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Phil Schuman and Morgan McMillan join Pete and Alex to talk...yes, sandwiches.
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Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, we decided to take a week off and just talk about sandwiches.
Because sometimes finances can be an incredibly stressful thing to talk about and you just need to sit back, relax, and laugh with those around you. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, it’s perfectly acceptable to take a breather and come back to them when you’re ready to go all-in and tackle them. This is not to say it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore your finances, but rather it’s ok to say that you need to get yourself in the right frame of mind before you can do it effectively.
Sandwiches, however, can be a useful metaphor for your finances – stay with us on this. A great sandwich is one that is piled high with meats (or the vegetarian equivalents), cheeses (unless you’re Phil), vegetables, sauces, and some high quality breads to hold all of the deliciousness together. Still, if you pile too much into your sandwich, your mouth won’t be able to surround your masterpiece, leaving you unable to eat the sandwich in the manner in which you intended. Sometimes when the sandwich is too big, you just have to scale back – maybe cut it in half – to make sure you’re able to handle it appropriately.
Your finances work in exactly the same way. If you try to pile on too much all at once – whether it be taking out loans or even just addressing your financial situation – you stand to put yourself in a position to not be able to accomplish the task. In the case of taking out loans, only take on what you can afford and need. Don’t try piling on more “meat” than what you need just because you can. Be knowledgeable about what you can handle, and make an appropriate decision based on that.
If you’re just looking to address your financial situation, whether it be with a significant other or just yourself, know your limits about how much you can stand at once and plan to tackle it appropriately. Like taking out too much debt, if you try to address your situation all at once, you’re probably going to be biting off more than you can chew – leaving you stressed and less likely to tackle it with full force. Instead, cut the conversation in half, quarters, or whatever fraction of your financial sandwich you like. Just make it manageable for you. There is no need to try to do something heroic.
And not all sandwiches are similar. Each one is different and how everybody orders them is different as well. How you spend your finances is exactly the same. Your financial priorities are – and should be – different than everybody else’s. The bread will always serve as the framework – the known portion of your sandwich (i.e., fixed expenses that everybody has). But what you do in between those slices of bread is all up to you. Sure, you could have a menu tell you what’s on the sandwich, but wouldn’t you rather be able to create your own that fits your needs and desires best? With your finances, when you set up your budget, you should take some guidance from others to get you started; but the rest should be up to you so that it reflects your tastes and desires. Trying to live off somebody else’s budget could put you in bad shape.
We’re sure that there are more ways that finances and sandwiches are alike, but rather than try to come up with more, we’d rather hold off and hope we get to reintroduce the topic at a later week because we had a lot of fun putting it together. Until we do get to address it, just remember to be wise about how you address debt and your financial situation, and be sure to customize your finances in such a way that it provides you more joy. After all, it’s an accurate reflection of who you are and how you prioritize.