A class I was set to teach this summer was just cancelled due to low enrollment. Had the class occurred, like with the one I am teaching now, my compensation would have been absorbed in the big pot of household funds and I would have barely noticed its impact. But because I am not receiving payment for the second contract, I have found myself acutely noticing the loss of those dollars.

I’m not thinking “I could have used the money to pay insurance,” rather: “I could have bought a new computer with that money,” or “I could have paid for vacation,” or “That money would have paid to remodel part of my basement.” When I think of the foregone paycheck as a discrete item rather than part of the whole, it takes on a whole new significance. It has become more like a bonus than part of my regular earnings. The next class I teach is going into a separate pot instead of the checkbook.

Think of how you can play mind games with your own budgeting or that of your organization. Is there a source of income that can be earmarked for something special rather than being lost in the general fund? Can you do something as a side gig to earn some extra cash that can be dedicated to a project? Is there a way to carve out a separate fund from your raise or interest that can serve as working capital for a new idea you have?

There is something powerful about a financial set-aside. Work to create a virtual piggy bank that allows you to do something outside of the norm with a small piece of your income.




About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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