Putting the "you" in your financial plan...Apr 11, 2023
"I just don't know what to do with my savings! I know it's not smart to keep all this money in a savings account, but I don't know where to put it."
This is a frequent, and always interesting complaint I hear from prospective clients.
Picture a single, kid-free, 34-year-old with $400,000 in a savings account. She has all these ideas of ways to invest or spend this money but hasn't done any of them. For years. Instead, she has continued to add to her big ol' pile of cash month after month, year after year.
You might wonder what's wrong with that.
She sounds like a good saver. Aren't you supposed to save?
In the grand scheme of financial situations, it's not the worst but that doesn't mean it's healthy.
As a capitalistic society, we applaud hoarding money at all costs. We absorb all of these messages from our family and community about things to do with our money. Most of this is not at all rooted in either our reality or our true desires. Instead, they are steps we take towards a lifestyle without stopping to reflect on whether they're something we truly want.
I'm convinced that this directionless money stacking is a symptom of us absorbing these (often) well-intentioned messages and not centering our own desires in our financial plan.
Take this same scenario as an example. $400,000 is a lot of money. It's the kind of money that buys you loads of options.
You can probably achieve FIRE.
You can buy a home in the Caribbean.
You can probably take a couple of years off work and do whatever the hell you want.
Start that business.
Adopt that kid.
The possibilities are endless, yet there is paralysis. Why? Because you either are not passionate about any of the limited options before you(limited by others and not you), you fear making mistakes with that money(as if you can never recover from them), or you fear judgment for the choice you make with your big ol' hunk of cash and your one precious life.
If this sounds like you, here are a few things you can do to get to the root of your inaction.
- Look at your current life and decide what would stay or go if you had a blank slate. Do it like your tía criticona wasn't watching your every move.
- Spend time journaling about what your ideal life looks like. Do it every day for a week or two, and see if the "desires" or goals you started off with are still around at the end. My guess is they won't be, but something much more exciting will emerge.
- Ask yourself what the feeling you're seeking is with this big ol' pile of cash. Is it security? Abundance? Flexibility? What does it mean to you?
- What things bring you the most joy in life?
- What would you regret not doing with your one precious life?
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