Building wealth is not always about how much money you make, it is about how you choose to use it. For example, one of my clients has a good job and makes $150k per year. He is unmarried, but cares for a number of family members.

He manages to save about $50k per year and spends the other $100k. And yes, he lives in San Diego. How is he able to save so much? He is mindful about how he spends his money. Aside from basic needs, he spends it in ways that bring him joy, which are mostly his hobbies of golfing and camping.

In contrast, I had a former client who owned his own business and made $750k in a year. However, he and his family spent $680k that year such that they did not have enough money to cover their tax bill.

While these are extreme examples, they illustrate how important choosing how you use your money is to building wealth. It starts with understanding what is of value to you and your family. For example, do you value education and travel? If so, which is more important and if you need to make tradeoffs, is traveling with your kids now more important than being able to pay for an ivy league education later? There is not a right or wrong answer, there is only the answer that is right for you.

Similarly, spending money on a latte a few times a week may seem like a waste of money to some people. However, if you use that time at the coffee shop to be creative, that could be money very well spent. Spurring creativity and generating ideas can bring us our best opportunities for abundance.

If you would like support with aligning your values and spending, I am happy to help. It all starts with creating your Money Compass. To schedule a time to talk, reply to this email or give me a call at (619) 490-4059.

To aligning spending and values,

Stephanie Barnier, CFP®