Know Your Why

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Why are you here? Why are you doing this? Why invest the time, energy and heartache into getting your money right? Sure, it’s the “right” thing to do, but that won’t sustain you through these tough times.

Working through SmartPath's 7-tank system is a marathon. It can feel overwhelming in normal times, but in the middle of a pandemic, it can nearly feel impossible. You will hit rough patches. You will get tired of making sacrifices. It will be easy to quit and justify bad financial decisions as a quick fix for a short term need or because you simply want something to feel good about today. So, why are you doing this?

Let me propose one reason – your children (or future children).

I grew up with parents that intensely saved money. Instead of ordering lemonade, they ordered water, lemons and sugar. To water the plants, they used water from the dehumidifiers. In the summer, the thermostat was set on “blazing” to avoid using the air conditioning. In the winters, we wore thermals instead of using the heater. And, that was only the beginning.

Sure, some people called them “cheap” or “misers.” But my parents surrounded themselves with like-minded people. They disregarded the haters. They knew that if they spent less than they made and avoided financial products they didn’t understand, good things would happen. Forty years later, they had proof.

First, my parents, who came to the US with little money, became the millionaires next door. They never owned a business. They never hit the lottery. They never made huge profits from investing. Instead, they socked away 30-50 percent of what they made – every single month.

Second, my parents instilled positive financial behaviors in my sister and me. We learned by watching them. We watched them make sacrifices. We watched them pass on short term gratification for longer term success. We watched them be creative with how we had fun. And, we were happy. We were very happy.

You have the opportunity to change the direction of your family's journey from here on. You have the power to show (not just tell) your children how to be smart with money in good times and in not so good times. You can lay the groundwork to ensure generations can create and maintain wealth. That’s your why.