The time has come to ask the BIG Question in regards your finances, the very foundation of it all.......What does money mean to you? Whether you are self employed, an employee or not earning an income, what exactly does money do for you?
From my experience, for some it means the world, they are obsessed and consumed by accumulating it. For others it one of many motivations to work, and for others it is purely a tool to allow rich life experiences such as family, holidays, hobbies, memories, passions, causes and pursuing their values.
Irrespective of what money means to you, the fact is, as we all know, money doesn't grow on trees. In order to achieve a certain level of comfort and avoid financial distress, it must be managed as such, a finite resource.
With that in mind let's escape into the land of make-believe for a few moments!
Imagine that in the far corner of your back garden or balcony you have a tree which grows not leaves nor flowers, but cash! Just enough each month to allow you meet your monthly outgoings and commitments, with a bit to spare. As a result you do not work, there is no such thing as working for a living, just nurture your tree and the income will keep coming. The tree however produces from the time you are 18 until you reach 68 years of age, at which time it stops completely. It is also subject to disease and termites. 'Leaf it out' I hear you say, but bear with me!
Knowing that your cash tree could pick up a fungal disease which stops it growing cash, would that concern you? Would you prepare for that?
Knowing that it is going to lose its ability to grow cash once it hits 68 would you try and prepare for that date?
If you were spending more money each month on 'stuff' than your tree was producing would you feel that would be a problem at some point along the way?
If you were to make decisions such as borrowing a large sum which would require you handing over 40%+ of your cash each month to the lender, would that be wise?
If you failed to put aside enough cash each month to allow your kids go to the fancy tree-school you had always intended, would you be disappointed with yourself?
If you had a way of ensuring that the tree would continue to produce cash even if you were no longer around, would you investigate the possible ways to do this?
Do you think you would seek information to give you some direction and help prepare for these life events?
So why don't many of us give due care and preparation to our own cash-tree, our income, that money which comes into our bank accounts each week or month? Why do so many of us do our best ostrich impression when it comes to this topic, and bury our heads in the sand?!
I'm not sure I have the answer to that question, but what I can help with is sharing information which will help you get started in putting the right things in the right place, and at the right time.
For those whom are already on the right track I will be sharing detailed ideas which will help keep you on track effectively once we get into Blog 6 and beyond.
Next week we will dissect the basic principles of financial planning and how they apply in the real world!
Until then, thanks for reading.
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