As you may have noticed, my focus has changed somewhat in recent months as I shift slightly to coaching people on how to manage their money better. But don’t lose sight that there are more important things than money. Yes, you need money in this life, but we focus more on how to manage the money.
You say, but you teach how to acquire money, don’t you. Of course, some of the focus is on securing a good revenue stream (income), but we spend more time working on not spending more than you earn, teaching you good financial and life habits, and planning for future events like education, retirement, buying a new home or car and having a family.
Yes, there are more important things than getting more money. Absolutely. Learning to manage your money, however, is essential to eliminating stress and anxiety in that life.
What’s more important than money? Here is a short list of things that are critical to your future, even more than acquiring more money.
Health. It’s been said that your most significant wealth is your health. If you ain’t got your health, no amount of money is going to make it better. Oh sure, you can buy better health care, but that generally only manages your health, not necessarily improves it. The best way to improve your health disposition is to exercise (even mildly) every day or at least 4-5 times per week. And eat right. Walk, jog, ride a bike, work in the yard. Park in the far reaches of the Walmart or mall parking lot and walk the extra steps.
Character. This is who you are, not what you do. And it’s certainly not about how much money you have. No amount of money can buy it, and no amount of money will save it. Lincoln said: “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Character will take you farther than riches and it will keep you in tough times.
Reputation is for time; character is for eternity. ~J.B. Gough.
Family. Everyone wants to change the world. Few start in their own family. You’ll notice when we teach about managing your money in tough times (or good, for that matter), we focus on protecting your four walls: Shelter, transportation, food, utilities. These are all family-related.
In the old west, travelers would circle the wagons to protect the women, children and belongings. It’s a good practice today with finances, but family should be a primary focus in every area.
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. ~Mother Theresa.
Time. You can replace lost money or wages. When time is gone, it’s gone. On the other hand, you get fresh manna of time every day, just like I do, just like the president, the CEO, the teacher, the doctor and everyone else. Time is spread about equally, and it’s finite. Every day, you have 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds.
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. ~William Penn.
Managing your time comes before managing your money. Both are behavior practices and habit-driven.
A game plan. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s going to be hard to get there. Doesn’t matter if your goal is finances, relationships, health, dreams or anything else. A plan and a roadmap are essential for any trip. Money will help you get there, but without the plan, it’s wasted.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra.
Faith. Ah yes, perhaps the most important. Every president has had a relationship with God, in one way or another. Most have acknowledged it publicly. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. Feed your faith, not your fear. Build a relationship with God. Read your Bible. Take time for devotions. Spend time in the early-morning quiet.
Yes, there are things more important than getting more and having more money. People who are good at the 6 things above, though, generally have all they need.