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.
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