money health weekly


What Do You Want


"Most of us live our lives by accident. Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose."

-Simon Sinek


I'm on the fourth floor of the library looking out over the campus. I like this spot. It's quiet and peaceful. I'm studying for one of my economics classes. I have too many classes this semester. Plus, I'm working full time at the bank. I'm tired, but I know I need to get through this so that I can get a job somewhere.

The next day I have a conversation with a professor about what to do after college. He suggests I consider a Ph.D. program in economics. I voice concern over five more years of school, so he suggests at least a master's degree.

Still uncertain, I talk to another professor who thinks law school is the answer.

I've had it. I wonder why nobody suggests making money. I want advice on what kind of job I should get.

Sensing my frustration, my professors simply ask me, "Derek, what do you want to do?"






I get mad. I wanted them to tell me what to do. It occurs to me, I've never thought about this before. I have no idea what I want to do. I never thought it was an option to choose for myself what I want.

I was floating around life from circumstance to circumstance, reacting to what life was throwing at me. It wasn't until after those conversations that I spent some time figuring out what I wanted out of life; figuring out what is important to me.

peace of mind aligning money and values

Why Is Money Important To You?

Most people have never taken the time to learn why money is important to them. Why would they? It's not something most people think about. But it takes only a few moments of pondering to realize that it's only after learning what's important to us that we can use our money to support the kind of life that we want. Author Mitch Anthony has a saying that we should strive to live the best life we possibly can with the money that we have. That is a different way of looking at life than telling ourselves that we'll make a change when we finally get ahead.

Once you spend the time to learn what's important to you, your most important values become clear. Your values can become the foundation upon which all your future financial decisions rest. Use your money to support what's important to you.

money decisions sit on top of values

Life is Finite

Many of us have not considered the fact that life is finite. Tim Urban of the Wait But Why blog wrote about the importance of being intentional with your life because the knowledge that we don't have unlimited time should change how we live our lives.

Here is a version of a visual from Wait But Why to help make the point. Each dot represents one year of your life.

your life in years

We're Not Here Long

Using this visual, or one like it, helps you visualize where you're at in terms of how much time you have left.