What Motivates You?

Posted on 08. Feb, 2012 by in Your Wealthy Life

what motivates you

If you have been visiting this site for a while, or have spent some time looking through older posts, you would have noticed that I don’t actually write that much about personal finance in the strictest sense.  To be honest, you can find tips and ways to invest and save on a lot of different sites and if you are looking for a good place to start, there is some great information available from many of the Yakezie members.

My interest in personal finance is more from a lifestyle perspective.  I’m interested in helping you achieve the things that you want to do, see, buy or experience.  For many of us, these things require money and the time it buys, so logically I approach my personal finances as a means to have and do the things I want.  Unfortunately this sort of mindset can lead to the assumption that what actually motivates us all is money, but is that really the case?

What Really Motivates You?

Money can be a great motivator, but it I’m not convinced it is what really makes us happy.  If money was the only thing that motivated us, we would just sit around counting it instead of spending it  and getting into the financial troubles that we do.  I’m not going to lie to you, I do like to log onto my online banking account and see that I have a healthy sum sitting there, but my motivation isn’t to just have a big bank balance.

The security

Now that I am a Dad, and will be again soon, some of my money motivation is based on security.  I didn’t really worry too much about this sort of thing before kids, but being responsible for someone else tends to have an effect on your priorities.  In order to provide for my family, I like to know that I’m not going to get into financial difficulty and can pay for any emergencies that might pop up along the way.

How you get the money

In the 10 years that I have been working since leaving college I’ve had four different jobs and each time I have moved on, it has been based on motivation.

I chose to leave one because my wife and I wanted to move states, I walked away from a good sized bonus at another because I wasn’t happy and wanted to do something different, the last was because I wanted to travel less and spend more time at home with my family.  What motivated me wasn’t the financial aspect, it was based on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to feel.

In order to receive money, we generally have to trade time, energy and often emotion.  I have no trouble with doing this, but I am more conscious of what I am giving up these days.  While I certainly have a financial need, I am far more interested in how I can be challenged and ultimately how I can add value to something.

This is what motivates me to work and is often what keeps me awake at night updating this blog (although the gains tend to be less financial and more personal in that case).  For me, what I do to get the money is often a lot more important than the money itself.

What you do with the money

I’ve already mentioned that security is a motivator, but in addition to the short term stuff like unexpected bills and the like, money also provides me with the ability to grow my future security.  I work quite hard at making the money I earn work for me by saving and investing it.  My goal is to have it work so well that I no longer have to work myself if I so choose.  The sooner I get to this position, the more time I will have to spend with the people I love, doing the things I want.

As much as having the time to do what I want, when I want motives me, I still don’t want to wait too long to get to that point.  After using what I need to pay myself to invest and pay my outgoing costs to live, my personal preference is to allocate money to the fun stuff.  I work on ways to spend without regret and have the things I want.  I dedicate portions to vacations, improving my home, socialising with friends and maximising the time I spend with my family so I feel balanced in all aspects of my personal wealth.

Ultimately what motivates me financially is what I do to earn my money and how much I have to give up in order to do it.  Fo you this might be different and I’d love to hear about it .

What motivates you? 

Image by scribbletaylor

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31 Responses to “What Motivates You?”

  1. Neo

    08. Feb, 2012

    Oh wow, that picture really hits home! My wife is 7 months pregnant and I can assure you, “I am motivated”! Other things that motivate me are experiences rather than possessions. I do want to work more on focusing on my passions rather than just making money. Great post!

    • Money Cactus

      09. Feb, 2012

      Congratulations to you and your wife. Great to hear that you want to follow your passions, I don’t think we do it enough most of the time.

  2. Christopher

    09. Feb, 2012

    My motivation comes from within and trying to succeed at everything I do. I am a perfectionist and if I start to do something, like I just started dabbling in a personal finance blog, I want to be as successful as I can. Successful to me is not having to worry about money every single day. My wife just started a job and we had been a one income family since we were married which is close to 4 years. We had 2 kids in there, but money has always been on my mind and I would like to not have to worry about which brand of product to purchase at the store for the sake of saving a buck. Now that we are a 2 income household as of monday this week, I can only see the sky is the limit.

    • Money Cactus

      09. Feb, 2012

      Double income is awesome. It certainly helps the finances and if you are used to living off one, you should be able to see some fast progress. Good luck with the blog Christopher, hope it goes really well.

  3. krantcents

    09. Feb, 2012

    I am one of those rare individuals that is self motivated. I do my best for me. I am constantly improving my game. I am a teacher that will never be rewarded in money and only maybe get a thank you or positive feedback from my students. I am not complaining, I like what I do.

    • Money Cactus

      09. Feb, 2012

      I feel the same way, I love to do things better and grow my ability. I think that liking (or better yet loving) what you do is key to personal success. That is definitely what motivates me to continue to do what I do.

