The Happiest Days – What’s your ‘Bruce Springsteen’?
As a Certified Financial Planner, I hear varying perspectives on money—different plans, different approaches towards saving and spending. Yet, no matter what they are doing with their money, they seem to share the same sentiment: “my money controls me, and it’s scary.” I have felt that way, too.
You often find people on extreme ends of the spectrum—no matter how much they make.
On one side, you might have someone who avoids all things finance-related and works and spends without much of a plan. And, on the other side, you might have someone that obsesses about finances and may even avoid spending altogether.
Ready for a crazy stat?
Either way, a whopping 42% of Canadians report finances as a top stressor in their lives. That stress can impact anyone, whether their annual salary is $30, 000 or $300, 000.
To compound that stress, we don’t even talk about it because finance is practically a taboo topic. And, it’s no wonder: we don’t learn about healthy money relationships anywhere along the way… not in high school, post-secondary, not at work… so, if we haven’t learned about it, and we aren’t talking about it, it makes sense that we are in this position.
I think we can change that.
Just because we avoid the most hated f-word, does not mean that it’s in our best interest to do so.
Try something for me. Don’t skip over this!
I want you to look away from the screen, close your eyes and think about the three happiest moments in your life. Ignore the incoming messages and the notifications. Let yourself really think about those moments.
What did you think about?
I’ve done this exercise in-person with hundreds of people. No one has said money. Did you?
For me, my three happiest moments are
- Marrying my beautiful wife
- The day our son was born
- The 8 hours my entire family sat outside in the scorching New Orleans’s sun waiting for the BOSS (Bruce Springsteen) to perform.
We waste so much of our energy thinking about, stressing about, avoiding and obsessing about… MONEY. Yet, when we slow down and step outside of the day-to-day to consider the best days of our lives, we likely aren’t giving a single thought to dollars and cents.
So, the truth is that money in and of itself does not make us happy; however, when we put money towards something that we value (whatever that may be), we see its true potential—the potential to build a meaningful life.
It can be difficult to spend on the things that matter—the things that will pop into your mind when you look back on your happiest days—because we have mortgages, car payments, utility bills, and thousands of random reoccurring bills. So, how do we handle all of that and focus on the things that matter?
The first true step here is to become conscious of where you spend your money, your time, and your energy. And, above all else, make sure that everything you are doing aligns with your values in life.
OK, think about this:
What if financial planning and financial literacy was about seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert more often? Or your own ‘Bruce Springsteen’ moments, your own happiest days, that you thought about when you closed your eyes?
What are your top three moments? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below!