Why & How Money is the Tool you Should Know How to Use
Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money…
Most of us have heard this Abba (did I just date myself by mentioning Abba?) song before and yes, Money certainly makes the world go round!
But, money if thought of and used correctly, is the most powerful tool you will ever have.
As a Certified Financial Planner®, my passion is helping Entrepreneurs, Founders, Business Owners, Startup Companies, and their families realize their hopes, dreams and goals through the powerful leverage of our financial planning process.
In my experience working with successful people the common theme is that they understand money is a tool and just how powerful it is.
Perhaps having the mindset that we are at the mercy of our money is at the heart of many of our financial problems. Are we not giving money more power than it actually deserves? We let money control us. We attach emotions and feelings to our money. We even go as far as judging people’s worth based on how much we think they have.
Many of us have been taught to think of a budget as a weapon of mass destruction, a tool that sets us up for failure. The self-defeating thought process is often, “I’m going to set a budget and beat myself up if I can’t keep to it, so I’m not going to do it at all.” It is the same principle as a diet - instead of altering your approach, you mentally destroy yourself as you reach for a doughnut or some candy.
An interesting quote from Tony Robbins in personal finance terms – 80% of success in personal finance is how you think about money and 20% is the actual numbers (and the actions you take to make those numbers work for you).
Money itself doesn’t create happiness. It’s a tool that, when used as such, can help create a life that leads to happiness.
Using Money As A Tool
Money is arguably the most powerful tool in the world, but only if you know how to use it.
What is your mindset when it comes to money? Are you positive about money or do you tend to be a little more negative and trepidatious when it comes to money? Ultimately, nobody is going to make us rich — not our parents, grandparents, or boss. It’s not up to luck, destiny, or fate. It’s up to us! It’s up to us to be self-made men and women.
If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to pay the rent or purchase groceries, then it seems like more money would solve your problems. Money is the big obstacle in your life and the thing that you need but can’t seem to get more of. Ultimately, you need more money. But why do you need more money?
What is really going on? What is the real driving force here – is it money or is it happiness you’re after? Paying the rent to keep a roof over your head and being able to buy food does create a degree of happiness. I’m in no way suggesting that money won’t solve all your problems – it certainly can. But don’t you think it’s how we think about money that affects how we use it?
Let me break this down a bit more. In simplistic terms, a tool is a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function. So, think about your tools. Do you know where your hammer, screwdrivers, and wrenches are? Do you keep them clean and organized, ready to use when you need them? Or do you just toss them aside, allowing them gather dust and get rusty? It’s a bit of a no brainer, but if you If you neglect your tools, they will be worthless. Either you won’t find them, or they won’t work when you need them most. But, if you care for them by keeping them organized and clean, they will do their job when you need them.
Now, what if you applied this concept to money? What if you took care of it as it came to you, kept it organized and ready to be used? What if you used it, as it was intended, to build things such as a business, yours savings and net worth and had it ready when you need it most, perhaps for an emergency fund.
When you think of money as a tool, it becomes easier to use it for what you need. You stop thinking of cutting back on expenses as painful and instead see it as a way to create the life you want.
Your mindset shifts from feeling deprived and wanting more, to feeling in control and making conscious choices about how you use your money.
Using Your Money
Stay with me on the tool analogy – that hammer in your toolbox, you don’t attach emotions to it right? When you’re hammering that nail into a piece of wood, you don’t feel guilty about it? Not likely. You are simply using the hammer for it’s intended purpose.
What if you applied this to money? Money is meant to be used and you shouldn’t feel bad when you’re using your money. If you do, you need to seriously re-evaluate how you’re using it. As an example, my wife and I used the money we saved to pay for a recent vacation. Family time is a high priority for us and garnering new experiences for our son is just as important. Some of these vacations are once in a lifetime opportunities. We had already saved the money for the trip, so instead of feeling guilt when we spent $100 on a dinner, we were able to relax and enjoy the time with our son and friends. In this case, we were using money as a tool to create lasting memories with our family. We use money as a tool to give us more choices and freedom as well. Which is why we save and invest so much of it, in addition to intentional spending. We manage our money and our mindset about money.
Making The Money Shift
It’s always easy to view money as a tool when you have the money. It’s a lot harder to make the shift when so many of your problems seem to be money related. By just changing your thinking and your mindset alone, is not going to ensure your money related problems simply disappear.
When you start taking control, you become more intentional about using your money and you will ask yourself how you can make it work for you. You will seek answers and strategies and more choices will become clear. This is called taking action.
Shift your mindset. Strip money of its power and its control over you and stop attaching emotions to inert objects. View it as it really is, which is a tool for life.
Changing your money mindset is a not an overnight process, but the rewards are worth every bit of effort you put into it.
I’ll be blogging about budgets and effecting positive money changes in your life soon, so be sure not to miss this!
Thank you for reading!