I have a love/hate relationship with choices. I love that we have the freedom to choose from so many options here in the US; from where to grocery shop to what kind of pickles to buy, it seems the sky is the limit. We are blessed with such abundance! At the same time, having so many choices can make me crazy. My husband and I need to buy a mattress, but we’re not at all up for researching and shopping and figuring out what all the different options mean, and what will be best for us. I haven’t the foggiest idea how many coils are best or what firmness will feel good on our backs. So we keep sleeping on the same uncomfortable mattress, every morning telling ourselves we really need to do something about this and never doing anything.
It can be like that with finances too. There are so many decisions to make and what seems like a million things to choose from. Is a Roth or Traditional IRA best? What IS an IRA? How much is the right amount to put away for college? What kind of life insurance is right and what are all these different kinds of policies? Who has time for this anyway? Like my husband and me with the mattress, when faced with these decisions, we might just give up and do nothing, because it seems smarter to do nothing than to do the wrong thing. But while avoiding the mattress store will hurt our backs, avoiding financial decisions can jeopardize our security.
On the surface, the constant stream of information out there should make decisions easier, but I’ve found the opposite to be true for most folks. Filtering through it all and finding what applies to you is a challenge. It bothers me too that sometimes it seems the financial services industry thrives on that confusion, to keep you in the dark so you have to trust We Who Know What’s Best. That’s not the way it should be! It’s your money, and you should be able to understand your options, so you can make good decisions and do more good with what you have, however you define that “good.” That’s why it’s my mission to help screen out the noise, explain the rules of the game, and present your choices in way that makes sense.
We all want to do the best we can with our money, to see our money going to the people and places that matter most to us, not to costly mistakes or avoidable expenses. When we take the time to understand what we are doing with our money and why, we can be purposeful and intentional about our spending and investing decisions to accomplish the good we wish to do. Whatever you define your good as- whether it’s helping your kids live a good life, getting out of the rat race and living life on your terms, using your money to further a cause, creating a giving portfolio- whatever it is that is your purpose, that should be getting the most our attention and dollars. Creating and following a plan then isn’t drudgery but rather joy in knowing we’re working for good.