Something I've been trying to focus on recently is to spend more quality time with my son. When we are spending more time together, he's happier and I'm happier.
It hasn't always been like this. A big part of the problem has been the fact that I've been so harried with work. In an effort to make more money, I've been letting work slowly encroach on family time. While I always try to make time for him, my attention and focus have been lacking.
So, I started making more time for my son, but that pushed some work later into the night. It isn't bad on some days. But between my full-time job and my side hustle, I can certainly see my side income slipping.
Finally, I just decided that there were certain things I wanted to do, and that I wasn't going to let the idea of making money overtake my family life.
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Do You Really Need That Much Money?
I took a look at my situation, and realized that I didn't really need as much money. Or, at least there were ways to arrange my schedule so that I had more time with my family. In a lot of ways, it's about understanding how much is enough.
It's not like my family is any kind of financial hardship. I make decent salary with my full-time job and my side business is doing more than ok. My wife is also working full-time earning a decent income. And we have enough money stashed away in our bank accounts, and we have decent amount in our retirement accounts to boot. Although I liked the idea of making more money, making more money at the expense of my family relationships doesn't make a lot of sense.
I took a look at where I stood, and what was going on, and cut back a little bit. All of a sudden, my schedule looked better.
Boosting My Productivity
Another thing I did was look at my productivity level. Every so often, procrastination starts to creep up on me. I realized that I wasn't maximizing my work time, and made the appropriate adjustments. Even if you start out with a plan, there's a good chance that, over time, you start to drift away from that.
In my case, I was slowly moving away from my original schedule, getting distracted by little things, and falling behind. That meant that I had to play catch up instead of play with my son, or spend time with my wife. After acknowledging my procrastination problem, and clearing up my schedule a little bit, I've been able to boost my productivity overall. That's been a great help in having more family time later on.
Good Memories Don't Need to Cost A Lot
While I have no problem spending money on the things that I like, I also know that it doesn't always have to be about money. Our family enjoy a number of quality activities together — and many of them are low cost.
Some of the things that we enjoy together include:
- Going to local parks and playgrounds
- Taking him on bike rides around the neighborhood
- Watching his favorite shows together
- Playing video games
- Deconstructing and reconstructing his Lego sets
We also like to go to the local mall to buy food a Costco, eat lunch at IKEA, and play in the Lego store or the kids area. Of course, this doesn't always work out to be cheap, but we are pretty good about not spending money when we go to the mall.
There are a number of things you can do as a family that aren't very expensive. A lot of these activities also provide you with a chance to talk to each other, and to laugh together. One of the best ways to knit a family together is to have fun in each other's company. That's been missing from my life lately, and I'm glad that I've made the time to bring my family back into focus.