Please don’t get used to me posting every day, but I’m feeling inspired at the moment. I also find myself with an extra 10 minutes in my day because my kids seem to have given up going berserk in the mornings so I can get to the office a little easier!
Something I don’t talk a great deal about but is at the core of just about every professional conversation I have is the psychology of money. I pay very close attention to what people say and ask questions that allow me to better understand why they have made a decision, or why they are worried about something. How we feel about money and our lives dictates what types of financial decisions we make. Some of us are driven by fear, some by greed, some by social relevance. The idea of “keeping up with the Jones” is a LOT more complex than just assuming that everyone wants to keep up with their peers.
In Sydney, I feel that we have a serious problem. It’s a city where a few do really well, a few more do ok, a lot are getting by, and a lot are really struggling. I’m seriously concerned about the quality of life for a lot of people out there. Day by day, I meet a lot of people that want to get ahead and statistically, we’re dealing with the top quarter of the population. We have clients that feel that they’re struggling with $250k plus household incomes. This just isn’t right.
So what’s going on? We’ve lost touch of money, we’ve lost touch with what’s important and we just go by day to day thinking it’s all going to be ok in the end. People are either paying too much rent, have borrowed too much, have too many subscriptions or buy too much, too often. So many people are completely shocked when I’m talking to them about buying a car when I show them the same model with the same features with very low km’s that’s only 24-36 months old for 30-40% less than the floor price for a brand new model. And it’s still under warranty. If you HAVE to have it, put in the effort to find the most cost effective way to do it.
Growing up, everyone paid cash for cars and kept them for 10 years. Now, people borrow for them and trade them every 3-5 years. What’s changed? What has driven this need? I took my first holiday overseas at the age of 14 – today, my kids passports look the same as what mine did by the time I turned 25. There are so many things we can do and we’re emboldened to have a crack at doing ALL of it. This is great, but it’s also our undoing.
So, over the forthcoming months, I’m going to explore the idea of money and how it effect us. Plenty of tips, but I also want to explore a way that we can live differently. It’s not about going without, but more so assessing the actual value and need behind some of the things that we’re doing. I’m as guilty of it as anyone, I have things in my life that are completely unnecessary – so it’s as much as me gathering my thoughts and sharing what I’ve witnesses as it is sharing ideas and helping anyone that randomly comes by the site.
If anyone has any ideas or topics that they would like me to explore, please post a comment or contact me through my Financial Planning firm.