what should I do with my money

3 Ways to Think Differently About Your Money

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I recently watched Shark Tank with my oldest daughter. One of the investors said, “Remember, the most important thing in the world—is money.” While that’s entertaining television, it’s no way to live. I wonder if when this great investor passes away he will only be known for making money. Culture screams that we should never be satisfied. We should always want more—more money, more things. But is life only about money? And how much is enough?

On the other side of the coin, the Notorious B.I.G told us more money equals more problems. Do you ever ask this question: “What should I do with my money?” In addition to money, we have time and resources. How do we get the most out of them? What should we really care about? Here are 3 ways we need to think differently about our money, time, and resources.

1. Reconsider your wealth.

Since you’re reading this post, you no doubt have access to a computer or mobile device. This assumes you have electricity and an internet connection. Combine that with the coffee you might be sipping, that you have plans for eating dinner, access to clean water and medicine, and a roof over your head, then you’re more wealthy than most of the world. Actually, most of the world lives on less than $10 per day, according to the World Bank Group. Most of us compare ourselves to someone who’s richer and then constantly think we need more. In a world that seeks more and more, consider what you have now, and realize that you are wealthy.

Reconsidering that you are actually wealthy has its advantages. You’re more likely to be grateful. Perhaps you’ll model thankfulness in your life. This will be empowering, considering we’re more apt to compare ourselves with others and see what we don’t have.

How would your life change if you realized you were wealthy?

2. Reconsider your responsibility.

Our lives will be better when we realize we have a duty to give to and serve others, no matter our net worth.

Let’s pretend you have reconsidered your wealth and you realize you’re wealthy. Guess what! You have a responsibility to give—if you want to live for something more than yourself. The world has plenty of takers. But you have another purpose, another responsibility. You are here to give, so you model service and responsibility to your kids.

You want your kids to live as if they are not the center of the universe. If you don’t live this way, your kids may not see it. The world will not show them this. Sit down as a family and talk about how you’re going to give money away. The point is, money can’t be the driving force of our lives. Our lives will be better when we realize we have a duty to give to and serve others, no matter our net worth. True joy is found when we think of others more than ourselves.

How do your kids see you give? 

3. Reconsider your sacrifice.

Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not saying give what you don’t have. If you’re in debt, pay the debt. I know a well-intentioned guy who, when talking to him about sacrifice, told me a story about giving his car away. After asking follow-up questions, I found out there was a bank loan for his car that his dad paid off after he gave it away. He didn’t own the car. It wasn’t his to give. My friend can call giving his car away a lot of things, but calling it “sacrifice” isn’t accurate.

Giving sacrificially looks different. It normally involves feeling pain yourself because you’re giving something up. It’s more about learning to think of yourself less. It helps us be more connected to the person in need. Think about it—when you give sacrificially, you’re lining up with someone else’s pain. You’re feeling and showing empathy. You’re sharing another’s burden.

How have your kids seen you give sacrificially?

Sound off: Which of these three things do you need to reconsider most right now?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is something you would like to buy and how long do you think it will take to earn the money for it?”