Money is not the goal
Building wealth, being rich is not an admirable goal by itself. Collecting money for the sake of collecting money is not a good thing. “Money is the root of all evil”- I think that means that money for the sake of money is the root of all evil. Greed is bad. Wealth corrupts.
So why do I write about personal finance? Why do I spend so much time dealing with my finances, saving money, budgeting and preaching to other to do the same?
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Have a Goal
Money is a tool. What you do with money is the answer. My goal isn’t to accumulate wealth. My goal is to use my money to build the best possible life that I can. My decisions in life reflect that. There are others who would disagree with a lot of my decisions in life. This is especially true if you approach it with the goal of “wealth”. My decisions may not lead to “wealth”.
I work a flexible job that pays less so that I can be there for my kids. My husband works in a low-paying field because he feels a calling to that. My kids will, hopefully, one day go to private school where I will pay an exorbitant amount of money in tuition because I believe that this is best for them. All these decisions are not leading to “wealth”.
My blog is not about “wealth” or “becoming rich”. There are many blogs that do focus on those things. There are many bloggers who have become wealthy and are doing great things with their wealth. They are giving charity and creating foundations and using their wealth (and the freedom that comes with wealth) to do amazing things.
I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to be rich (who wouldn’t?!) but that is not my goal. I am trying to make life choices that will get me to my goals. Those goals include: A level of Financial Security that will enable me to live the life I want to lead.
Optimizing my Finances to Optimize my Life
That is why I spend so much time optimizing my finances and trying to teach others as well. The unavoidable reality of life is that the things we need and want to do require money. Having a good life necessitates reducing the stress caused by poverty, debt, and living paycheck-to-paycheck. I can’t help myself or others without money. I can’t do the things I need to do if I can’t provide a stable living environment for my family.
Things cost money. Peace costs money. Happiness costs money. Kids cost money. Education costs money. These are all things that are important to me. But I won’t sacrifice everything in my present to pay for the future. As a mother, I am not missing my kids childhood to someday be able to retire a little earlier. If my needs and many of my wants are covered then I am good. As long as I am able to live my life, save a little for the future, and give some charity, then I am good.
Doing GoodOptimizing finances and saving as much as you can to DO GOOD in the world is, in my opinion, an extremely admirable goal. Click To Tweet Of course, there is a balance that is hard to maintain. I struggle with this often. That is why I often have to remind myself of the goal and I occasionally have to take breaks from frugality. The goal is not the money. The goal is my life. If that means sacrificing some small things so that I can do big things than so be it! Click To Tweet I’d rather not drink coffee from the coffee shop (I know, I know- so overdone) or ever go out to eat but work a flexible job that pays less but allows me to be a better mother and wife. (That I have that choice is, in itself, is a form of privilege that I am extremely grateful for).
Of course, I wouldn’t mind making more money to be able to make all these things a little easier. My budget is pretty tight right now and I wouldn’t mind a little breathing room. I have to work on making things easier for me while not giving up on other things. Its a tight balancing act. Of course, this blog can always make some money (hint, hint… feel free to click on any of my affiliate links).
It’s not about the money or about accumulating wealth. It is about being able to lead the life you were born to lead, regardless of money.
What about you? Why are you concerned with your finances? Are you trying to build wealth? Are you engaged in the same balancing act as I am? I’d love to hear from you!