Being mindful about how we spend our days – and our money – can help us on the path to achieving our dreams.
Mindfulness and Money
Last week, I attended the funeral of my cousin. In the past year, he sold his business and moved with his wife to their lake home, where they had always wanted to spend more time. Sadly, they only had one year there together before he passed away. It got me to thinking about mortality and how we spend our limited time on this earth.
This may seem a bit beyond what I normally talk about in these articles, but bear with me, as I believe that moments like this can be a wake up call for being more mindful about how we think about our money.
What do you want your money to do for you?
Most people I work with aren’t working hard and running around every day trying to accumulate cash or assets just to have them, like Scrooge McDuck sitting on his pile of money.
Rather, they want their money to give them the ability to do something that’s important to them. Maybe it’s buying a home (or their dream vacation lake home). Maybe it’s giving their kids freedom to choose a college with the specialty major that fits their passion. Maybe it’s retiring at age 50. Maybe it’s paying off their student loans within 10 years.
The point is, my clients want money so that it can afford them the opportunity to do something important – to accomplish a goal or dream. Money can be a form of freedom in that it permits choices that weren’t there before.
Being mindful when it comes to spending time
I have found myself sunk into the details of day to day life, running from meeting to meeting, picking my son up from school, getting dinner ready, throwing in a load of laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, making lunches, bedtime routines and then starting it all over again the next day.
My cousin’s funeral this week has prompted me to reconsider the “rush” that I do each day. What am I doing each day that’s so important that I need to rush along my son as he tells me about *another* funny YouTube video he watched? What’s more important than being present to those we love?
Be mindful when it comes to spending money
That mindfulness can come into play when we’re making decisions about money too. Have you ever participated in “retail therapy”? Or found yourself mindlessly scrolling through Amazon pages, looking for interesting stuff to add to your cart? Why do we think that “stuff” can fill us up? What if we put our money towards things that were actually important for us, like saving up for that home or early retirement or donating to causes that we believe in?
So that brings me back to my cousin. I’m so thankful that he and his wife got that year together, living their dream on the lake, doing things they love. Even though it was only a year, it seems to me that it was a year well-spent, doing just what he wanted to do.
How can being more mindful about money help you achieve your dreams?