We all have differing, sometimes opposing, at times agreeing, views on money. It’s not always the easiest conversation to talk about with others as we’re on different ‘levels’ so to speak. But how often do we look at what/how we ourselves think of money?
I’ve always been pretty good at saving money even since I was a teenager and had my first job, reading books about finance and the value of starting to save whilst young which partially shaped my view of money. After listening to a few more “self-reflective” podcasts as of late, these have raised more questions of other influences on how I treat/view/value money.
It appears to me to be that there are many different ways to view money, that could work positively in different situations/for different goals. If we view money as a tool to be used to attempt to make more and have greater freedom, then it’s easier to disconnect from the emotional roller coaster with investments going up and down and judge intelligently relying on research. Or if money is something we view as a blessing that comes in and out of our lives, then we can hold onto it loosely, i.e enjoying spending it on a holiday or a watch that you appreciate wearing due to the craftsmanship and significance attached to it, and use it to enhance our experiences within life.
My go-to response is always to save money…it makes me feel safe, secure, like I’m doing the right thing if I’m saving. It’s not always the right option though. There have been times when it is, and saving has helped set me up into a good position financially speaking for having more freedom etc, and times when I’ve saved rather than using money to experience an adventure or bought something which would have genuinely improved my life. It’s been eye opening now that I’m currently cutting back at work instead of trying to save every dollar and work every shift. I’m using some of this time to question myself more about how I think about money due to other’s influences, perceptions, natural inclinations, and doing things just because “that’s how I’ve always done it.”
Here are 3 Questions to ask yourself over your next beverage of choice:
- What do I primarily view money as? Is it a tool? Security perhaps? Something to be enjoyed and used to enhance our lives? Whatever the answer or answers you find, write it down, this is easier to acknowledge the role money plays in our lives when it’s before us, as well as easier to measure changes after the following question.
- Do I treat money how I say I treat it? Am I saying I want to be generous with money and giving but really I put every dollar away for “one day” when I have enough money and think I’ll be giving then. What could I change to be more in touch with “my path” of choosing.
- It’s great to plan ahead, and I as much as anyone, know there’s definite value in having savings goals/a financial plan, but also know that we’re not living forever, so it might be worth considering: Is there a way I can start to experience part of my “dream life” now? Maybe your big financial goal is to retire on a $750k boat and sail around forever. Could you start experiencing a taste of that life and hire a boat every 6 months for a trip? That way you’ll also find out if you get sick of being on a boat after more than 2 weeks. Better to find out now rather than having built up a dream for years and years only to get there and find out it isn’t everything you thought it would be.
By no means am I worth millions of dollars or a financial guru, but these are some questions which I’ve found very helpful to consider in my own life and would’ve loved someone to bring to my attention earlier on as well. Considering how easy it is to get caught up in the pitfalls, dreams, schemes and plans of money, it’s worth just as much to consider our relationship towards money and what we desire from it. I hope we all achieve wealthy lives over simply being rich. Whatever that looks like for you.