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What Drives You?

What Drives You?

Both of my grandparents were lefties. Both of my parents are righties. All four of us siblings are lefties. It’s unusual.

As lefties, Grandma loved telling us stories about the nuns smacking her left hand with the ruler for writing the “wrong way”.

Based on the advice in most financial articles, I imagine people view financial advisors similar to these ruthless nuns – waiting eagerly to smack you with the ruler anytime you spend your money the “wrong way”.

“Don’t travel. Stop drinking coffee. Quit wasting money on the gym.”

I had the typical financial advice in mind upon choosing the tagline for Driven Wealth Management – “Enjoy today, prepare for tomorrow.” What good is your six figure salary if you can’t enjoy life? The ambitious young professionals and business owners we work with are living life to the fullest, while responsibly saving for tomorrow.

How are they able to do both?

In a nutshell, the answer is – prioritization.

We start with a simple question, “what drives you?”

Travel, fitness, family, athletics, self-improvement, etc. Whatever your answers, the key is to understand what activities in your life are worth spending on, and what aren’t. When building financial plans, we know that some line items are non-negotiable for our members. There will be annual trips, monthly wellness expenses, or room for the kid’s sports events.

They “enjoy today, while preparing for tomorrow” by cutting back on the things that aren’t important to them, and focusing on the things that are important.

Every dollar is purposeful.

Yes, I am saying spend money on the things that matter and don’t waste money on things that don’t. This may seem obvious. But, I implore you to review your calendar and cash flow. Are the items on your calendar and expenses on your credit card statement really the activities that matter most to you? More often than not, we find the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”

Even as a financial planner, I lived guilty of this expense/passion mismatch for over two years. Overpaying for an apartment caused us to fall behind on important goals. By analyzing our calendar and cash flow, we identified the financial repercussions of our apartment decision. We have moved twice since that apartment, further reducing our rent each time. If we can make the adjustments, so can you!

Take notice that wealthy people spend intentionally while everyone else spends reactively. Ask yourself, what drives you? Keep the answers in mind now as you purposefully review your calendar and cash flow to ensure your spending aligns with your money drivers. How did you spend your money and time last month? Would you go back and make changes? Why not make those changes today? As you conduct your review, think about the areas you’d love to spend more on guilt-free, and identify the areas you realize have been a drain on your time and money.

Email us back the answers, we’d love to hear from you!

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