Money, meaning and striking a balance

Money plays such a vital role in our lives it’s interesting to look at why, for many, it is such a taboo subject. It is so fundamentally part of who we are that you would think we would like to talk about it easily.

‘Live within your means’, ‘no matter how much money you’ve got, it is never enough’, ‘neither a borrower or a lender be’, ‘scrimp with the pennies, save with the pounds’, ‘you can’t take it with you’ … all echoes of what may be said to us in childhood. These may be words of wisdom issued to help us when we are starting to forge our own paths in life.

All seemingly wise statements, but are they? We can’t live in our society today without any money.  We need to drink, eat, sleep and clothe ourselves. We need to provide for our dependents, to educate ourselves, our children and  grandchildren so that we can earn more and be successful.  We tend to forget what we enjoy doing and seem to spend most our time doing things we don’t enjoy and are not necessarily naturally talented at doing. It can so easily become a never-ending cycle that serves only to drain us and sap our energy.

Having enough money should make us happy but so often it doesn’t

Why do you keep working if you don’t have to?  How much to save, how much to spend, how much to keep in reserve for a rainy day? The more money you have, the greater the complexity and the bigger the decisions.

Finding out what money means to you can be an emotional task. It takes stepping back in time and looking at the earlier influences in your life. Making sense of why you spend what you do and helping isolate your priorities.

Financial planning and life planning are inextricably linked

Listening and exploring personal issues as we do, it becomes clear time and time again that having enough money doesn’t equate to being happy. It’s only with the careful plotting of life needs, goals and aspirations that people can see the possible freedom that money can bring. It is also only once this journey of self-discovery is complete that meaningful financial planning can begin.

Then it’s about striking a balance between earnings and savings, risk and reward, life and work

If you are lucky enough to have realised you no longer have to work or your financial plan shows that you can live your desired life and not run out of money, then hopefully you are feeling a great sense of inner satisfaction. You can now choose how to spend your time.  If you still need to work but have a deep sense of understanding that you’re on the right track, hopefully life will be lighter, happier, more fulfilling. That’s when you can really feel at ease.

Ask not what you can do for money but what freedom money can bring to you