Understanding Our Intentions with Money

Understanding Our Intentions with Money

Acting with Intention

Our mission is to help people use wealth as a tool to promote well-being. In order to use wealth as a tool, we must start by understanding our intentions with money. Often when frustrations arise, we think that if only we had more money we could avoid the suffering. However, modern research in well-being tells a different story.

Recent studies suggest that only 10% of our well-being is due to material factors such as income, 50% due to stable factors like genetics and 40% due to the actions we choose to engage in. Therefore, creating a life of well-being is less about how much we have, and more about acting with an intention or acting in a way that resonates with who we are and what we are passionate about.

Acting intentionally can be difficult because it assumes that we have a clear view of ourselves and our desires. Often the complicated nature of life can lead to a lack of focus clouding our view and intentions.

In recent years the minimalist movement has gained a lot of momentum promoting a happier, less-stressful existence by owning less and living simpler. According to Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life, “…minimalism is all about intentionality…The key element is asking: What do I want my life to be?” By applying minimalistic principles to our financial life we can gain better focus, and act with clearer intention. Here are 5 ways to simplify your financial life:

1. Set Intention

In order to set our intention with money, it is important that we contemplate the question Ryan Mitchell posed, “What do I want my life to be?” The answer to that question can be as simple or complex as you feel necessary. For some their intention with money may be to help those in need and for others it may be to build a rocket that will go to Mars. The key is to not get caught up in having the “right” intention but for the intention to be authentic. Taking time to visualize what you want your life to be or creating a mood board is a good way to get started. Once you have discovered your intention write it down somewhere that you can reflect upon it frequently.

2. Spend Mindfully

To be mindful is to be conscious or aware of something. Therefore, to spend mindfully means that you are aware of what you are buying, why you are buying it and how it furthers your intentions. A helpful habit is to ask yourself before spending money, “Is this purchase in line with my intentions?”

3. Sell Excess

By decluttering our lives we can focus our attention and act with precision. Consider your computer, it has the ability to run multiple processes at once, often operating in the background without our knowledge. If left unchecked these background running processes will affect the performance of your computer and potentially cause it to crash. The same goes for our brains. We have numerous conscious and sub-conscious neural processes happening in our brain at once. If we allow our brains to become pre-occupied with things that are not a priority our performance will suffer. Therefore, as you define what makes life meaningful for you, it is important as you consider your well-being and define what makes life meaningful to you, that you also consider parting ways with the things that don’t make the list.

4. Organize Paperwork

Paperwork has a way of accumulating quickly and keeping track of all that paperwork can be very stressful. Start by getting rid of paperwork that is not necessary to keep. Next, use the WMBC Client Portal to store all your important documents online. Doing so allows you to organize them and have access to them anywhere at any time.

5. Limit Media

According to Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less, “Information is good – to a point. But after that, it turns into noise and promotes mental clutter. The ‘experts’ on TV and the Internet are there to relentlessly inform you that you need to do this, or to stop doing that, or to buy here, or to invest there. It’s an advice merry-go-round in which the specific advice always changes, but the flow never ends. Confusion is never a sound position from which to simplify your financial life. Limit the amount of information you take in, restricting it only to the most trusted sources, then tune out the rest.”

Tips | May 1, 2018 | WMBC

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