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Are your financial plans motivated by love?

By David Norton - January 18, 2022

Each of us has our own perspective when it comes to how we view money, and that perspective is shaped by our upbringing and personal history.

When making a financial decision, do you care mostly about how it will affect the people you love?

Do you believe there’s always more you can give?

One of the common human conditions that bind us together is a desire for a better future, one in which we are independent, able to provide for our family's needs, help others, and leave a financial legacy to the next generation.

Some of us are driven by fear (and want to protect).

Some, by joy.

However some, "the givers", are driven by a love of helping and caring for others.

If this sounds like you, you derive joy from giving, are selfless, civic-minded and dutiful. 

You dedicate yourself, not just your finances, to your family, friends, community, and causes.

You also consider multiple points of view when making decisions.

The challenges you face

While you are an amazing friend and family member...

You often spread yourself too thin.

You will instinctively sacrifice your own wellbeing, spending a lot of your energy concerned with not having enough time or money to give. 

When it comes to money, in the worst cases, you may not be planning or saving enough for yourself, which will add even more stress for you down the road.

Because you have a constant fear of letting others down, you will often put too much weight on the opinions of others, not trusting yourself and letting others take charge of important financial decisions.

These instinctive responses to making financial decisions can be summarised as:

  1. Spending: Tend to prioritise supporting the people and causes they care about
  2. Saving: Can run short on funds for their own needs as they support others
  3. Planning: Usually consider other's opinions and how their actions can impact them
  4. Safety Net: May focus on helping others regardless of their resources
  5. Risk-Taking: Often leave important decisions to others rather than taking control
  6. Timing: Frequently put off their own financial needs to help others

Improve your financial health in 3 simple steps

Firstly, evaluate your giving – is it out of obligation or passion for a cause?

Consider the notion of instant gratification and compare this to long-term needs. 

Secondly, make sure your savings plan is adequate to fund future needs or unexpected events.

Though it may go against your natural tendency, think of yourself and your own future when it comes to allocating time and resources.

Don’t over-commit.

You may also want to include asset protection as part of your financial considerations. 

Finally, take more control of the financial ship.

Use a checklist when it comes to making important decisions, to weigh opportunity vs risk.

Taking a more active role will lead to better decision making.

Does the above sound like you?

When faced with important or stressful financial decisions, we will inevitably revert to our dominant mindset, which will in turn affect the way we make financial decisions. 

Givers constantly find themselves not having enough time or money to take care of the ones they love, regardless of the success they’ve attained. 

While being an excellent provider for your family and putting the needs of others ahead of your own is admirable... 

You deserve to give the same love and care you show to others to yourself and your own financial future.

Can you identify situations in the past when you need to give and please drove your financial decisions?

How would you change those decisions, knowing what you know today? 

High performance professional, email community - Sam