Back in November I attended the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. If you’re not familiar with CPFC, it’s basically where a lot of Canadian money bloggers, writers, and professionals get together to talk about content, branding, and all things money.
One of the keynote speakers was Bruce Sellery, the author of Moolala. I’ve known Bruce for a few years, and I’m quite familiar with his work, but this was the first time I saw him speak for an audience. His entire talk was based around the theme of what is your money for? It seems like a straightforward question, but when you think about it. Your money can be for a lot of different things.
So what is your money for?
For most people, money is for security. Sounds pretty logical. We all need money to live right? We need it to pay for shelter, and to buy things that sustain us. Saving money also allows us to save for retirement which is basically another form of security.
But think beyond the basics for a second. We know we all need money for security, but what is your money really for? Money allows us to do the things we love, so why are you saving?
For me, my money is for experiences. After saving for all my “security” concerns, I like to divert any extra money towards experiences such as travel. I’m not interested in collecting things, experiences matter most to me.
Money can be for anything. It can be for your education, your kids, your Pokemon collection, it doesn’t matter (as long it’s not illegal).
How are you getting that money?
Obviously, the way most of us get money is with our jobs. But is that the best we can do? Some of us may have side hustles to bring in more money, but is that what we want to do with our free time?
We don’t always have control over how much money we make, but what we do have control over is how much we spend. By spending less, we can use that money we’ve saved on the things that really matter to us.
As you’ve gathered by now, saving money is important, but so is spending. Finding that balance is what can be tough for many people. As mentioned, I prefer experiences over things, so it’s been easy for me to save. Are you allocating your money for the things you enjoy the best you can?
Having too much money can be a trap
For a little while, I would say I was obsessed with money. It’s not that I was super cheap and didn’t spend a dime, but I was always concerned that I didn’t have enough of it. I also hated paying more for things than I have to.
It took me some time, but I realized that it’s okay to spend. I’ve finally found that balance between saving and spending I mentioned above. What got me on track was making my savings automatic. Every month I have money automatically transferred to savings accounts. Any money I have left over, I spend guilt free.
I’ve seen people who basically horde money because they believe they can never have enough of it. Maybe it’s because for them, money means security, but things can get out of hand if you get obsessed. Yes, it’s possible to be saving for the wrong reasons.
Figuring out what your money is for is not as simple as it seems. You may think you know what it’s for, but when you start to question yourself, you may realize that having money means something else. In my own experience, finding that balance between saving and spending is what’s most important.