My job is to help people realise their goals.
I do it by helping them figure out their finances and improve them, so that they have the financial means to ‘get living’ the life they want.
But my job isn’t all about numbers and spreadsheets and financial forecasting. In fact, I’d say the majority of the time spent with clients is spent just talking.
About life, their struggles, their frustrations and then what is they actually want to do with their life. It’s by far the most important aspect of the time I spend working with them.
Because I learn what they want and then I know how to serve them best.
Our financial behaviour, which is a product of our financial mindset, drives the whole darn thing.
I like to say “A financial plan is worthless if not supported by the dreams and therefore motivations of those which it is built to serve.”
Now I have the advantage of perspective here as I’m thinking about this stuff all the time – but today I want to challenge one mindset in particular.
One mindset that is driven by a consumer culture that promotes endless consumption and lifestyle ‘upgrades’…
One that urges us to ‘hustle harder’ to get what we want…
One that basically leaves us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at the ‘never-endingness’ of it all…..
and that is – the need for more money.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place to work hard, save your money and grow it wisely. I’m a strong believer in the saying “If it is to be, it’s up to me” – so by no means am I saying you should sit back, relax and just settle for what you have.
We’ve all got work to do to build financial security for ourselves and our families.
BUT, I want you to challenge your mindset around more money being the answer to your financial woes.
Why do you want more money?
What are the reasons you are chasing for more?
Get clear on that.
Get really clear on that.
Are they necessary? Or is it your ‘more monster’ talking (as Ann Wilson the Wealth Chef would say).
Is it experiences? What can you buy with money that you don’t already have?
Sure it’d be great to take the kids to Fiji once a year on a family holiday – but if you have to burn yourself out all year at work, skipping weekends with the family and depriving yourself of any of life’s little luxuries along the way to get a week overseas….is it worth it?
Financial balance is so important to achieving a happy and wealth family life.
Is it to upgrade your lifestyle? Maybe you’re feeling like there’s never any money for clothes, going out to brunch or having the odd dinner date with your husband.
I often find that people are shocked to learn what they actually spend mostly because they feel as though they ‘don’t have a life,’ so have no idea where it went.
This common phenomenon I call “unconscious spending”. There’s no point hustling harder for more when you don’t know where the current lot went! There is always potential to unlock more cashflow for the things you WANT simply by getting intentional about your spending.
Is it things? What do you really want or crave that you don’t already have?
Is the kitchen reno worth the financial and lifestyle sacrifices required to make it happen now? Or could you put it off a couple of years until it won’t mean going back to work early and spending less time with the kids. Is a better car worth taking on another $30,000 in personal debt now or is the one you have already doing the job OK?
Get comfortable with the honest answer to: is it going to give you lasting joy to make the struggle or sacrifices to get it worthwhile?
I get it. I like nice things. I like a modern kitchen (which I don’t have by the way), a luxury car (we drive a Kia Sportage – it does the job for now!), and nice shoes (guilty here – I have my fair share of these!) just as much as the next mum – but I’m not prepared to let my ‘more monster’ take the lead.
Instead, my focus is prioritising financial security and giving our family the choice to travel along at a slightly slower pace.
Where does our ‘more monster’ come from?
It comes from the perception, the rhetoric amongst women that you can and should have it all AND that as modern women, WE should be the ones to create it all for ourselves – all at once.
And therefore we feel incomplete, a little unfulfilled – focused all the time on what is missing from our lives and focused on how a lack of money is the cause.
Our natural response is then to work harder, make more sacrifices of ourselves and our families to fill those financial reserves and complete that picture.
The trouble is, we never really get there. Once we get to the next ‘rung’ the financial goal posts have moved. And we find ourselves once again with the desire to chase more.
And whilst we’ve been busy chasing more, we’ve missed some of life’s moments along the way.
Instead, here’s what I reckon you should do.
Are you really maximising the financial resources that you already have? Could you be doing more to get intentional about your spending and unlocking more from your existing cashflow?
Let me ask you this…
If you could create an additional 20 – 30% more in purchasing power every month without having to work harder, longer hours to simply get more….would that be worth it??
All that takes is a little more attention to what I like to call ‘the back door’. We’re all so focused on our ability to earn more money, strive for higher incomes and get more sales in our businesses. Everyone’s watching the front door – which means no ones watching the back door!
If you’re chasing more so save for your first home, then it’s likely you do need to keep up the hustle. But if you’re chasing more because you want more holidays, more lifestyle, the chance to spend a little more time ‘living’ and a little less time ‘hustling’ – then chasing is probably not the only way to get there!
Either way, the honest conversation you need to have with yourself is whether the sacrifice is worth the goal. If it is, ‘hustle hard’ as they say.
But if it’s truly not or there’s any doubt to whether it is, take your foot off the gas a little and slow down to life’s natural pace.
You can always speed up again when the right reasons present themselves but you can’t ever travel back down the same road again – so don’t chase more for more’s sake.