Thursday, April 17, 2008

Redirection and willpower

When I am at schools working I do an observation and then interview the teachers. One of my questions is how they handle behavior problems. 99% of the time the answer involves redirecting the children. Today's post at Gather Little By Little made me think about how I use this technique (and a bit of willpower) with my own friends.

I've let all of my close friends know that I'm working on reducing my debt. From international travel to drinks before an event, my friends want to socialize in ways that involves money. For example, one of my friends likes to go out for food before or after anything we do. Once in a while, when it fits into the budget, I'll say yes. For the times in between I suggest a potluck, picnic, or cooking together as an alternative. When its my turn to plan the get together with my girls from grad school I do the same thing.

It takes a lot of willpower to keep redirecting. Without my financial goals I would probably say yes most of the time and enjoy. Instead I think about being debt free, having enough saved for retirement, and being able to do the things we want to do. I also tell my friends what I've accomplished this year. Though I think I've just done ok they are amazed at my overpayment's. So when I'm saying no I think of the incredulous sound on their face when I tell them about my progress.


Jane said...

We have saved a lot this year because of similar redirecting strategies. For me, it has been planning ahead for stress. For example, those Bertoli bag dinners are a bit $$, but having one in the freezer means that when I am stressed after work, I wont be tempted to just go out. So in the long run I save. When I told someone about our savings they were also surprised. I think very few people are really saving with a plan.

L@SpillingBuckets said...

I need to get better at redirecting my friends. It's hard sometimes.