.  

He was right.

It is so easy to “get used to” things.  Spending money is one example; once we start making car payments, a mortgage payment or paying our smart phone bill it becomes part of the routine and just “is.”  

The same is true with saving.  Once you “get used to” a routine deduction for retirement or investments, your monthly paycheck levels out and it doesn’t seem like an expense for long.  People rarely notice their raise past the first few checks; you get used to that “extra” money and it quickly becomes the norm.

If we can adjust and become accustomed to something with little pain past the initial change, think of how you can use that to your advantage.  Can you get used to getting up earlier so you can accomplish a goal?  Or become used to walking a little further each day to make 12,000 steps your norm instead of 10K?  What about using a little less salt on your food or less sugar in your coffee?

Take a pledge to become used to something new starting today.

— beth triplett


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