There Is Always More To Learn About Your Financial Self
There are millions of places to learn about money. Newspapers, blogs, podcasts, and books – just to name a few. But these will never, ever be able to give you the full story.
Why is that? Because they are missing the most important determinant of financial health:
The truth is financial health is not a dollar amount; it’s not how much money you have, what you own, where you live, or what clothes you wear.
Financial health is your ability to live the life you want, today and tomorrow. It is grounded in how much clarity you have about yourself and your dreams. And it’s how well prepared you are for all the surprises and challenges life has waiting for you along the way.
Don’t let yourself be defined by possessions and dollar figures—things that can change and fade over time. Instead, define yourself by your current wealth of self-knowledge, and how far along you are in pursuit of your own dreams.
Create a Life for You
Ask someone where they want to be in five, ten, or twenty years and they’ll most likely answer “rich”.
It’s an easy answer, but most often given by those who don’t yet know what they want from life. They assume that they’ll figure out what to do with the money once they get there.
But if being rich is your dream, you’ll always be worried that you’ll never get rich or be unhappy that it’s taking so long. Even worse, if should you get “rich”, you will either find it unfulfilling or be dissatisfied and want more.
Steve Jobs once said “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful – that’s what matters to me.” So what wonderful things do you want to do? Do you want to have a big family, grow your own garden, hike the Andes, or retire early so you can spend time with your grandchildren?
Richness is self-defined and almost never a dollar amount. Money is only as valuable as what it empowers you to do. And knowing what you want it to do will make you far more aware of your financial health and what you need to do to make your dreams a reality.
The Power of Dreams
Contrary to what big banks tell you, dreaming is the key to your financial health.
Dreams turn into goals, and goals will keep you moving in the right direction on your journey of financial wellness. You can dream big or dream small, but always dream rich.
Your dream could be to open your own recording studio, go on safari, or live debt-free. But don’t leave it at that. Why people spend hours daydreaming about lunch! So make your dream as rich and deep as what you really want. Imagine yourself signing that lease, boarding that plane or paying off that student loan.
Fill in every detail of the experience and pretty soon you will find that your dreams have become your own internal compass, a money GPS steering you clear of 3 common financial hurdles:
Most fear comes from not knowing. Not knowing what happens after death, what happens in the dark or what really goes into a Big Mac (scary stuff).
Not knowing where you are financially is scary, too. Don’t sabotage your life goals by being too afraid to talk about money.
The sheer volume of information available at your fingertips can be overwhelming. Knowing what you want is the first step in cutting through the noise to find the information you need in order to make you dreams a reality.
No one is as focused as someone on a mission. They are disciplined. They are determined to pinpoint and eliminate any weaknesses and distractions that might stand in their way.
Is it a bad idea for you to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Do you tend to throw caution to the wind when you’re out having drinks with friends?
Having a clear goal makes it easier to understand the real impacts of your actions. Without a dream, spending $20 for a new iPhone case is no biggie. But when you have a set goal, that $20 bill becomes far more meaningful, as it has the potential to help make your dreams come true.
It isn’t about depriving yourself, it’s about being able to prioritize and make choices.
Life is a rollercoaster. Some periods will see you soar high and glide effortlessly through life. But somewhere around the corner there is a temporary dip that will make your stomach turn.
Don’t let the dip get in the way of your dreams. Your rainy day fund should have at least 3 months worth of living expenses set aside. Not credit—actual cash. Having a goal in mind is a powerful way to motivate yourself to save, so that nothing will get in the way of your dreams.
We know the power of dreams. And that sometimes you need tools to make your dreams a reality – that’s why we created financial wellness tools that you can use. So remember to dream; dream small or dream big, but always dream rich!
Have you set a financial goal for 2013? We’d love to hear it!