A New Year is often a time of reflection on ones’ goals and direction for the year ahead.
Many of us ask ourselves what; what do I want to achieve this year, what do I want to do with my time and hard-earned money? But have you stopped to ask yourself why? Below is a thought-provoking article written by Certified Financial Planner, Carl Richards, on considering why we do the things we do with our finances.
Why do I invest a certain way? Why do I spend what I spend? Why do I save as much (or as little) as I do?
The reason I want you to ask yourself these questions is because the big “Why” is a question we tend to avoid.
That may be because “Why” is scary. It may be scary because we often don’t know the answer. And honestly, we may not know the answer because we don’t want to know the answer.
After all, the answer may not be very good. It might not even give us someone or something else to blame!
But if we’re going to improve our financial decision-making, we need to give ourselves permission to think about our motivations without judgment. The moment we start questioning our true motivations, we’re likely to discover that some of what we do doesn’t line up with what we say we believe. If I say that time with my children is the most important thing in my life, but I work long hours to manage a big car payment, then I’ll be forced to deal with that conflict. These conversations often involve someone else, like a spouse or children, so it’s important to give one another the space to talk about money without fear of judgment.
Questioning your motivations will also lead you to discover things about your decisions simply because you’ve never thought about them before. It’s common for adults to warn children about the dangers of peer pressure, yet adults often forget they are subject to the same pressures.
This type of introspection isn’t easy. I suspect it’s one of the key reasons we do dumb things with money; we’re afraid to know why we do what we do, so we don’t take the time to question our behaviour. Knowing might mean needing to change something we’ve grown comfortable with.
But here’s the thing: Asking ourselves why we make certain money decisions is integral to our financial success, even if it takes a bit of time and effort to reach an answer.
So go ahead… ask yourself why!
What is important to you? What does it allow you to achieve? Time with family? Travel (well, normally)? Opportunities to pursue your passion?
Once you understand your why and map it out into achievable goals, odds are that you are more likely to achieve them.
So, what is your why?
Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107
Source: Behavior Gap: https://behaviorgap.com/
Note: This material is provided for information only. No account has been taken of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person or entity. Accordingly, to the extent that this material may constitute general financial product advice, investors should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This is not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial products, nor a solicitation for deposits or other business, whether directly or indirectly.