The other day at lunch with the leadership team, we were joking around about how we wished, when we were kids, that there was a How To manual for the key areas of life: Career and Money, Relationships, and Vibrant Health. So I figured I'd have some fun with this idea...If you're looking to create something new around career and money, and you don't know where to begin, here are some basics. I go into depth on each one of these three key areas in my Lifestyle Series, and you can tend career and money at any of our Power Series Weekend Intensives! Just like any endeavor, you've got to start with vision - what do you want to create? and Why - why is it important for you? What will it mean to you and those you love? Now that you're all lit up about creating your vision for money, you get to the practicals.
Every choice, decision and action we take with money is emotional. Think about it, what occurs for you when that mortgage payment comes due? Are you filled with anxiety, scrambling to pull together every dollar so the check doesn’t bounce? Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe you’re filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment at having secured that mortgage in the first place. Whatever the case may be, writing a check with that many zeros in it is going to have some kind of emotion attached to it. But it’s not just big ticket spending that can stir up the pot of emotions. Buying that new outfit, shopping for Christmas gifts, paying for Caleb’s pirate-themed summer camp. They all come with an emotional component. What about saving money? Well, that brings along its own conveyor belt of emotional baggage.
The point is, you've got to have a system in place to manage money before it comes in. Call it a budget or a fiscal strategy or My Big Fat Money Plan, it doesn’t matter as long as you engage with a system that is both reasonable and realistic. I mean, let’s face it, you’re going to spend money. And why shouldn’t you? You worked hard to earn it! The point is to have a plan for the whats, hows and whys of spending money as well as managing the emotions around it.
I have a system I've been inside of for over 20 years that has supported me to build the wealth I have today. Over the years I have fine-tuned this system—I've leveraged experts, I've studied extensively, and I've invested substantially in my training around building wealth—and I've trained thousands of people in the system I use. In addition to the all important emotional component, you need a plan and a philosophy around how you're going to leverage the resource called money. In my system we breakdown all the buckets money should go into, and in what proportions:
Bucket #1–Lifestyle. Maybe you’re used to a certain lifestyle or maybe there’s one you're aiming for. Either way, set the percentage of income you want to devote to lifestyle spending: Mortgage, car, clothing, dining out, supplements, organic groceries, entertainment, etc.
Bucket #2–Talent. You might think of this as the “spending money to make money” category. This is investing in your talents/skills/education. Figure out what you spend to take some classes, attend seminars, or sign up for membership in personal mastery training with a program like Inner Matrix Systems. (I hear they do good work over there.)
Bucket #3–Fun & Adventure. This one probably speaks for itself, but let’s go ahead and say it: You gotta have some fun! What’s the point of all your hard work if you’re not going to set aside some time to enjoy yourself? And that also means setting some money aside. I don’t know what fun and adventure mean to you but make sure that you’re allotting some funds for whatever floats your boat. Maybe it’s that trip to the French Riviera, orchestra seats for a Broadway show, a piece of art or mountain bike you’ve had your eye on. And sometimes, the ‘Adventure’ part means replacing a tree that blew over in a windstorm—hey, life’s an adventure, right?
Bucket #4–Financial Freedom. You might think of this as savings and investments. Building a nest egg. Setting yourself up for early retirement. Whatever financial freedom means for you will determine how big of a chunk goes into this bucket.
Bucket #5–Extravagance. This is an interesting bucket that takes some people by surprise. In my system, I set aside a percentage every month to spend extravagantly. I started with a budget of $5, and would go to the arcade and just blow it on quarters for games. Today it’s a bit more than $5 and I have a blast finding new and creative ways to spend it each month. Eventually that budget grows as your income grows. Maybe one month it’s an extra special dinner at a great steakhouse or a trip to the spa. Maybe you just want to be like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman and say to a salesperson in a high end clothing store, “We’re going to spend an obscene amount of money.” It doesn’t matter what it is, it just matters that it’s a splurge and you must spend it each month. This practice not only promotes feelings of satisfaction and keeps you motivated to continue with your plan, it trains possibility.
These are the buckets that I tend. You might think of others that work better for you. The long and the short, though, is that when it comes to money, you need a plan for how you’re going to spend it and/or save it before it actually hits the bank account. Whether you’re brand new to IMS or an old pro, join us for a Power Series Weekend and tune up the space around money. Click HERE to learn more and sign up today!