The Lesson of the Conditioner: Recognizing what is necessary and what is not.

The other morning, I came back from a run, and as soon as I walked in through the door, I heard my little three year old daughter waking up.  It wasn’t even quite 6am yet, so I knew she wasn’t done sleeping.  I picked her up and cuddled her up and took her to my bedroom, and tucked her into bed with my hubby, who was still snoozing.  I tiptoed out of the bedroom like a mama-bear-ninja.  I was excited to get my day going, but I needed to shower asap.  But because our bathroom is through the master bedroom, I was left having to shower in our guest bath.  The only thing that the guest bath had in it was one lonely bottle of shampoo.  And I was going to have to do with what was in there, as there was no way I was showering and waking up my sleeping little beauty.

My entire life I used conditioner along with shampoo each shower.  I couldn’t remember not having conditioner and have never thought of NOT of using it.  It was such a tiny little thing, but it felt so awkward to just have to jump out of the shower, when I was finished with the shampoo, versus lathering up one more time with conditioner.

I share this, because it’s amazing how ingrained tiny little habits our in our lives and in our psyches.

I brushed out my hair and went on with my day.

Midday, I took a look at my head and noticed that my hair felt exactly like it did every other day.  It was smooth and shiny and business as usual. It wasn’t any better or any worst than any other days, where I have a bathroom full of everything and then some to shower and play with.  And so I started thinking about the lesson of the conditioner.

Conditioner is a nice to have, but is it perhaps always necessary?  Do I need to use it daily?  Do I need to spend $3/$4 on a bottle every other week?  What else do I think I NEED to use, but I actually do not need at all?

When in money saving mode, we have to peel back some layers of habits that have been ingrained in us to truly learn what we really need, and what we do not.  When becoming a stealth ninja saving and investing warrior – we have to build onto a raw foundation of true NEED, and at times, we have to break this foundation down.

Maybe you grew up in a family where it was taught you needed certain things. You needed to buy school pictures, or receive/give big gifts for birthdays and holidays, you needed to throw away all leftovers, or you needed to live pay to pay. Perhaps you never thought of NOT buying new clothes at the beginning of the school year, or not buying a brand new book-bag to kick off another grade.  Perhaps you always thought it was incredibly necessary to buy expensive greeting cards and anything else would not make sense.

I challenge myself, and all reading, to break up that foundation.  Bulldoze through it.  Break it up, and rebuild it with what you truly need, with what is truly important, and what is really necessary for your life.  Break it down, and build it up stronger, with more discipline, and more necessity – and teach your children to do the same, by your living and breathing example.

I truly always believed that my hair needed a daily big dose of conditioner to look good, and feel nice, and boom, there it is – it does not need it.  What else can I re-learn about needs/wants/necessities that have been inaccurate and incorrect?

I share this, because we all deserve to live in absolute financial freedom and peace, and I know that many people have no clue how they can go from living the pay-to-pay life to living the invest-most-of-your-pay-and-build-up-money-in-investment-accounts life.  I know it is absolutely scary to think that all your life you heard people complain about money, how everything is so expensive, how there is never enough, and believing they could never get to a better position, but you want it so badly for yourself.  And you can take the leap right now, today, to the side of the road that you want to be on.  I promise you with all of my heart that everything you ever need, and ever want, you already have.  It’s about recognizing the inventory that you already possess, loving it immensely, and re-building our foundation of what truly is necessary.

I grew up thinking that we always needed new cars for safety.  I don’t think that anyone said this to me in particular, but that’s just what I believed.  My sophomore year of college, I got a new Hyundai Elantra.  And for many years after, we always purchased new vehicles with loans.  But what if I had a different thought and understanding?  What if I believed that a reliable but used car was the smarter choice?  What if I understood the bs of loans and interest at 20 versus 30?  That would have saved me many years and many thousands of dollars.

What is it that you can re-think? Re-build?
What can you and your family do without, go without?  How big can you go?  And how many small changes can you make?

I’m grateful to have a partner who is on the same page along with me.  He’s actually a smarter money saver and wiser about spending than I could probably every be, but thankfully still allows me to play accountant.  Together, and as a family, we still have a lot to discover and learn about our spending, saving, investing, and building.  But remembering what the little lesson that the conditioner has taught me, helps propel us along.

Challenge yourself to undercover products, purchases, habits and thoughts that do not help you build wealth, but perhaps keep you stuck.  Break them down, and rebuild the way you see fit.

Cheers to all going strong in their financial goals.  Cheers to all breaking down what has been wrongly taught.  Cheers to all building and rebuilding as you grow smart and strong.

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