I’m sure you’ve heard the old truism ‘money isn’t everything’, right? The truth of the matter is, money can add a lot to our lives. Is it a replacement for love or happiness? Of course not. But I can guarantee you that it’s easier to reach for your dreams and enjoy your family when you’re not constantly dreading calls from creditors or wondering how you’ll put food on the table.
The difference between those who become a slave to making money and those who use it to enhance their lives usually comes down to the proper mindset. If you have that in place, you can make good decisions about how you make it, what you do with it, and how you manage it. When these elements are in place, money becomes a conduit to greater things and never takes over as the primary goal of success.
HOW YOU VIEW IT
When you think about making a million dollars, how do you see your lifestyle changing? Do you see yourself buying fancy cars and houses to make your neighbors jealous? Or do you see it enabling you to send your kids to college, help your mom move to a good retirement community, and allow your spouse to quit the job she hates? If you primarily want to make money to impress others or enhance your image, the money will never make you happy. However, if you see it as a way to provide security and opportunity for those you love, you’ve got your priorities straight.
THE WAY YOU CHOOSE TO MAKE IT
I know a lot of people who stay in jobs they hate for their entire careers because they make a lot of money. What inevitably happens with these individuals is that they’re so unhappy, no amount of financial compensation can offset their misery and they never get to a place where they can enjoy it. If you go to work every day for only the paycheck, you are letting money become your master. If you go to work every day for your passion, the paycheck is secondary (and you can enjoy it a whole lot more).
WHAT YOU DO WITH IT
Do you spend your money on the latest gadgets, expensive clothes, and extravagant vacations? Or do you invest wisely, put some aside for entertainment and the occasional luxury, and work toward larger goals like a second home in the mountains or funding your children’s education? If you blow money like it will never run out, you never truly appreciate its power. However, if you respect that money can lead to a more comfortable and stable life, you develop a deep respect for it.
HOW YOU MANAGE IT
Some people who make a lot of money seem to think they will continue to make a lot of money forever. This leads them to think they don’t have to manage it because there will always be more. These are typically the ones you see who go from a million-dollar mansion to living in their car after a tech bubble bursts or a corporate downsizing. When we respect money, we realize it is not infinite and that we need to manage it wisely.
When I work with clients, I focus more on their mindset and attitudes about money than I do their actual money. Why? Because if the mindset and attitude aren’t right, the money will never be enough and they will never attain their true goals. Are you thinking about money the right way? If you’ve somehow let it become your master, please reach out. I’d love to help you change your mindset and show you how it impacts your entire life.
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Patrick Tucker, owner of True Measure Wealth Management, has over 20 years experience in the industry and has spent the last 15 years learning the ins and outs of the fee-only advisory business. He focuses on client behaviors and what ‘wealth’ means for each individual client to provide caregiving plans that lead to a mindful fulfillment of financial goals. A lifelong learner, Patrick uses his continued knowledge to become a valued partner for his clients and help them explore the wisdom of true wealth.