Money

"he is richest who is content with the least..."

"he is richest who is content with the least..."

- Socrates

It’s been said that “money isn’t everything”. The best things in life are often free – close relationships, spending time outdoors, exercise & movement, great conversations, and so on. Many people say they value experiences over possessions. But money does matter - it allows us to pay for the things we need and that enrich our lives. Too little money can cause stress and anxiety, and some feel that too much money can also feel like a burden. There are so many choices about where, when and how to spend our money. Whether you have a little or a lot, you can be empowered to direct your money in ways that are most meaningful to you. All it takes is a little thought and a proactive approach.

Know where you stand

  • Know where you're starting from so you can track progress over time. Add up what you own and subtract out what you owe. Reflect on this number - is it meeting your expectations? Dream - where would you like this number to get to over time? Write down your current number, your ideal number and the date.
  • Next, track your spending to learn where your money goes. This may take time and you may choose to use an app or software program. Summarize your spending by category, adding expenses that happen irregularly.
  • Assess your income. How much flows into your accounts? Are you saving first, and spending what's left? Or are you spending first, and saving what's left?
  • Start with the end in mind. Think forward to the end of your life. If you were looking back over your lifetime, how would you wish your money were used?

take charge

  • Look at what you have, what you owe, how much money you have coming in, and how your money is spent. Does your spending reflect your values? Are you saving enough for "future you"? Are your debts squeezing you, leaving little to spend on what you'd like to? What could you do without? What do you wish you could add?
  • Look for opportunities to improve. Cut out expenses that you can do without. Take a hard look at your debt - could you get more favorable terms? Could you pay it off faster? Should you fully eliminate the debt, perhaps even selling that car or house if it's taking too much of your money? Consider ways to reduce taxes. 
  • Commit to a new plan. Write it down, date it. Then, start to implement your plan.

be proactive

  • Revisit your overall plan every three months. How did you spend your money the last three months? Were there any new expenses that crept in that aren't necessary? What went well? What didn't work? Go back through the above steps, and adjust your plan. Set a date on the calendar for another three months. Regularly revisit until this becomes a habit.

Much of our work with clients is to help them through the exercise of evaluating what is important to them, and getting a plan in place to match their money to their values. Reach out to us if you'd like to talk about whether your money could be working harder for you.

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