As an advice-based planner and a fiduciary, I find that the clients I work the best with are the ones who I form a mentoring partnership with. That means that we not only talk about their investments, stocks, and retirement goals, but that we also talk about overall lifestyle, levels of fulfillment, and other issues that affect their happiness and satisfaction with life. It always amazes me when I really get to know a client and start to uncover their feelings about wealth. Believe it or not, some people are embarrassed of the money they make while others see it only as a way to impress others or as an end goal to show they’ve finally succeeded.
Yes, there are a lot of unhealthy beliefs about money out there. But the truth of the matter is, money has no inherent good or bad qualities. Money sometimes gets a bad rap because of what people use it for or what they believe it says about them. If money is used to feel superior to others or to live an empty lifestyle of fast cars and mansions, then it can be bad. However, I encourage my clients who have worked hard for their money to see it in a positive light. Having money does not mean you need to be arrogant or that you’re trying to prove something. In fact, it can greatly enhance your quality of life if you use it in the right way.
In this three-part series, I want to talk about a handful of ways that money can be used for the good. This not only helps my clients view the money they’ve made (or will make) in a positive way, but it also provides motivation for those who are still building their wealth. We’ll start with one of the most important things, in my opinion, your money can be used for: wellness. Here are three ways that having wealth can improve your overall well-being.
Let’s face it, eating healthy costs more than the alternative. Many of us get stuck in the trap of eating cheaply when we’re in college or our early years of building a career in a family. Once we achieve financial stability, we don’t change our eating habits even though we can afford to. We pass by the fresh, organic fruits and vegetables in favor of chicken nuggets and instead of cooking some delicious salmon or turkey breast on the grill, we pop a frozen pizza into the oven.
The way you eat has an enormous effect on your moods, your lifespan, and, of course, your waistline. Eating organic, choosing meats that are farm-raised, and focusing on quality is not an inexpensive endeavor, but it is worth it. Cooking at home with your family also has a positive effect on your relationships and your enjoyment of the meal you prepare. Now that you’re in the time of your life where you’ve built some wealth, use that to buy high-quality foods, eat at restaurants that prepare their food responsibly, or even take some cooking classes. It will be some of the best money you’ll spend.
Find Meaningful Movement
My life really started to change for the better when I incorporate frequent exercise into my daily routine. You don’t need me (or any mentor) to tell you exercise is good for you. However, many people find they can’t stick to an exercise routine because they get bored or because their schedules are too packed. You know the great thing about being financially stable? You can put some money into an exercise program that works for you.
When you’re struggling to make ends meet, you may try free forms of exercise (taking walks or doing workout videos on YouTube), but you shy away from yoga classes or nice gyms or personal trainers because you think you can’t afford them. However, once you’ve determined you have some disposable income, you can really choose whatever form of exercise keeps you motivated and makes you feel the best. Try out a few different things like classes, one-on-one personal training time, or new pieces of equipment to see which works best for you.
Recharge and De-stress
The stress of a busy career and family can be debilitating. If you’re overly stressed, it can take a toll on your health, your happiness, and could even lead to a late-life divorce. I see many of my clients who have run themselves ragged to create a stable income for their families. However, they don’t seem to realize that that goal has been achieved and they continue on their high-stress paths long after they need to.
One way to use your money wisely is to invest in relaxation techniques such as massages, spa days, or frequent long weekend where you don’t allow yourself to check emails. You can also plan relaxing vacations with those you love to reconnect relationships that may have suffered due to long hours at the office. Don’t underestimate the negative powers of stress! If you don’t take time to diffuse it now, you may not be alive to enjoy your wealth in the future.
The way you think about and use money has a huge impact on your happiness and attitude toward the wealth you have accumulated. In my next blog, we’ll explore another way you can use your hard-earned money to improve your quality of life. In the meantime, please reach out if you have any questions about re-defining your money mindset.
Patrick Tucker, the 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.