Power of “No”

Lyndsey DucharmeBy: Lyndsey Ducharme, MFF Fellow & Mom of Twins

“No” is such a strong word. I am discovering it is a very powerful tool when it comes to thinking about money and investing. Not all investment opportunities are right for me and my family, and it’s okay to say no to them. Actually, it’s a really good thing.

After writing down our S.M.A.R.T goals, it has given me an even clearer view of what we are working towards and what we need to do to accomplish them. Using the power of the word no is one of them. The most obvious thing to say no too is extra purchases we don’t need. I struggle with this. Ever since COVID-19, I have been spending money like we have it to spend. This is something I have been trying to work on with myself and the kids. Money burns a hole in their pocket lately too. It is instant satisfaction and entertainment. Even during the summer, we were getting stir crazy, since it was not like our normal summers.  This is one of the reasons I have been spending like crazy. When we get bored, we buy something to do. Asking myself, “Do we really need this or do I want it?” works 90% of the time to help curb the spending.

Recently, I was part of a meeting discussing the possibility of a team of people investing in a piece of real estate. This sounded right up our alley. I was so excited to be invited to the meeting and at the possibility of the investment. It sounded like a great way to get our feet wet in the world of investing. After the meeting, I started questioning if it was the right move for us based on our S.M.A.R.T goals. After many discussions with my husband and after asking more questions, I came to the conclusion it just wasn’t right for us.  Believe it or not, even with all my fears around money, I was nervous to say no.  The meeting was run by someone I respect and who has been mentoring me. I have said I am interested in real estate investing, and then I said no. I was nervous about what he would think of me. I couldn’t worry about that though. I had to take a good hard look at our S.M.A.R.T goals and what we had in the bank. We could have done it. We have the means to make the investment, but doing this one potentially postpones our family goals, and that just didn’t seem right for us. 

This time when I said no, it was a more educated, calculated response, not one made out of fear. That’s a huge step for me. Becoming more educated about money at MFF has given me the confidence to be part of these discussions. “No” isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes it is the best thing.

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