Morgan Ulmer CFP®

Morgan Ulmer CFP®

Certified Financial Planner® professional

Morgan joined the team in February, 2019 with 8 years of financial planning and financial literacy training under her belt. She is as comfortable working on complex financial planning engagements as she is helping young adults understand budgeting and debt management.

I’ve got good news for your budget and your life.

Spending time on pursuits that fulfil you may necessitate that you consciously spend less time on pursuits that cost money.

We all know that money and your enjoyment of life are connected. Most people make choices meant to increase wealth or find pleasure through purchases or costly experiences because we have been socialized to believe that’s the path to life satisfaction. Um, no. It’s a trap, and has contributed to the “I’m so busy” illness that has infected our society. It can also be harmful from a stress and mental health standpoint.

There are many alternatives though. And surprise, surprise, they aren’t expensive.

“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”
– Maya Angelou

Consider the concept of gratitude. Don’t dismiss it as lightweight.  There is research behind this. When you truly appreciate what you already have in the moment, you elevate your feelings of personal fulfilment and contentment. Believing that we “have enough” is also good for your net worth.

So what is the antidote to the busy trap? Enter the question posed by Canadian writer Kate Smalley: “How do you know if you’ve done enough”? As someone who always tries to fit in ‘just one more thing’, this question gave me pause. 

To answer her own query, the author found it helpful to “think of the things I do that make me feel like I’m moving in the direction of myself. Not a better, shinier, more productive version of myself… but more of who I already am”.

On the days where she attained done-enough-ness, what did she do?

  • She created or delivered something
  • She moved her body purposefully (aka exercise)
  • She learned something new that changed the way she sees the world, others, or herself
  • She connected to something bigger than herself 

As there’s no need to re-invent the wheel, here’s my own list building on some of her thoughts:

On the days where I attained done-enough-ness, what did I do?

  • I was present in my communication with others
  • I spent quality time with at least one of my family members
  • I moved my body with intention
  • I read something long-form
  • I learned something new

In articulating what activities provide you with “enough-ness”, you may find that few require spending much, if any, money. 

In fact, to make way for the pursuits that fulfil you, you may have to actively NOT spend time on the ones that cost money. And, if you do spend money advancing your new version of what makes for a good day, it will at least be spending that’s in line with your values.  Full spending, instead of empty spending.

In my case, taking my son to the local children’s theatre, having lunch with a friend, or buying a book all meet the criteria. But watch your excuses; this enough-ness could easily be accomplished for free: playing with my son, going for a walk with a friend, checking out a book from the library.  

So now it’s your turn: On the days where you attained done-enough-ness, what did you do?

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This information is of a general nature and should not be considered professional advice. Its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed and Queensbury Strategies Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability.