I love the general concept of money, investing and finance. Sometimes people mistake that with being stingy, or greedy, or money driven. It’s not money that I like, it’s living life how I want to.I hate to use a cliché, but money really cannot buy you happiness, it can however allow you the freedom to do what makes you happy, as money is really just helping you quantify the choices you make.
I’ll give you an example, I hope is easy to understand.
You have $5 and you are at the market, you can either buy:
- A nice little turtle ring for your girlfriend or
- A cheap T-shirt or
- A Vietnamese baguette or
- A Mars bar & coke
We make this kind of choice everyday, you can:
- You can buy the ring and make your girlfriend much happier later or
- You can get a cheap T-shirt that will provide some good use for a couple of years or
- Eat a healthy nutritious meal or
- Eat some junk food that tastes great going in, but you regret it about 2 mins later
The best thing is that there is no right or wrong answer, everyone is allowed to choose however they want, and for whatever reason, perhaps you are really hungry, perhaps you haven’t worked out in a while and that shirt will become your new running T, allowing you to reach fitness goals improving your quality of life later on, or maybe you prefer making other people happy.
And deciding what it is in life that is important to you is the most fundamentally important thing in a financial plan. Once you have S.M.A.R.T goals in mind you will work towards achieving them. If you are just drifting around thinking “more money” is a goal, you will find you won’t be satisfied. More money can be a goal, but if you have a clear measurable goal in mind, such as buying a house, raising a family, travelling around Australia, or playing a $10,000 game of poker while smoking expensive cigars, you can measure exactly what it will take to get it done, and do it.
My problem has always been identifying 3-4 goals, and due to money & time constraints only being able to attack 2-3. I love computer games & I love sport, unfortunately I cannot be the best at a particular game & compete at a high level of sport as both have too high demands on my time. Instead I choose to be mediocre at both, but other people such as an Olympic athletes dedicate their entire life for several years in order to be amongst the very best, we admire these people, and I certainly think the world of them, but they sacrifice a lot to get it.
Think about what you are willing to sacrifice, the choices you are willing to make, and then go live life to the fullest.