Somebody is watching you
Who’s watching, Tell me, who’s watching, Who’s watching me
Somebody’s Watching Me, Rockwell, 1984
I love going to church and listening to our pastor’s sermons. Funny, I remember a time when I would literally count down the time to when church service was over. Now that I am older and and a more mature Christian, I’ve really come to appreciate the sermon each Sunday and really get a great deal from them. To be honest, many of the sermons influence articles I write here on Gather Little by Little, and this is one such article.
Two weeks or so ago, our pastor was delivering his sermon and reminded us that as Christians we are constantly being watched, both by fellow Christians and non-Christians. We are being watched by others to determine how a Christian should or does act. Our actions set the standard for how others perceive Christians to be.
Listening to this and reflecting on it some, I realized this applies to many situations. I’m an IT manager at a financial services company and am sure I’m watched by my staff and peers to help determine how a manager should act. I know I watch my manager and peers for this very same reason.
This concept also applies to our personal finances. As we begin our financial journey to regain control of our finances people will notice. The more vocal we are about it, the more they will notice. I am very open about my financial turnaround. Most people that know me are fully aware of my loathing for credit cards and credit card companies. They are also aware I am fairly frugal and always on the hunt for a great deal. I do blog anonymously here on Gather Little by Little though, otherwise people would know a whole lot more.
I’m okay with people knowing about my finances, at least at a high level. I’m not comfortable disclosing specific numbers, but it’s not a secret that I had and still have a fairly large amount of debt, until a year and half ago had little to no savings and frankly was on a path to quick financial self destruction.
As I reflected further on the sermon, I began to wonder how many people are not only watching me as a Christian, but how many people are watching how I manage my financial life? When I tell people I am frugal and then go purchase something that isn’t how does that effect how people view me? Are people watching me as a model for how to regain control of their financial lives? I hope so, but it sure does impose a great deal of pressure for me to stay on track and not mess up.
Somebody is watching you
I can almost guarantee that right now, not matter what state your personal finances are in, somebody is watching you. Maybe your neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, a family member, or maybe even your child. Someone is looking at your financial life and learning from it. Let that “marinate” for a minute.
Does that reality change your thinking a bit? It sure did mine and was one of the many reasons I started Gather Little by Little. I figured if I wrote about what I was doing and shared my journey with people than I would be far more likely to actually stay on track. After all, I had to answer up if I didn’t right?
Tips in case you are being watched
Here are just a few tips you can follow in case you are being watched:
- Make sure you do what you say – This is probably the most important thing you can do. If you say you hate credit cards, then cut them up and don’t use them. If you say you save 10%, than you better save 10%. When we say we do something, then don’t, it impacts are credibility with others.
- Nobody is perfect – Nobody on this earth is perfect, and for most of us we’re a whole lot further away from perfect than we would like to be. Don’t ever forgot that. We all make mistakes, stumble, and even fall flat on our face. This can occur at anytime. When you do make a mistake (and you will) admit it. Share your mistake with others, and share what you learned from it. I was reminded of this a few months back when I slacked on my personal finances.
- Talk about your finances and beliefs - I don’t mean tell them how much you make, but talk openly to people about how you manage your finances. Tell then what budget software you do, how you pay your bills on time each month, how you track your net worth, etc. People around you will get far more from hearing you discuss your finances than they will just watching.
- Respect Others – Not everyone is going to have the same opinion you do regarding personal finance. Some believe in budgets, some don’t. Others love credit cards and some like me can’t stand them. Take time to listen and learn from others. You don’t always have to agree, but always respect the opinions and perspectives of others.
- Be a great example – Do such a great job with your finances, that others can’t say a bad thing about you. Let me tell you, this is a tough one, but striving for this can only help. Work so hard at being financially secure that others can look to you as an example.
Who’s watching you? What influence does this have on your financial life? What do you do to help and encourage those that might be watching you? Add a comment!
Photo by: Seth Tisue