  4. MoneyforCollegePro

    09. Feb, 2012

    I am also on board with having many other motivators outside of strictly accumulating money. Financial freedom from a 9-5 work day is one of my motivators, and providing a decent life for my family is another one. My main goal is to create various “muses” as Tim Ferris would say that all generate enough money to support my family, while allowing me to spend much more time with them. My 45 hour weeks and 2 hour commute really cut into family time!

    • Money Cactus

      09. Feb, 2012

      Good goal. That is one nasty commute, any chance of negotiating a day from home a week or month? The hours are only ok if you are getting paid for all of them too, otherwise, try find a way to get them down if you can. Any extra time at home is a far better offer.

  5. Aaron Hung

    09. Feb, 2012

    What motivates me is working with my wife and being able to pay our credit cards in big amounts each month and see it go down and down, it’s really nice to see that.

    • Money Cactus

      10. Feb, 2012

      Nice work Aaron, sounds like you have a good system going there.

  6. What motivates me most is curiosity followed by excitement. Lately I have been hustling like the devil (or creating like a Goddess and working like a slave) because I want our debt gone, dead and burried forever. I want to build…

    • Money Cactus

      10. Feb, 2012

      Building… I love it! I really like your enthusiasm and approach Maria, sounds like you are killing it!

  7. Pam at MoneyTrail

    10. Feb, 2012

    Whenever we have been faced with job decisions, we always talk about the big picture, not just the salary that is involved. We look at the amount of time away from the family, the job satisfaction, the future career implications, etc. Then we make the best decision for the family. It’s worked well for us so far!

    • Money Cactus

      10. Feb, 2012

      Good way to go I think Pam, my wife and I take the same approach and we have also been very happy with the choices that we have made. It’s important to find the balance and find what works for everyone.

  8. I’m with you. Money doesn’t motivate me, freedom does. Money does play a role in freedom, so I have to mess around with it, but I’d ultimately choose an easy life of getting by if I could live it the way I want to.

  9. Taline

    12. Feb, 2012

    It isn’t the love for the money that’s the motivational factor, but the fact that having it will provide you with the ability to do what you want.

    My motivation is my little toddler 🙂 The freedom I will have to be with him and watch him grow and not miss a beat!

    • Money Cactus

      12. Feb, 2012

      I can’t think of better motivation Taline.

  10. Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    12. Feb, 2012

    I think it is awesome that you have your priorities so clear. Often, people wait until they almost lose something or someone before they take a good luck at what is in their hand.

    We don’t have children yet, but much of what we do is not driven by money. It’s a wonderful luxury that I don’t take for granted.

    • Money Cactus

      12. Feb, 2012

      Kids are great motivation, but really it is about yourself. As long as you are doing what feels right and makes you happy, I don’t think you can go wrong.

  11. [email protected]

    13. Feb, 2012

    I am motivated to make money so that I will be able to spend more time with my family and achieve financial freedom. Right now the short term goal is to get out of debt.

  12. Like you, I’m a parent, and my family’s financial security really motivates me. More than anything, I’m looking for flexibility – I want to be able to give my family the life they deserve without spending 40, 50, 60 hours a week away from them!

  13. Simple Finance

    13. Feb, 2012

    Hmm, motivations… joy, I think. I want to love what I’m doing, regardless of how much I’m earning. If I’m not passionate about it, why bother?

  14. Hannah @ eat, drink and save money

    14. Feb, 2012

    Paying off our student loans motivates me and my husband. We have high interest private loans and hate seeing the interest pile up.

  15. AverageJoe

    14. Feb, 2012

    I’m motivated by the challenge of a career. I’m also motivated by personal success in an area that I choose. I always feel that if I’m challenged and striving, the money will follow. Not surprisingly, it always has.

  16. YFS

    14. Feb, 2012

    What motivates me is the desire to achieve my goals. It’s something about making a financial plan and completing the little milestones to complete the project. I can’t wait to be a millionaire!

  17. youngandthrifty

    21. Feb, 2012

    I view money as symbolic of our values and desires. .. I know that money doesn’t bring happiness but it can sure show you where your values and where your passion and drive are!

  18. Money to me is a hygiene factor. You need a decent level of it, but beyond that it does not offer anything extra.
    If you are below this decent level, the thought of getting enough money could be a motivating factor. Sitting at this moment above this decent level, the idea of creating a lasting and positive contribution to society is a stronger factor.

  19. Invest It Wisely

    02. Mar, 2012

    “Ultimately what motivates me financially is what I do to earn my money and how much I have to give up in order to do it.” I think that’s what it comes down for me as well. I am also highly motivated to achieve financial independence, as that is where freedom lies. 🙂

  20. Financial Samurai

    17. Mar, 2012

    My #1 motivation is happiness, which I think can be achieved through doing meaningful work I enjoy, coupled with FREEDOM!

    To be free to do whatever you want thanks to solid personal finances is what it’s all about!



  21. Sam

    27. Jul, 2012

    Security and responsibility to my family mainly.

    I love good competition too.