Ever looked at your end of year income statement and wondered where on earth all that money went?
Surely I didn’t earn $84,598 and spend it all?! Where did it all go? I mean, I bought that new couch. I absolutely had to update the TV, it was a plasma after all… but what happened to the rest? Why is my mortgage statement exactly the same as it was last year?
It is times like this we tend to look at where we are going and know deep down that something needs to change.
“I’m doing it all for my family,” can roll off the tongue so easily as an overarching goal, however the hours in our typical day might indicate otherwise. We go to work to make sure that they have a nice home to live in, a comfortable car, new clothes and other trinkets. It’s all for our loved ones right? It is, after all, a highly honourable intention. We have the best intentions to spend more time with the people we care about. When we get the chance that is. Right now we need to pay those bills off though!
At times our buying patterns can force us to alter course and to live a life contrary to our intrinsic vision. We can get consumed by the desire, or the perceived need to keep up with the Joneses while those bills keep rolling in relentlessly. The precious, useful hours we have in each day seem to be chewed up working towards paying off all our stuff rather than spending quality time with our loved ones.
My question is this: Are you going somewhere?
Or perhaps a better one to ask is: Are you going where you want to go?
What is your reason for getting up in the morning? When all the shiny trinkets, bells and whistles break, decay and turn ‘uncool’, what is the ‘why’ which drives you towards something that truly matters?
Personally, I realised quite some time ago that treasures lost their lustre very quickly while their repayments hung around for a very long time afterwards. I watched as my kids accidentally draw all over the tables that were once pristine. The immaculate leather couch we had was Freddy Kruegered by a Border Collie trying to get comfy. The fancy European car gets touch parked at the supermarket.
My ‘why’ is to leave a legacy where my children are taught to think of helping others and to leave a positive indelible mark on the people that they meet. I hope to educate a generation of school students to leave a positive mark on the world around them. Ultimately I would love to financially bless a community abroad with enough resources to establish and maintain a school that provides free education.
Knowing my ‘why’ has enabled me to make different choices in life and I think it has a huge impact on the financial choices you might make in a given day.
What I would encourage you to do following reading this post is to ask yourself these series of questions:
- Where are you going at the moment?
- What is most important to you?
- What do you hope is your legacy in life?
- What skills do you have to leverage?
- Are there any weaknesses or limitations that might try to hold you back?
- Which direction are your financial choices leading you towards?
- Are you happy with the financial direction that you are currently headed in?
These questions are so important because smart financial decisions made today enable you to live a life that is true to who you are. Think about the different work choices that could be made, the global travel, early retirement, philanthropic adventures, bucket list events, the closer relationships with friends and family, and if nothing else, at least a better night’s sleep.
If you haven’t yet, check out the Budget Brilliance website. I’ve had it redesigned over the past few weeks and hope it is more visually appealing and user friendly for everyone.