A few years ago I wrote about Sallie’s number one rule of homemaking. Today I’m going to share my number one rule of saving money. Why? Because I haven’t been doing a good job of this and I can see the consequences. But know that this one rule makes a tremendous difference in our finances.
The Number One Way to Save Money?
Get enough sleep.
Yes, get enough sleep.
It really is that simple.
For many people, a lack of sufficient sleep contributes to a wealth of problems. Many of these problems are directly related to or impact finances.
The Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not enough sleep means dragging through the day which often translates into ordering pizza or eating at McDonalds or going out. Tiredness rarely inspires eating well and cooking good meals at home.
Not enough sleep means crummy meals which often translates into getting run down which then translates into people getting sick (especially in winter). Which means trips to the doctor, buying antibiotics, missing work, etc. Being sick also means that mommy doesn’t cook well, doesn’t shop well, and doesn’t do much of anything well.
Not enough sleep means weight gain. There is a definite correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain, especially in the stomach and abdomen area. This translates into unhappy women who don’t fit into their clothes. This often necessitates buying new clothes.
Not enough sleep generally means neglecting exercise which contributes to a host of problems such as health problems, weight gain, and a vicious cycle of not having enough energy because exercising gives more energy than it takes.
Not enough sleep translates into unhappy mommies who have less patience for their children which translates into unhappy children because mommy is a grouch. And unhappy children means even unhappier mommies which snowballs into mommies who expend energy on everyone being unhappy rather than making positive choices for their families (like cooking good meals).
Not enough sleep translates into poor money management overall because excellent financial management requires thought and dedication. When you are tired it is easy to just throw money at a problem (eating out, buying convenience foods, etc.) rather than proactively making thoughtful choices that benefit the family financially.
Not getting enough sleep translates into boneheaded decisions and forgetfulness. It means not planning a careful shopping list and coming home with things you didn’t need and forgetting the things you did. Which then necessitates another trip to the store to get the things you forgot which means wasting more gas and time.
Not getting enough sleep means your body doesn’t have time to rest and repair itself. Over time, this can contribute to health problems which cost money. Long term sleep shortages have a definite negative effect on your overall health.
Not getting enough sleep impacts your job performance if you work. It means working less effectively which translates into less income if you are self-employed.
Not getting enough sleep means wasting time in the evening in front of the television or computer instead of redeeming the time with something positive that will benefit your family financially.
Not getting enough sleep is like a downward spiral for me and I suspect I’m not the only one. Sufficient sleep is going to vary by individual, but very few people can get by well on less than seven hours of sleep. Many people require more.
So tonight I’m heading to bed early. It’s time to start paying back some of that sleep debt which in turn will hopefully benefit us financially as well.