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Why 'more money' is NOT a goal

By Sam Instone - July 10, 2024

Why 'more money' is NOT a goal

I wrote an email to my community this week on the notion of enough.

And how more money should not be a goal. 

So, what's truly important to you?

For us, this all starts with a cashflow - the lifeblood of any financial plan.

How you allocate the money coming in will determine both the present and the future of your family.

It’s not a glamorous topic, but it’s undeniably ground zero of financial success.

Your cashflow challenges will evolve as you move through the different life phases.

Your early working years are typically about providing for essential daily “needs”.

For those whose careers allow them to break free from daily concerns, the allure of certain “wants” starts to emerge. These desires challenge our beliefs about what we need to be happy.

This internal battle rages on throughout life, and how you respond to this challenge will determine your future financial success.

But what truly brings fulfilment, and what consequences do these decisions have for our future selves?

Beware of lifestyle creep

Our desire to accumulate more is grounded in evolution.

A striving for more drove past generations to create the world we now live in, and current-day economic theory is still based on the assumption that “more is better”.

But, in a world where most of us have moved well beyond providing for basic needs, does this instinct for more create problems we could do without?

As financial life managers, we've witnessed firsthand families who've become ensnared by lifestyle creep at the expense of their futures.

It’s a tradeoff many now regret, but like quicksand that gradually ensnares its victim, it’s difficult to break free.

Similarly, we have worked with many wealthy families who have found a way to overcome the desire for “shiny new things”.

These families have a well-developed and personal philosophy of their values and a clear picture of what they consider a life well-lived.

A shift most of our clients have taken

There are many ways that spending can bring happiness and joy – interestingly, many of our clients have shifted their spending from possessions to experiences with family and loved ones.

However, everything in financial life management is a tradeoff.

For many, embracing more comes at the expense of their own tomorrow.

Tragically, this only becomes evident in most cases when it’s too late to change course.

Tomorrow vs today

Before all of us lies the invitation to let go of pursuing more, choosing instead to embrace enough.

We appreciate and understand that everyone’s definition of satisfaction and enough is unique and personal.

No matter what your definition of enough is, for most of us, this still means lives magnitudes better than our grandparents. 

Carl Richards sums up enough in this video:

We encourage you to seek clarity about what's truly important to you, bringing more intention to your spending and investing.

All consumption can't, and shouldn't, be avoided.

One person’s “want” is another person’s “need”.

While you'll always remain the expert in the design of your own life, financial life managers are experts in guiding families in making the tradeoffs that provide them both meaning and an independent future. 

Guiding families from pursuing more to embracing enough for tomorrow is our reason for being.

The comprehensive planning we provide includes all the tools you need to walk your financial journey successfully.

We'd love to chat to you about guiding you on your journey to enough.