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Financial Freedom and Finding Your Purpose

by Elisabeth Donati

For many people, there is a huge connection between life and finding one's purpose. And for many of these people, the connection extends to their pocketbooks.

Over the last few decades, the idea that you should, "find your purpose in life in order to be happy and fulfilled," has been brought to the forefront of the personal growth industry. If you think you need to read tons of self-help books or attend seminars and workshops to learn how to find your purpose, you have permission to simply say good-bye to this silly notion. And if you've suggested to your child that they will eventually find their own purpose, all the while perhaps still trying to find your own, please reconsider this suggestion.

Who said human beings are born with a single purpose? We do have a single purpose, but it's not what most people think of when they think of 'your purpose' in life. Like all animals, our single purpose is to survive. What makes us think we're any different from other animals is that we have brains that 'apply meaning' to things were there is no meaning.

"What do you mean, there's no meaning?" Well, it's not that things have no meaning; it's that the meaning everything has comes from the meaning we give everything. We each apply our own meaning to the things that make up our lives. It's easy to reason that if ten people make one thing mean ten different things, there's either no meaning or any number of meanings.

 

How does this relate to each human being having a purpose? And how does having a purpose have to do with money? Simple. Many people believe the notion that they are here on Earth to serve a purpose and they spend countless hours, days, months or years searching for that purpose.

If they are lucky, they come to the realization that the key to being happy and feeling fulfilled is to live 'on purpose,' meaning that they do the things they do with a purpose in mind.  In addition, the more the things people do serves others in some way, the happier and more fulfilled they feel.

What does this have to do with kids and money? Well, it's important that we help our children find their place in life, if that's possible. And growing up with the preconceived notion that they have to find their purpose for living, on top of everything else, is just too much pressure.

Especially if you suggest to them that in order to be truly happy and fulfilled, they should be doing for a living something that involves 'their purpose in life.' Kids have enough pressure just to grow up, fit in, figure it out, etc. We don't need to add the pressure of having to find their purpose and make money doing it on top of everything else. It's a grand idea, yes, but it's not necessarily the best way to create adults who take responsibility for themselves financially

Instead, suggest that they do what they do on purpose. In the area of money, this means that they spend their money on purpose, i.e., they think through what they want to spend their money on before they spend it. They invest their money on purpose, meaning they do their research and make sound decisions based on fact, history, numbers and expert advice. They donate a portion of their financial resources on purpose by researching charities and other avenues for helping others to make sure their donation dollars will be spent wisely.

 

Teaching children to take care of their money by teaching them to use it 'on purpose' will create adults who contemplate their earning, spending, saving, investing and donating decisions and they will be less likely to have second thoughts about these decisions.

Again, what does the connection between finding your purpose and being on purpose have to do with money? Hundreds of thousands of individuals have spent millions of dollars on books, seminars, workshops, life coaches, teleseminars, DVDs and CDs trying to find this illusive purpose they are supposed to be on earth for. Imagine for a second what that money would be worth if it had been invested instead. Now that's a whole lot of money to do something with on purpose!

Here's a few ways to help your kids, and you, think in terms of using your money on purpose:

  • Before you buy anything, ask yourself the simple need vs. want question. If you really do need it, are there ways that you could get it by trading your time or energy for it (bartering)? Can you simply delay the purchase? If you only want it, ask yourself, "Can I do without it today?" This one question can keep you from wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime.
  • Ask yourself, "What would this money (that I am about to spend) be worth if I invested it at 10% for 20 years instead?" Often, when we realize the true potential of the money we're about to spend, we realize we really don't want or need the thing as badly as we thought.

  • Find a way to buy or acquire the thing you want cheaper. Look for discounts, coupons, go to Craigslist, Ebay, look in your local papers, go to thrift stores, garage and yard sales. You'd be surprised at how much less you can purchase something if you really do your research.

  • Ask yourself how your donation dollars could be put to greater use? Is there some way to leverage the money so that it serves more people? What if you wanted to donate $100 to a homeless shelter but instead, attended a local college basketball game with 4000 loyal fans, set up a table and sold 200 raffle tickets for $5 each for the $100 prize? You can now donate $1000 to the homeless shelter instead!

Bottom line, to be more financially savvy, learn to handle your money on purpose. There's many ways to do this, but simply being aware of what you're doing with every dollar that passes through your life is a great start.

Just something to think about!

Elisabeth Donati is the founder of Creative Wealth International and an expert in teaching kids of all ages (including adults) about money and wealth creation in a fun and entertaining way!

If you'd like to read more interesting tips, trick and philosophy on money and life, sign up today for Elisabeth's FREE Weekly E-Zine, Financial Wisdom with a Twist and FREE monthly teleseminars above.