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I frequently refer to the Three Keys to a Healthy Wallet. The first key is Clarity. This is your starting point, the foundation for financial health. Clarity is knowing what you truly want in your life, knowing what you value, both individually and as a couple, so you focus your spending on those things and those experiences.

You end up spending less, AND are more fulfilled in the process.

Why do I emphasize the importance of Clarity when it comes to your money? Because Clarity is about your WHYs – these are what make your life fulfilling.

You might be thinking “I know what I want” but really, we get pulled in so many directions that we spend unconsciously, leaving us with unmet needs and desires.

Have you ever spent money to impress others? How about to appease someone else, even though you did not want to yourself? These are examples where you looked outside of yourself to find happiness, and your money suffers in the process.

Add to this that we make six to 10 money decisions EACH day, and for most people, these decisions are completely unguided. If you ran a business and you made that many decisions each day without having a business plan or specific goals… you would struggle to be successful! Same goes for your money.

Without being clear on your WHYs, you will not stick to your financial goals. Your WHYs drive your financial goals and strategies… not the other way around! How do you know if what you are pursuing is the right financial strategy? Go back to your WHYs.

What is a WHY anyway? It’s what drives you to get up in the morning, it makes you smile, it jazzes you up and it fills you with happiness. For some people it’s spending quality time with their family. For others, it’s exploring a variety of cultures in different parts of the world. Or knowing you are making a difference in the lives of others less fortunate. It’s all about your quality of life, not the quantity of things in your life.

There is no WHY that is ‘better’ than another. Your WHYs are yours and yours alone, and that’s all that matters. If someone judges your WHY, they just don’t understand what drives you.

Your WHY goes deeper than anything else; it’s what you truly value. These tend not to change much over time, unless you had a bid life change; for example, if you are single and never married, your WHY might change once you are married and have kids… you might go from wanting to travel the world to making sure your family is taken care of. However, there is nothing wrong with having both of those WHYs in your life!

If you are still having trouble figuring out your WHY(s), think about being on your deathbed. Morbid I know, but stick with me — there’s value in working backwards! What would you most regret? If you did have those one or two things in your life, you should feel that you could pass on in peace.

You see, it’s not just about having more money, it’s about having the money to afford what matters to you. And that is different for each one of us.

When you focus on what matters to you and what you value first when making money decisions, you are using clarity and the consistency that comes from it to help you reach your goals. Clarity reduces financial stress.

Did you know that money is #1 cause of discord in relationships, and that fighting couples 30% more likely to divorce? You can prevent being a statistic by working on your WHYs together, so you are on the same page when it comes to making those money decisions.

With gratitude, Marla

 

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 Mortgage Agent Lic. M16001744 -- iBrokerPower Capital Inc. (The Mortgage Centre), Brokerage Lic. 10538