To be truthful, I've always been a list person. I like lists. I like jotting down everything in my head onto a piece of paper. Once it's on the paper it's not floating around in my head. Grocery Lists, ToDo Lists, Goals, Places I want to Visits, Things I Want to Do. There's something relaxing on finishing a list and seeing everything that was bouncing around inside my head in one place. It's steady; it's concrete.
You know who you are inside, but until it's on paper, it's sometimes easy to forget in the moment. Not that you don't know it anymore, but a lapse of judgment is so much easier when you have committed thoughts to paper. Heck, it's easy even when you have committed it to paper! But when you write it down, it's just harder to hide from.
That's why I want you to make a list of your own. I want you to make a list of a handful of things that are important to you and central in the way you want to live your life. These are our Motivations. These are what we want to use the tool that is money to fulfill. You can almost look at these as the opposite of the old reasons that we spent money.
No one can tell you how you ought to live. No one can tell you what your motivations should be or what things you should skimp on verses splurge on. All lifestyles cost something, which is fine. As I've said--money is a tool to get what we want. Before we can get what we want, we need to know the underlying motivations that determine what we want.
You just have to leverage your money to spend it on things, ideals, and values that are important to you. That includes saving it for future spending (such as a house, kid's college, or retirement)
Here's my list of what's important to me and what motivates me:
What's on your list? Try to keep it to 4 to 7 motivators. Just remember, these aren't goals, these are just correct reasons to spend money. On the next blog we will learn how to align our money goals to these values/ideals.