Once upon a time, during a finance seminar, a lady in her mid-thirties asked a question that made all eyes in the room turn and focus on her.
“Is it bad to wish to make more money?” She asked before pausing to take a long deep breath. “I want to make more money, but will that make me a slave to money?”
You see, there’s nothing wrong with making more money. I mean, isn’t that what we are all striving for? We all want to get that dream car and a nice home. We want to get nice things and even visit beautiful islands for vacation. These things, if not all, require money to achieve them.
But it could become a problem when you start seeing money as the ultimate goal. Robert Kiyosaki, in his bestselling book Rich Dad Poor Dad, emphasized that you must not work for money but let money work for you. Besides, if your only goal is to make more, you will never feel satisfied as you’d keep wanting to make more and more.
When is More Money Enough Money?
Money is important. And it’s definitely not a bad thing! Money makes our day-to-day life easier because it helps us get what we need and a lot of what we want.
You need money for everything in life: from feeding your family to paying bills and buying things like houses, cars, and clothes. You also need it to go on vacations or to fund your child’s education.
Though it has been said over and over that money can’t buy happiness, it can buy things that can make you happy. Let’s say I gave you ₹2,00,000 to buy whatever it is you need right now, you would be happy? In fact, the money may not even be enough to get all you need.
This is to show that it’s almost impossible to define “enough” when aiming for more money is the goal.
Understanding Your Commitments and Values
Remember you smiled at the thought of being given ₹2,00,000 a few minutes ago. Now imagine I increased the money to ₹4,00,000 and gave it to you to get the things you want.
You can see yourself having a mental picture of what you need to buy first and even having them delivered to your doorstep. Well, that’s great!
Again, imagine I gave an additional ₹4,00,000 the following week to buy more things you need. You’ll probably not be getting the same thing you bought the previous week right? Rather it will be something else entirely.
How about receiving a one-time ₹1,00,000,00? What would you do with the cash?
Would you start thinking of a business idea or owning a company or even investing? Or would you shop for more material things? I’m not saying you can’t buy other material stuff. However, you’ll begin to gain more clarity on the things that matter most to you. And here’s why.
Oftentimes when someone gives us money to get anything we want, we barely sit to think and write out the things we truly need. Hence we find ourselves buying things on impulse and even things that are not necessary. That’s when you hear people say, “I want to make more money,” or “I wish I could make my money work for me.” But all of these things are mere fantasies when there’s no financial planning. To achieve your goals, and set yourself up for a successful financial future, you need to understand your commitment and values.
Money Is a Tool. Hence You Need Financial Goals Beyond “More” or “Enough”
As much as money is good, you should not treat it as the goal of life. Many people get carried away in the struggle to earn more money and build wealth that they forget that money is just a medium of exchange and should be considered a tool. Money indeed makes you feel powerful and confident in your achievements. It even makes you feel invincible and on top of the world. But at the end of the day, money is only a means of exchange and shouldn’t ever be the reason why you should be internally happy with yourself.
It would also be wrong to hold all our happiness in a material item– This is one of the money myths people continuously believe, and it causes them to be unhappy rather than improving them. When you make money the ultimate goal in life, you become oblivious to other valuable things. This is why you must have a list of your plans. Once you’ve written them down, go back to that list and see if you can identify the S.M.A.R.T goals that would actually make a positive change in your life.
You know what?
How about grabbing a pen and book? Write the first five goals you want to achieve between now and the next 5 or 10 years if you had enough money with you.
Setting (and Achieving) Goals That Matter
Once you create more specific, value-based goals for yourself, the next step is to organize and prioritize them by importance. You might struggle within the first few minutes to categorize them. But below are a few questions you can ask yourself to gain better clarity.
- What’s the cost of each goal? How much will each goal cost you?
- When do you want to achieve those goals? (I.e, the timeline)
- How much can you save or afford for each goal at a specified time?
This is not to put pressure on you whatsoever. However, these questions will help you create smart goals and even show you.
- Things that are really important to you,
- That money is not a goal. Money is a tool you can use to achieve your goals seamlessly,
- Goals are flexible and can be adjusted to fit your financial situation.
- Satisfaction and happiness are within your reach. You only need to plan for it.
Finally, you need to think of money not as a means to an end, not as a goal but as a tool you can wield to yield bountiful harvests of profits. And that’s where your financial goals set it. You need to create a financial plan to exit your current financial state to financial independence.