New Boundaries


When was the last time you set new boundaries? The last time you decided that too far was too far and you weren't going to do that again?


Was it frightening? Did you worry that you were making a mistake? Or was it a situation where overstepping that boundary was decidedly more harmful than not? I've been to each of these places. Recently.


Whatever the situation, from time to time, setting new boundaries is helpful and healthy. As Dr. Henry Cloud talks about in his book, aptly titled Boundaries, we learn how boundaries not only keep bad stuff out of our lives, but also keep the good stuff in. Setting boundaries helps us preserve what we have and not get stretched to our breaking point.


This is especially true in budgeting and personal finance. Sometimes we get bogged down in the feelings of limitations with budgets. Instead, a healthier way to go is focusing on what else we can say "yes" to by saying "no" to other things.


Saying "no" to eating out more than twice a month feels bad. Saying "yes" to saving that unspent money into an emergency fund in case the engine falls out of the car does not feel bad. Cutting back on cable, especially for sports fans, feels bad. Eliminating large amounts of credit card debt sooner rather than later, does not feel bad.


Next time it becomes necessary to set new boundaries, I encourage you to instead focus on what you are working to say "yes" to instead of what you now say "no" to.