Money-Life Balance means taking money off a pedestal, and putting your happiness on it. It means fulfilling your life, instead of pursuing the almighty dollar. It means spending enough to enjoy life today, and saving enough to enjoy life tomorrow. So, what does money life balance look like? Since it is different for each of us, how do we begin to think about that balance for ourselves?
Our head is the logical side of money. It’s where we build our personal and business goals for life. Our head helps us keep “our eye on the prize” – what we spend now, and what we save for later. It is also where all the “shoulds” in life live – and hang over us day and night until we tackle them.
The financial industry has been speaking to our Head for decades. And finance companies been giving us loads of information on what we logically need to do to have financial health. If this approach were good enough, we wouldn’t have approximately 50% of Boomers retiring with almost no savings. And unfortunately, only a few in the investment advisor or coaching field help us actually fit the “shoulds” into everyday life. When we don’t get to the “shoulds” it makes us feel guilty and demoralized. And, ignoring what goes on in our heart just isn’t realistic.
In our Heart is our joy, our passion, our emotion. (And our money fear, guilt, shame). There is emotion in every decision we make! And frankly, life is too short to not have joy and live passionately!
The retail industry has been speaking to our Heart for decades. They romanticize buying with fitting in, spending with deserving, and material accumulation with success. They tug at our hearts 24 hours a day in commercials, online visuals, emails, billboards – you name it. It’s really hard to fight it!
Too much emotion can separate us from our cash while we pursue the next trend, gadget or drink guaranteed to give us the perfect life. And money fear, guilt, shame can paralyze us so we lose money mindfulness.
If our Head is ruling too much of our life, we feel deprived and on a forced march. We rebel, and eventually spend. Money flows through our hands. If our Heart is ruling too much of our money life, we give in to “wants”, instant gratification, and emotional triggers. We might be enjoying life today a wee bit too much. And money flows through our Hands.
Sometimes spending on auto-pilot and not being mindful is OK. If we had to think about every action in life every day we’d be exhausted! When we are conscious of our money, mindful of what is flowing through our Hands, we are able to define what requires thoughtful deliberation before purchasing and what can be automatic.
The Head, Heart, Hands Money-Life Balance
Balance of any kind is a constant work in progress. But the more we practice, the easier it gets. And it starts with small steps. When we are balanced, we know the goals most important to our own lives – not what someone tells us they should be. We have long term goals to take care of our future, and we decide how much money goes toward them. We have short term goals for needs, joy, fun, and passion because deprivation doesn’t work, and life is too precious. And, we are able to say No when temptation isn’t aligned with our goals. We choose to not afford things because we have our own dreams.
Related Blog: Money Isn't Always the Answer
Your Head, Heart & Hands Money-Life Balance is unique to you. Your purpose on this earth, and what you choose to leave behind is special, and dependent upon your own gifts. Have you achieved your money life balance?
Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Behavioral Cents, LLC and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.
Carrie Rattle is Founder of Behavioral Cents and a 30-year veteran executive of financial services. Behavioral Cents helps women build money confidence, gain control of their finances, and feel comfortable making their money decisions. We work one on one in a private, non-judgmental atmosphere with a program tailored to the individual. We help women assess their financial situation and change their money behaviors for the better – without deprivation. Thoughts always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.