Do you want freedom to explore life? To pivot when it feels right? To be completely in love with your life now, not later? Yes?! Me too! What’s holding you back? If your experience is anything like mine, money is a huge barrier… either you don’t have enough, or you have more than you ever expected and you don’t want to give it up…
Money… it’s great to have, and once we have it we don’t want to let it go. When I was younger I remember thinking that money would buy me freedom. When I got older I felt like it held me hostage…
I’ve written about the beliefs I had to get over to let go of steady and assured money. I’ve written about our belief that the comfort and safety we enjoyed would have actually limited our earning potential. I’ve written about enjoying money and thinking it’s great… we have no interest in living in poverty and expect to make lots of money. However, what I haven’t written about are decisions we make as we earn more and more money every year.
It’s alluring… looking at the bank account and having more than enough… knowing we could buy all kinds of things that were out of reach before… knowing we could have a very different lifestyle that we’ve only ever observed from afar. And if we only had a little more we could do, have, be….
Is this where I tell you that we should save every penny we have and that money is evil? No! Money is an awesome resource… if our relationship with money is healthy, it gives us freedom to do all kinds of amazing things and to give generously to those in need.
So, where’s the issue? When I think about one of the biggest challenges I’ve experienced and witnessed regarding money, it’s absolutely lifestyle investments.
What are lifestyle investments? Lifestyle investments affect all aspects of our lives… who we socialize with, what we do for fun, where we call home, etc. Lifestyle investments are awesome when they align with and support our life visions. However, they can handcuff us when we’re swept off our feet and jump into them too quickly without thinking…
What follows are 8 questions that help guide us when making a lifestyle investment. Exploring these questions help us ensure that our lifestyle investment fits and gives us the freedom to live our life visions.
· What are we buying?
· How hard will the investment be to unwind? Will the investment limit our future freedom?
· Is the investment a one-time spend or will we have to invest the same amount year after year?
· Will the investment require additional ancillary investments (i.e. we live _____ so we have to do _____)?
· Why are we making the investment?
· What if we don’t make the investment?
· Does the investment align with our life vision?
· Do we want what the investment will yield, or does someone else expect us to make the investment?
The fewer lifestyle investments we have to unwind in times of creation and exploration, the more freedom we have to adjust and live the most amazing lives possible. Consider these questions the next time you look at the bank account and consider where to invest your extra cash… you might come up with some unexpected investment ideas!