“Grandma, you Wanna Play?” 

It’s 10am on a Tuesday morning and our three-year-old granddaughter has come into my office with an irresistible smile and asks me if I wanna play.  Without any hesitation, I stop what I am doing and we go and play – even though I have a ‘to do’ list as long as my arm and strictly speaking this is ‘office time’. 

Sometimes our play is building something with blocks, other times (yes, this has happened several times in the month the family has been staying with us – and I love it!) we draw pictures and on other occasions we have wrapped soft toys in tea towels and put them to bed because they are sick.

I would go back to my office some time later with a glowing smile on my face, feeling quite relaxed and ready to tackle the ‘to do’ list again.  It’s Grandad’s turn to play….

None of this play involved money, it was all about time.

It was about prioritising my time and making the most of having our grandchildren around us.

This has really got me thinking about play, not just with our children or our grandchildren but with our partners as well.

When was the last time you put down whatever it was you were doing and just played?

There is always something on the ‘to do list’, whether it is work that keeps us away from home for most of the day, the chores at the weekend or the things we ‘should’ be doing.

I was listening to John Gottman from the Gottman Institute, he remarked that when couple’s relationships are under stress, the first thing that goes is the fun.  Doing fun things together; in other words, play.

When we are under financial stress the first thing that tends to go are the things that help us wind down and relax and enjoy each other’s company; in other words, play.

When we are time poor, again, it is those fun activities that we struggle to make the time for.  We never quite get there because we are too busy or just too tired trying to fit everything in.

Here’s a challenge for you.

Write down a list of all the fun things you like to do, for yourself, as a couple and as a family.

Have a look at that list and then rank them from the least expensive (no financial cost), to the most expensive.  Then ask yourself, how can you do more of the least expensive?

“I don’t have time” I hear you say, so here comes the next challenge.

Have a look at how you spend your money.  Find out how you can be smarter and reallocate some of that spending so you can spend money to buy time.  Then use that time to play.

Even as adults play, is really important.  It keeps our inner child happy, it recharges and de-stresses us.  This is one thing we don’t do enough of it.

Here’s my last challenge.

Stop what you are doing right now and take five minutes to talk to your partner or your family.  Then, in big bold letters book a play date in your calendar.  Make it inexpensive, make it fun and above all, make it non-negotiable.

If you want to know how you can make better choices with your money so you can create more time to play in your life, click on this link and book a day and time to talk with us.  We would love to talk to you.

Have you tried our Money Personality Quiz,  It might surprise you.

We love our grandchildren 🙂