Thinking About Money

How often do you think about money? Once a week, once a day, once an hour...even more frequently? Did you know there is often an inverse correlation between how often you think about money and your level of financial well-being? People who think about their money constantly generally have done more poorly with arranging their financial lives than those who think about their money only occasionally.

If you think about, and more specifically worry about, your money frequently you have not put in place processes that allow you to know with confidence how you stand financially. As is so often the case, the most important tool to help you gain this confidence is a formal budget.

Taking the time to put together a solid budget that includes what you value most and your financial goals allows you to stop thinking about money all the time. A budget, which you follow, that really captures what is important to you, gives you the freedom to not have to dwell on and think about each financial decision ad nauseum. You already know your goals are being funded in your budget, other money is designed for other purposes.

A second tool is having an investment portfolio that truly is designed to fund your various financial goals while staying true to your willingness to accept risk. A portfolio that is built to fund your short, medium, and long-term goals allows you to stop worrying about those goals. In fact, with a properly designed portfolio, you may find yourself not paying attention to the stock market at all. Combined with the well-designed budget, financial worries truly begin to melt away.

Other tools that help you think less about your money and focus more on your life include a comprehensive insurance portfolio and estate planning completed to allow you to know those important to you will be provided for.

I don't think there is any magic number for how often to think about your money. The number is likely different for each of us. Certainly it is important to consider your finances occasionally, and to make well-informed financial decisions. But if you find yourself constantly worrying about paying bills or reaching your financial goals or struggling with financial decisions, you are likely thinking about your finances too much.

Are there any additional tools you can think of to help reduce the amount of time needed thinking about money?


Russ said...

Great post, Nathan. And so very true.

I'd add that perhaps more important than thinking about your money is how you "feel" about your money. In other words . . . is your money supporting your most important hopes and dreams, or is money a goal itself, which is unfortunately how many people think and feel about it

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