Your relationship with money
If you had one million dollars, would you consider giving 10% to a charitable organization? Do you give now? How would your life change? The reality behind these questions reveals a shocking truth: Money doesn’t change you, it just makes you more of what you already are. If you do not learn how to master money, when you make more money it will leave as fast as it came. Instead, master money, and develop a healthy relationship with your wealth.
Money is heartless
Money inherently is not good or bad. Wealth can’t buy happiness, change your relationships, or bring you peace. The truth about money is that it simply inflates your lifestyle. If you’re big giver, then when you make more money you’ll give more. If you’re selfish, then if you won the lottery your motives would still be selfish. It doesn’t change your habits, motives or beliefs.
Don’t get me wrong, money has the power to be a positive influence if used correctly. And having money is MUCH better than not having money. I’ve been broke at times and other times I’ve made a six figure income, and making six figures is way funner than being broke. But, it didn’t change how I responded to money. At the core of my life I am a giver, so when I was broke I would make people gifts, and when I had money I would buy them nicer gifts. My giving nature is not affected by my bank account or by the size of the house I live in.
Your relationship with money
How is it that 44% of lottery winners are broke within 5 years? Simple, money just inflated their lifestyle until it all ran out. The lottery winners didn’t change their relationship with money. They didn’t learn how to master and govern their money. Proverbs 6 from the Bible talks about how an ant will store up food for the summer and gather during the harvest. Even the ants know how to control their sustenance and use wisdom to gather and store food.
The habits that we have towards money shape our very being. Some people like to tell me “oh money isn’t that important” or “I don’t know why you’re always talking about money”, and yet most people spend forty, fifty or sixty hours a week working for it. How can you say that money isn’t important and spend so much time acquiring it? The truth is that money and freedom are directly correlated. Here is the inconvenient truth:
If you learn to master money, you will live in financial freedom and victory. If you are a slave to money, you will always look back and wonder where your money went.
How does this apply to your everyday life? Make smart choices regarding money. Develop a healthy relationship with money and build smart money habits that compound over time.
- Giving: Make giving a part of your life, people with money give to others
- Spending: Make a budget and stick to it (mint.com)
- Saving / Investing: Buy hundreds of companies in low-cost index funds
In these three categories, you’ll need to strike a balance. Developing a healthy relationship with money means you can’t go all out in each of these categories. My wife and I give (tithe) 10% of our income to our local church. We spend about 40% of our income on housing, groceries, utilities and entertainment. We have a fully-funded emergency fund (in case of extreme emergencies), so we aim to invest 50% of our income in our freedom fund.
That’s our rough breakdown, but some months it varies in certain categories. If we feel led to give money to an orphanage or animal shelter, we simply invest less. That’s the power of mastering your money. We tell our dollars where to go.
Whether you’re just starting your career or are fully retired, developing a healthy relationship with money will strengthen your confidence with wealth. Solidify in your mind that you will master money and have control over your future.
How do you interact with wealth? Do you have a healthy relationship with your money? Does money master you or do you master your money?