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Yes you can! Just Say No

Woman Boring a Hole in a Wooden Board with a DrillYes you can!  Just say No!

Perhaps you just lost your job – or you have spent four grueling years getting your degree but there are no jobs available in your line of work. What do you do?

Do you get up, put on a brave face and keep trying?  Or do you give up.

Yes you can! Just say No.

Yes, you can is a mindset that reflects our willingness to dig deep inside ourselves and look for the tools we need to hone and use them more effectively. This isn’t just about putting a positive spin on a serious, perhaps life threatening situation.

It’s looking at your situation squarely and saying, yes I can; with the help of God and doing whatever it takes within my principles and values to make it happen.

It won’t be easy. It will take hard work. It will take ingenuity and creativity. It will take doing many things you might have thought beneath your talents and abilities.

And it will require saying “No” to doing what feels good in the moment; “No” to taking life for granted; “No” to unrealistic expectations. It takes knowing where you are right now, and saying no to purchases you thought were absolutely necessary simply because everybody else is doing it.

Finances can become a serious problem if we do not have impulse control. Not having a budget and knowing how to manage our money can have long term consequences.

When my husband and I were first married, we had no financial cushion. He had just  returned to his home town after playing in big bands both on the road, in studios and in Vegas.

We got married with high hopes of him starting his own band. He tried selling real estate to pay the bills while trying to make the band business profitable. It didn’t.  We were back at square one.  Pregnant with our first child, I could no longer work at my job and we had to move in with his parents.

But, there was never the thought of giving up.  Instead we looked at other options.  Before letting real estate go, we used his commission to buy our first little track house. He realized that neither his dreams for his own big band nor real estate would take care of the needs of a family. He chose a new direction, worked at several jobs at once, went back to school to get his Masters in Music Education and took a job teaching school, something he swore he would never do.  He not only was an excellent teacher, (his students attest to that), but starting from scratch, we worked together as a team.  He became the head of a music department, respected by many, as we also met the challenges of raising a handicapped child and taking care of a Mom with a serious heart condition.  Later, I was able to go back to school as well and get my masters.

Yes you can!

But you might also have to say No.  No to getting all those things you believe you can’t live without in the moment; no to spending money whenever you feel like it. It isn’t easy.

Sometimes you have to scale back farther than you ever thought possible.  But when you develop an attitude of Yes I can, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Throughout life there will be tough times when you will be sidelined, knocked down or will face a major roadblock. You may have to spend money getting more education or training; or you may have to cut way back to make ends meet while you work on how to take that next step.


MP900438950It is so easy to buy on credit.  With the click of a button on phone apps we can make purchases.

We are often unaware of how much we are spending and people can find themselves thousands of dollars in debt.

As important as it is to manage your time and put in place productive habits for healthy eating and exercise, it is equally as important to have a financial program in place.

A lesson I learned

My husband and I shared a similar mind set of, if you want to, you can find a way to do it. Here is my own story about discovering how I spent my money as a young adult – a very valuable lesson learned and remembered.

As a young woman, I shared an apartment with my sister and brother.  I worked at an entry level job and struggled to pay my portion of rent and food costs.  I rarely went shopping and avoided retail stores where I would be tempted to buy things on sale. 

Our Dad had instilled the importance of putting at least 10% of our earnings into savings.  Where was my money going?  How could I possibly do that?

I decided to put down on paper all the things I purchased in a month, no matter how miner or small. I was shocked to discover my lack of money came from all those little ticket items: a new lipstick, a quick cheap meal out at lunchtime, an inexpensive scarf, etc. This was the spending that kept me broke. 

When I put in place new habits around spending, I was again surprised when I was able to save over a $1,000 in a year’s time while still paying my share of the bills and even getting some new clothes from time to time. Back then, that was a lot of money.

Yes We Can

There are many organizations that can help us with financial planning and budgeting if we are having trouble.  The Dave Ramsey program has been very successful in teaching people how to spend wisely and prudently and accumulate wealth in the process.

But you can do this on your own if you are willing to take the time.  Getting higher incomes and better paying jobs does not automatically guarantee you will get out of debt.  Studies show we simply increase our spending in relation to what we earn. In fact, you will be able to accumulate more money by establishing prudent spending/budget/saving habits.

Time management, financial management, self-regulation and self-discipline can be the greatest gifts you give yourself.  Yes you can.  Just say No to impulses. And Yes to meaningful long term goals.

Marlene Anderson

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