Earlier this month I took my mom to a public park with a beautiful, peaceful river setting. It was a special place for mom because she and my late father spent a lot of time there together.
When we arrived and pulled into the busy parking lot, I was fortunate to
find a parking spot just a stone’s throw away from a bench with a
When I turned the engine off, my mother became upset because she forgot
her handicapped-parking permit. Since the car was parked next to the
bench, I wasn’t overly concerned. We were close enough to the spot that I
would see any law enforcement, and I couldn’t imagine them writing a
ticket, seeing my mom with her walker.
Fortunately, my mother enjoyed her short stay at the park, which I’m
certain rekindled memories of my father, who was a veteran. We
eventually left without incident.
I bring this up because it’s Memorial Day weekend. Households throughout
the nation are sharing memories of their loved ones. Sometimes we
forget about those that gave their lives for our nation. Their
dedication and commitment is the backbone of our culture today.
The dedication of military personnel is the reason we have the freedom
to elect the officials that make and enforce our laws. The freedoms that
many died for and continue to defend, including our financial freedom.
By that I simply mean the ability to make our own financial decisions.
As with all other aspects of freedom, there is responsibility, and that
includes fiscal responsibility.
What exactly does fiscal responsibility encompass? Each and every day
you’re faced with countless decisions that impact your financial well
being. Responsibility means being prudent with every paycheck and
understanding its boundaries. It begins when you jump out of bed in the
morning and leave for work.
For many, the first financial decision of the day is whether to brew
your coffee at home or make an expensive stop at the coffee shop. Do you
bring your lunch or spend a few dollars every day at a nearby
restaurant or fast food place?
While at work, do you ever find time to check your benefits? In other
words, how much time do you allocate to your retirement plan? Are you
taking full advantage of any employer match? And don’t forget to see if
your employer offers a menu of other benefits, including healthcare
choices and supplemental life insurance.
As you go through your daily routine, are dollars falling from your
pocketbook just because of that routine? Again, being smart and prudent
is a choice; a freedom that should not be taken for granted. Credit
cards might make it easy and tempting for impulsive spending, but fiscal
independence puts the responsibility to avoid overspending squarely on
your shoulders. The stress of outstanding credit card debt has ruined
many lives. Don’t let yours be one of them.
As we salute our military and those that have previously served, keep in
mind that they are the ones that have maintained the entire foundation
that allows us to live the lifestyle we enjoy. It’s too easy to take our
freedoms, including financial freedom, for granted. You are free to
choose how to save or invest or spend or spend your money. Please do so