Finding Your Why

Since starting the blog, more people have come up to me about the challenges they face when it comes to managing their finances. I’ve heard it all – it’s too hard, too boring, too complicated. Things like saving, investing, or retirement are foreign concepts to a lot of people. I was that way for most of my life.

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You know what made those things easy for me?

It’s all about finding your WHY.

  • Why Should I Save?
  • Why Should I Invest?
  • Why Should I Pay Attention to My Money?

Being awesome at money is pointless if there’s no purpose behind it. Before I didn’t have much of reason to pay attention and do well with our finances. I pretty much sucked when it came to managing our money. While my wife and I made good salaries and lived comfortably, we didn’t have any real goals or plans for the future. As long as we had enough to pay the bills and have fun we were happy.

I Found My Why When My Daughter Addie was Born.

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Once I found my Why, becoming BFFs with my money was easy (Shout out to my friend Alyssa at Mixed Up Money). Having a daughter gave me a better reason to save, invest, and look forward to the future. I want to take them to see the world. I want Addie’s college to be paid for. I want to be weird and retire by 50 (or earlier).  Blowing through all our money and living for today wasn’t good enough anymore. By paying more attention to our finances, I hope that Addie will have as bright of a future as possible.

What We Did to Get Our Money Right. 
I started reading personal finance books and blogs, listened to podcasts, and talked to others about money so that I could apply it to our lives. My wife and I started budgeting and having open conversations on a regular basis about our finances that didn’t turn into arguments.We stopped spending money on random crap and became frugal (which on the outside some would think we became cheap 🙂 )

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Teaching Addie’s grandpa the art of the selfie.

And Once I found my Why, a lot of great things happened to our family:

Living the Life You Want.
Don’t get me wrong – Money isn’t everything. Having enough money to swim in like Scrooge McDuck won’t necessarily make you happy. Money is simply a tool to help you live the life you want. Whether it be sending your kid to college, going out on vacations, or even buying the newest iPhone every year, we all need money to achieve those goals.

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You need a reason to want to budget, save, and get out of debt.

You Need a Why.

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28 thoughts on “Finding Your Why

  1. So much YES to all of this! Especially when you stated that money is a tool to help you live the life you want. You decide how to use this tool, and where it will benefit you most. I was the same way as you, having zero interest in personal finance. My “why” was to overcome the stress and damage that debt had caused my mental health. It’s a seriously unreal feeling to no longer worry about the small things (like filling up with gas) that used to cause me fear. Great post, and thank you for the shout out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Alyssa!

      That’s awesome that you aren’t stressed out anymore. Sometimes I get a little spendy because I know we can truly afford something! We always pay ourselves first so if we buy random crap once in awhile it’s not the worst thing in the world. Although we do limit it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don`t and won`t have children – my Why is a very deprived childhood and young adulthood. Apart from lacking material things, money also destroyed relationships within my family. *All* my memories around meals involve my parents bickering about money, I forewent further education to finally earning my own money, but one of my parents decided that I was to pay back all I cost them over the years and took just enough money off me so it was still cheaper than moving out. I left home with absolutely nothing but an old car and what was in my room, and then I had to take a further loan and second job to furnish my flat. When I met my husband (who was, at the time, in a different country) I took a third job to afford the flights, and when we moved together and, for the first time in my life, I was able to put something aside, I decided that I never, ever was to be poor and wanting again.

    Not having children or mortgage helped, but I now wouldn`t have to be scared if I became unemployed. Next goal now is making better provisions for my retirement. I started a business course in January, and my next module will be personal finance, which I`m very much looking forward to. I hope this will give me some pointers re where to start.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Looks like you had a lot of challenges in your life, but I’m glad to see that things are looking up for you. How’s your job situation? I know you were laid off but then got another job? Am I remembering that correctly?

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      1. Oh, you`ve got some memory! Yes, I got another job, which is part time, and I also started to study for a degree in business. Job is a step down rather than forward, and I`m still looking for a better one, but I want to work part time, as I`m really committed to my studies and to having a better work life balance. I was concerned about my ability to live on a part time salary, but that`s no problem at all – I just don`t save, but there`s not much interest to be earned anyway at the moment, and I had a package from my ex employer.
        And yourself? 🙂

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      1. And her children too! Not having student loans has been HUGE for my husband and me… It’s allowed us to let savings work for us instead of paying off debt when we were in our 20s and 30s

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow it really feels great to see others in the same journey. I have trouble finding people who have taken control of their lives by acknowledging wealth must be sought, not stumbled upon. It makes me smile when I read a story like yours, because I know what you have found! I also found my why when my daughter was born! I found that having options (freedom) is a key contributor to happiness, money is simply a tool that helps provides options.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Ron!

      I definitely have that same trouble as I really don’t talk much about personal finance until it comes up in conversation. Only if people sound interested then I’ll talk their ear off 🙂

      That’s great that your daughter is your Why too Ron!

      Not sure if you’re a regular reader but I was laid off between October to February. Since we’re pretty frugal I was able to enjoy my unemployment with my daughter while I looked for a job. I didn’t have to choose the first job that came up out of desperation. It was one of the best times of my life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good point, Vic. I wish I had more of a “why” — the motivation of “I want to get out of debt” is only going to last me so long, I think. I’m trying to think as much as possible about larger life goals so that I can focus on those. Being out of debt will be nice, but I’d like to focus on something more concrete that will actually affect my daily life. Hmmmmmm….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You do have a Why Sarah! Getting out of debt and having that freedom is a great goal :). I’m sure when you’re debt free you’ll have another financial goal lined up.

      I wish more of my friends and family felt the same instead of accepting debt as a way of life.

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  5. We agree with this on all counts! We found our “why” after we discovered that we were squandering away our future by not saving or managing our money well. More specifically, our “why” came when we had our epiphany and decided that we didn’t want to remain reliant on our 9-5 jobs. Our inspiration is the desire to achieve FIRE. Excellent post! – Mrs. FE

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome. I’m starting to think of FIRE too. I’m currently maxing out my 401k this year, and am saving as much as possible (while still enjoying life 🙂 ). Getting laid off showed me that you just can’t rely on a company to keep you employed indefinitely.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that grandpa selfie. 🙂 And seeing your list of financial accomplishments all in one place like that makes it all feel so big! You guys really have accomplished so much! You’re setting Addie up for an amazing future and — I’m sure! — a great appreciation of the value of money, and the importance of saving. Because she’ll see the why right in front of her: parents who are around to hang out with instead of working until well past when she has kids of her own! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome Thias!

      I just can’t imagine being bad with money when my daughter depends on me to take care of her. I know a lot of parents who just play it by ear when it comes to their money.

      That just won’t work for me or my wife! 🙂

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  7. It’s funny how kids change your perspective on life. It’s been 18 years, but I remember the second my daughter was born. I was young and it became very real that day. Definitely a perspective changer. I woudn’t trade her for anything though.

    Liked by 1 person

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