Today, I want to talk about the question no one asks when it comes to personal finance. A couple of days ago, I had a friend reach out to me and she was about to buy an apartment in New York City, but she was feeling a little uneasy about it.
The Question No One Asks About Money
And she’s like, “Hey, can I talk to you about it?” I’m like, “Yeah, sure. Let’s talk. Let’s figure what’s going on because you’re either feeling uneasy because it’s what you wanna do.”
So I was asking her questions and she’s like, “Hey, I’ve been looking for a long time, I finally found a place in Manhattan. And, you know, I’m putting down the offer and it was accepted, but I’m feeling kind of uneasy about it.”
And then I asked her a question and I was like, “Okay, well, what do you want out of your life? How do you wanna live?” And she’s like, “Well, no one’s ever asked me that when it comes to my money.” And I’m like, “Yeah, because no one ever thinks about it. No one ever starts with the end in mind.”
Here’s what she told me — “Well, you know when I think about my life, I envision traveling and being a mother and taking care of kids. I’d like to have passive income coming in.”
So I said, “Okay, well, if that’s what you wanna do, and you wanna get there sooner, rather than later, maybe you shouldn’t buy this apartment. Maybe you should take that down payment and use it toward properties that would make you money.”
And she was like, “Whoa, I’d never thought of it that way.”
Personal Finance Isn’t One Size Fits All
You guys hear me say pretty often that there is no one size fits all formula when it comes to personal finance. You really have to think about how you wanna live your life and what you want out of it.
And then that’s what’s going to let you know what you should do with some of your money, because a lot of us are operating under assumptions of what other people think we should do or what society tells us we should do.
And a lot of times it’s not even what we want to do, therefore, we don’t take the right financial steps to get to where we wanna go. So it’s really important to ask ourselves some deeper questions. It’s not just about, go to school, get a job, buy a house, and have 2.5 kids. That’s not what money is. Money is just a tool to give us options. It gives us choices.
So in the case of my friend, she has choices based on how she wants to live. So she could buy the apartment. And that’s okay, that’s a valid choice. And then it would take her a couple of years to make up that money again and then start looking into investing. The other option is she can stay put and stay where she is for a little while longer, and then use that money that she’s sitting on and start investing some of that money into real estate that produces income for her.
You Have Options
Many people don’t realize that they have options because they’ve been conditioned to believe that success and financial success looks a certain way. It looks like, the go to school, get a job, buy a house, have 2.5 kids, but that’s not necessarily true, depending on how you wanna live.
I think another part that’s going on here is we’re kind of afraid to admit what we want and we’re afraid to admit that we want money because people who want money are seen as greedy by society. And that’s why we hear stupid things like, “I’d rather be happy than have money.” Who the hell said that because you have money, you ain’t happy? Who said that? Don’t try and rationalize why you’re broke. That doesn’t make any sense. Why can’t you be both?
I think all of this has caused us to not ask ourselves the right questions when it comes to money. The first question shouldn’t be, where do I buy a house, for example. The first question should be, how do I wanna live my life and does buying a house fit into that plan? That’s what the first question should be. We’re walking around asking the wrong questions because we’re too afraid to admit what we want out of life. We’re afraid to admit it because we’re afraid we’re gonna be judged for it or maybe we just never thought about it, and we’re just rolling on autopilot and doing what everybody says we should do.
Talk To People Living The Way You Want To
If you’re going to be asking for advice about money, go ask from people who are living the way that you wanna live and doing the things that you want to do. It may not be your family. Maybe it’s not your immediate circle of friends. It may be people that turn into mentors or people you admire from afar. But I can almost guarantee that if you ask, they’ll tell you.
When you’re more mindful about how you want to live, you’re more mindful about the next step that you have to take. And that choice can help with overwhelm. There’s so much “Keeping Up with the Joneses” going on. But the reality of the situation is, life is what you want it to be and it’s going to cost money. So who cares what other people are doing. The only thing you should care about is how you want to live and how much it’s going to cost you so that you can figure out what your next step is. That’s all.