The Water Dilemma

I was eating dinner at a restaurant recently, and the waitress came over to fill up our water glasses. As soon as she set the cups down, everyone at the table had the same reaction of picking up the glasses, but there were two very different approaches.


It occurred to me that we treated our water glasses like we do our bank accounts. Some people at the table took a couple of small sips and set the rest down on the table for later (Set up a budget, and build up savings), while others quickly finished half of their water with three big gulps (Go out and splurge right after pay day).

Those who drank the water quickly soon realized that this meant that they would have to ration the rest of their water and it meant taking very small sips until the waitress came back around, which at some restaurants, could be more than a few minutes (Living paycheck to paycheck). Conversely, those who took small sips at the beginning didn’t have to worry about running out of water and were able to enjoy their meal knowing that whenever they wanted water, it would be there (being on track with a budget and having a healthy savings account to rely on).


There are two solutions to our water problem. The first is to find a restaurant where there are constantly waitresses walking around looking for empty glasses to fill. (Find a job that pays more.) You’d have to get very lucky to find this and it would require a lot of time and research (Professional development, training).

The other solution is to plan more carefully and follow the lead of those who still had water left at the end of the meal. By taking smaller sips more frequently, there’s no need to cut back later. (Build a budget so that you can enjoy life without having to worry so much.)

It’s important to budget and plan ahead, and doing so could save you from running out of what you want most in the end.

The Water Dilemma

Sweating the Big Stuff

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