Do You Have Successful Money-Life Balance?
Money-Life Balance means taking money off a pedestal, and putting your happiness on it. It means fulfilling your life, instead of pursuing the almighty dollar. It means spending enough to enjoy life today, and saving enough to enjoy life tomorrow. So, what does money life balance look like? Since it is different for each of us, how do we begin to think about that balance for ourselves?
Our head is the logical side of money. It’s where we build our personal and business goals for life. Our head helps us keep “our eye on the prize” – what we spend now, and what we save for later. It is also where all the “shoulds” in life live – and hang over us day and night until we tackle them.
The financial industry has been speaking to our Head for decades. And finance companies been giving us loads of information on what we logically need to do to have financial health. If this approach were good enough, we wouldn’t have approximately 50% of Boomers retiring with almost no savings. And unfortunately, only a few in the investment advisor or coaching field help us actually fit the “shoulds” into everyday life. When we don’t get to the “shoulds” it makes us feel guilty and demoralized. And, ignoring what goes on in our heart just isn’t realistic.
In our Heart is our joy, our passion, our emotion. (And our money fear, guilt, shame). There is emotion in every decision we make! And frankly, life is too short to not have joy and live passionately!
The retail industry has been speaking to our Heart for decades. They romanticize buying with fitting in, spending with deserving, and material accumulation with success. They tug at our hearts 24 hours a day in commercials, online visuals, emails, billboards – you name it. It’s really hard to fight it!
Too much emotion can separate us from our cash while we pursue the next trend, gadget or drink guaranteed to give us the perfect life. And money fear, guilt, shame can paralyze us so we lose money mindfulness.
If our Head is ruling too much of our life, we feel deprived and on a forced march. We rebel, and eventually spend. Money flows through our hands. If our Heart is ruling too much of our money life, we give in to “wants”, instant gratification, and emotional triggers. We might be enjoying life today a wee bit too much. And money flows through our Hands.
Sometimes spending on auto-pilot and not being mindful is OK. If we had to think about every action in life every day we’d be exhausted! When we are conscious of our money, mindful of what is flowing through our Hands, we are able to define what requires thoughtful deliberation before purchasing and what can be automatic.
The Head, Heart, Hands Money-Life Balance
Balance of any kind is a constant work in progress. But the more we practice, the easier it gets. And it starts with small steps. When we are balanced, we know the goals most important to our own lives – not what someone tells us they should be. We have long term goals to take care of our future, and we decide how much money goes toward them. We have short term goals for needs, joy, fun, and passion because deprivation doesn’t work, and life is too precious. And, we are able to say No when temptation isn’t aligned with our goals. We choose to not afford things because we have our own dreams.
Your Head, Heart & Hands Money-Life Balance is unique to you. Your purpose on this earth, and what you choose to leave behind is special, and dependent upon your own gifts. Have you achieved your money life balance?
Carrie Rattle is a North American money behavior specialist and veteran financial executive, with multi-country experience in banking, brokerage and credit card practices. During her career, Carrie witnessed heart-breaking events where women had their freedom restricted, got into heavy debt, or had to commit fraud to get out of a terrible situation. Lacking the funds to have choices and independence destroyed their lives.
Carrie built Behavioral Cents to help women write happy endings to their money stories. Financial knowledge is a start but does not always guarantee success. Understanding individual money beliefs and nurturing behavior change provides a more powerful path to truly help people align their money with their life’s dreams.