What is Your Money For?
This post is all about a question, and the question is: What is your money for?
What is your money for? It seems like a simple question, and in some ways it is, but it also is incredibly important to think about and come up with an answer to. Knowing what your money is for is imperative in motivating you to stay on track and help you reach your financial and life goals and ultimately live a happy life.
I recently read a great book called Moolala – Why smart people do dumb things with their money (and what you can do about it). It is written by financial writer and TV personality Bruce Sellery, is all about helping people get control of their finances, and is written in a simple and easy to comprehend manner. One of the core themes Bruce talks about as to why smart people do dumb things with their money is that they don’t know what their money is for. Bruce refers to this as finding the context for your money.
The problem with not thinking about what your money is for is you instead just adopt society’s expectations for money are and internalize them as your own. Some common societal answers to the question include:
- Buying a big house
- Buying expensive things
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of these answers, and they are the right ones for many people. The question is, are they the right answer for you? The problem with just blindly accepting society’s expectations for what your money is for is if they don’t truly align with your deep seeded beliefs and passions you are likely going to find yourself in a constant struggle to keep on track.
My money is for retirement. Ok, but why? What excites you about retirement? What do you envision yourself doing with your money in your retirement? Or is your money for retirement because the financial media tells you that’s what it should be for?
My money is for buying things. Ok, but why? Does owning the flat screen TV or designer furniture set make you a happier person? Or is your money for buying things because your neighbor has a fancy car and you want to keep up?
Instead of adopting society’s default definitions of what money is for, I’ve come up with my own. Sure it includes some common themes, but it is also more unique to me.
So what is my money for? Well, I’ve always been very responsible with my money. I diligently save 20-30% of my income every year towards Retirement and other things like a house down payment. I don’t spend huge amounts of money on owning the fanciest and most expensive things, instead opting to spend more money on experiences. But why do I do these things? What is my money for?
My money is for ADVENTURE!
People who know me will tell you I love to travel. I’ve been to 33 countries so far, and plan on visiting many more as time goes on. I view every trip as a new adventure, and when not travelling the globe I am going on adventures at home. Whether that be a ski trip to the mountains, camping in the woods, running a triathlon or going to a football game, all of those things are worth spending money on to me.
- Why do I save a good chunk of my income for retirement? So I can retire before I am too old and have the funds available to continue travelling the world and going on new adventures.
- Why do I avoid spending huge amounts of money on fancy consumer goods? Because I’d rather buy experiences, go on trips and have new adventures with my friends and family.
- Why did I sell my townhouse and move downtown into a rental apartment? Because I am able to enjoy the lifestyle of inner city living while saving some money for a few years (vs. owning) and instead spend more money on travelling and going on adventures while I am young and childless.
I guess deep down I’d always known that my money is for adventure, and as a result have subconsciously directed my financial decisions to align with that belief.
So, I ask again, what is your money for? Maybe your answer is “Family”, “Exploring”, “Living Life” or something else, whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
If you’d like some additional support with making a change, please setup an initial connection meeting with us and learn more about how Finovo can help you get better control of your finances.