Life isn’t Just About Money

Over the weekend I was watching some inspirational YouTube videos when the autoplay feature started playing a song by Drake – God's Plan.

I had just written a post about saving a million dollars and watching this music video made me realize the bigger picture so to speak. 

I hardly listen to music these days and when I do I am usually doing 9 other things so understanding lyrics is about as low on my priority list as laundry.

However, this music video grabbed my attention when Drake went into a store and announced that anything they wanted was on him. He proceeded to give to others in the form of cash, shopping sprees and scholarships throughout the music video (Drake immediately got my vote).

Check out the video if you haven't – its moving and it will make your day. I went on to tell some people about the music video and someone claimed,

“Well of course he can do it, hes a rapper.”

No, actually you are wrong my friend. You don't have to be rapper rich to help others and do kind things. Sure it helps, but you can be a blessing to others in a matter of seconds just by being you.

But here is my point…

In the end, life isn't about money <—– Contradicting for a personal finance blogger right?

Financial security isn't actually about you or me, in fact, it is about being able to have the choice to say yes based on the merit of the decision instead of the dollar bill.

  • Nephews braces – yeah I can help.
  • College tuition for the kids – let me see how I can help.
  • Someone to take care of grandma for a week – sure I am free from work.

And so on, and so on.

Honestly, this is one of our big burns to be debt-free and financially secure. So that we can have the ability to say yes, instead of always saying no.

Watching others struggle.

There were times when I was growing up that I knew it was hard for my mom to make ends meet. By no means is this a woe is me type of story, but I knew deep down how hard she was working just to keep everything together.

Like a duck on top of the water just gliding, but really her legs were underneath churning. She was constantly stressed and strained over finances.

While some of it was related to her inability to save and plan for the long term, most of it had to to with raising growing boys, 3 to be exact, and all their friends. She was often over-leveraged and over-worked.

But no matter what – she always made sure we and others were taken care of. I will never trade the values and the work ethic my mom has taught me. They have and will continue to pay off ten old.

Self admittedly though, I was naturally selfish because I saw my mom struggle so anything I worked for I held onto, money especially.  However, I am a firm believer we can all change. I saw an interesting quote recently that really stood out to me, something along the lines of:

Social media has the power to show us what we can't do, where we are, and where we can be. What is sad is most people post about where they are and where they are not going, instead of about where we can be.”

I had to take my eyes off myself.

Self admittedly, marrying someone with $200,000 in student loans can be a little intimidating. But I really never questioned it. I always had the blind faith that we would be ok.

Now it took me two years to get things going and realize money wasn't about to fall out of the sky so I better make changes.

But our student loan journey has taught us one thing. You can help others.

Whether it is with money, words, blog posts, or your service. As a whole, millennial's are some of the most giving people you will meet. They are purpose driven, even when they can not find a purpose and in general want to be able to help others.

However, saddled with student loan debt, coupled with wages that don't meet the bills at times, it can be hard to take the eyes off yourself.

One of my least favorite statements is, “I am doing pretty good.” Sure, you probably are I am not questioning that. Yet, what a selfish statement. Sure you are doing great, but have you helped anyone else lately?

To me that is what financial security is about. It is about options and helping others. And like my happiness article stated, giving to others will make you feel better about yourself. And you can give time or money, or just kind words!

Educator vs Entrepreneur…

What I find unique about entrepreneurs is that most are genuinely in it to win it for sure…. but they also genuinely want to help others.

See to me, the literal term means, “undertaking,” however, it can also mean finding a way to make it happen by providing a service for others.

Yes, I am an entrepreneur – I mean I did start a personal finance blog and it is a 5-hour undertaking that I could easily make 40 hours a week.

However, as much as I am an entrepreneur I am naturally and educator. I love teaching kids and others just how to get more out of life… whatever that may mean to them.

Wrestling, Math, History, PE, Personal Finance, you name it … I have taught or coached it all! But let me get back to the Drake thing.

Go do something good for someone else.

No, you don't have to be like Drake to do good things for others. Now does money help most situations, you bet. You can only sell so many cookies before it is easier to stroke a check for the youth soccer team.

However, being able to say yes to others starts with you saying no to yourself a little more.

I wrote a fantastic article about delaying gratification here that I think if more people used for 1-2 years, the world would be a better place and we could all talk about the way things can be, instead of how they should be!

Q: What is one way you can help others this weekend?