Want a better financial life? Ask Why.

Carl Richards recently released his latest book, The One-Page Financial Plan.  I have a copy of the book on the way and I am very excited to read it.  Carl has a wonderful knack for taking complex financial issues and making them approachable. I plan to incorporate some of his sketches in upcoming blog posts to discuss important issues that we face as we look to improve our financial lives.

This week’s image is one of my favorites.  Why?  Kind of a silly question for a finance guy to ask you right?  My three year old son asks why all of the time. As adults, I think we often forget to ask this very simple yet very powerful question.

ask why image

Everything that we do in life is grounded with why. But more often than not, we don’t really think about why we do what we do.

You have goals that you want to achieve in life, in your career, and with your finances.  When was the last time you really thought about why your goals, daily rituals, and  habits are what they are?  Are they propelling you forward towards a more fulfilling life or are they holding you back?  If we don’t take the time to look through this lens once in a while, all of a sudden life will not be as we intended.

I like to ask clients why money is important to them.  While money isn’t all that exciting in and of itself, we do use it as a tool to make personal choices such as buying a house, sending a child to school, going on a vacation, and funding retirement. These choices help shape who we are as people.

I recently changed my own life after I looked at my life and asked myself why. It’s why I started my own firm at Stone Steps Financial, where I help young professionals and families navigate the complexities of personal finance. I want to use my time, money, and energy:

  • To help young people increase their financial literacy and improve their financial lives
  • To become an entrepreneur and follow in the footsteps of my grandfather and father
  • To travel the world while our son is growing up so he can have a worldly perspective
  • To increase my income so that my wife can leave the corporate world and spend more time with our son if she wishes

That’s my why.