Do your actions, spending habits, and priorities reflect the life you desire? Are you investing in the life you want?
Lately, as I’ve continued to struggle a little bit, I’ve been thinking a lot about the life that I want.
How much do I want to work? If my husband gets a job somewhere else, what sort of new life will we make? What sorts of experiences do I want? And how will I pay for it all?
During the last year or so, my husband and I have both been pondering these questions, and making decisions that we hope will also us to live the life we want. It’s about investing in the life you want, and doing what you can to make it happen.
What Makes Your Life Worth Living?
Your first step to investing in the life you want is to consider what makes your life worth living. Figure out your priorities. Determine what you want to accomplish. Don’t spend too much time looking at what others have, and don’t spend a lot of time judging others’ financial choices.
While you can get ideas from others, either learning from what makes their lives great, or by learning from their mistakes, don’t get caught up in making your life a copy of someone else’s.
Decide what you want your life to look like. Then begin to invest the time, money, and other resources into reshaping your current life until it looks like the one you aim for.
Investing in Your Career
I’ve been experimenting with working in bursts of productivity for the last couple of months. It’s been a relatively good experience. My clients might not be overly happy about it, but it is working out for me. I’m changing the way I do things so that I have more time for my son, and for my husband, and for other things that I like to do.
I’ve also been investing in my health more. By putting these things first, and re-arranging my career a little bit, I’ve actually been more productive when I work, and I’ve been able to maximize my freelance earnings in a very encouraging way.
You can also invest in the life you want by developing a way to advance your career. Develop a marketable skill. Learn what it takes to succeed in the career you want. Find out how to effectively network so that you can benefit from the help of a mentor. Invest a little more building your network, and building your skill set, and you will have a better chance at improving your career.
Align Your Spending with Your Priorities
Don’t forget to align your spending with your priorities. It’s easy to lose sight of the life you want when you spend on things that aren’t important to you. Think about your situation and your goals.
How can you invest your resources to help you reach the life you strive for? Whether you put money into an emergency fund to protect you from disasters, or whether you are working on building an income investment portfolio, you need to consider how your financial resources can be directed on your behalf.
My husband and I have managed to whittle down a lot of our unimportant spending over the course of the last couple of years. We think about what we want, and what we enjoy. Instead of buying a lot of things that we don’t want, he focuses more on just getting the action figures that he finds most appealing. I “invest” a lot in experiences like travel. We both enjoy family excursions and eating out.
We invest our financial resources in a variety of things and experiences — and not all of them provide a direct financial return. Some of our investment priorities include:
- Time spent re-working our careers so that we can have the free time to do more of what we want.
- Donations to the local food bank and to our church as a way to help build the community.
- Automatic investments in retirement accounts to build wealth for the future.
- Automatic investment in our taxable investment account for use as an emergency fund (and as a way to grow wealth).
- Money used to begin building an income portfolio.
- Money spent on eating out and spending time as a family.
As you can see, our spending has a variety of uses, and the returns are varied. In some cases, the returns are more about spending our time as we wish, building memories and feeling good about helping the community. A return on investment doesn’t always have to be about dollars and cents.
You truly are your best asset. Think about how you want to use that asset, and whether or not you are investing in the life you want.