My "Why" for Money
Let’s face it, money is important to everyone. We need money to meet our basic needs of housing and food. Money allows us to share our individuality by choosing the clothes we wear and the accessories we have. Money lets us choose the food and drinks we want to purchase and consume from grocery store and restaurants. But once we reach a level of general comfort and safety, what is money important for?
Money is important to me so I can live a healthy lifestyle, spend stress-free time with my family, dedicate time to things I am passionate about, and give back to my community. That sentence took me a while to create. It’s my money statement, aka my “why” for money. It dictates how I spend my money and the life I am working toward achieving. But Haley, there’s nothing “financial” in the statement! That’s because for me, and I suspect most people, the real importance of money isn’t about what you can buy with it, but the choices you can make because of it.
Having reached a level of financial independence to not have to work right now, I am reaping the benefits of money. I have choice over my time and I am spending it in ways that align with my money statement. I’ll give you an example. Yesterday, after taking my kids to preschool, I went to a coffee shop and read for 30 minutes, then I came home and taught my finance class, then I went mountain biking with my husband, then I worked on an informational post for Instagram, then I picked my kids up and we went to soccer practice, then we came home and played with toy trains, and then after bedtime I taught another finance class. I hit all four parts of my money statement in one day: (1) I went for a bike ride which was fun but also keeping me healthy, (2) I was fully present with my kids while helping them at soccer and playing at home, (3) I spent time teaching my finance course which is a big passion of mine, and (4) I focused on creating content for the course and social media that provides helpful personal finance education for my community.
Because I have reached a level of financial independence, most every day I wake up and get to choose what I’m going to do and how I will spend my money. I find it extremely valuable to have a money statement to come back to and guide these choices. Regardless of where someone is on the path to financial independence, everyone is making decisions every day about how to spend their money and their time. Maybe money is important to you so you can have the flexibility and freedom to think about having a family, or pursue a new career, or not be a financial burden to your kids when you’re older, or actually do that hobby that you love.
If you haven’t already, think about why is money important to you. Write it down. Play around with it. Cross it out and rewrite it until it feel right. Then put it somewhere you will see it. Let it help guide you to using money in a way that aligns with living the life you want to live.