Hear about how to revisit your money decisions to help ensure they continue to connect with what’s meaningful for you.
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Hey, humans! I’m Michael Liersch. This is the About Money podcast, presented by Wells Fargo. I’m a behavioral scientist with a PhD in cognitive psychology who loves openly discussing money to help humans better understand their money behaviors. By understanding our money behaviors, we all have the opportunity to make better money decisions.
In this season, we’re going to talk about how we can all sync up our life and our money. We call it LifeSyncSM. You might be asking yourself, why does LifeSync matter? Well, when we align what we want to accomplish in life with our money, it can clarify whether money is truly working hard for us to get us to where we want to go. But that requires us to be intentional about what we want in our life, the jobs we want money to do for us, and compare it with how our money’s organized both now and in the future. To that end, we’re going to keep each episode under 10 minutes so that you can take immediate action to LifeSync. So let’s get into it.
In this episode, we’re going to answer the question: “How do I revisit money and its meaning?” So let’s keep this pretty straightforward. And I was told, you know, when it comes to revisiting money, I get really direct, and I think it’s important because many people get organized. They define not just the organization of their money, but they align it with their meaning. Everything is great. And then they open the drawer and put all that information in that drawer. They close it, never to be opened again. So I feel very passionate about revisiting that money and that meaning because there’s no power in having done that hard work getting organized, establishing the meaning, talking with other people about it, giving everyone the chance to be aligned, you know, creating that alignment, just to put it in a drawer to never discuss it again.
And I want you to think of this almost in a really, you know, fun way, which is think of a flight to the moon. The rocket takes off. When the rocket takes off, there’s always a plan, and so, you know, the scientists, the mathematicians, you know, they have that plan mapped out, but something always happens on the way to the moon, and they have to course correct, and it’s very micro course corrections all along the way. And what’s interesting is, there’s evidence that if they didn’t do those micro, very small course corrections all along the way, you would completely miss the moon, even though you had the best-laid plans at takeoff. So something’s very similar here and relatable here when it comes to revisiting your money and your meaning. You don’t want to miss your destination, and the destination does require you to be constantly and regularly engaged.
So I really want you to take the information, if you’ve already organized it, you’ve established meaning, or if you haven’t done it, you know, establish a plan to revisit things. Get your key collaborators together. Make it formal. You know, make it a 60-minute discussion. Have a date. Have a time. You know, your spouse or your partner, you know, whomever you’re working with, a professional advisor, get everyone together and really establish four main items that you’re going to walk through, and I’m going to walk through those four main items now that are really a part of every revisiting item. So write this down so that when you’re revisiting, you do it.
So the first one is really establish whether you’ve done all the things you said you were going to do the last time you connected your money and meaning. In other words, you had organized your money, you’d established what jobs that money was meant to do for you. You put that together and you established how you’re doing, and then presumably you created some action items, either to do nothing different because it was all great, didn’t really require any course correction, or there were course corrections required to make an incrementally better or a set of better money decisions. So I want you to start there. You know, did you do those things? Did you not do those things, and why? All right? So that’s agenda item number one.
Agenda item number two: This one is pretty critical, and this gets into the course corrections that will be required next. Has anything changed in your life, you know, outside of your life, meaning, you know, in the markets, in the economy, you know, in the globe that would affect your decision-making? And so you think of, “Well, in my life, Michael, what do you mean?” Well, people get divorced. They get married. There are births, there are deaths in the family. There are situations where people lose jobs, they get promotions. There’s so many different life events, and they happen a lot of times more often than we think, so have we captured those changes? And then in the globe, they’re seemingly something that goes on every year, you know, in terms of, you know, something that’s market-based. You know, the markets are up, the markets are down, or, you know, something happens in a part of the globe that would cause you to change, let’s say, the way you allocate your money. You know, there’s inflation. So have you captured all those things that have changed and evaluated would that cause you to course correct in any way, shape, or form?
Which gets to the third item: Based on those changes, what, if anything, do you actually need to do differently? And here’s where you need to get super specific. So do you need to save more, invest more? You know, do you have the opportunity to spend more and enjoy your life more? Should you allocate your money, again, differently based on what’s going on in the world? You know, what is it that needs to happen next? It could be, you know, if there was a, you know, birth or a death in the family, perhaps there are really tactical things that need to occur with respect to wills, estate planning, powers of attorney. So there can be really quite a few things that you would want to identify based on the changes in your life, and you want to be really specific here. What are those things?
Which gets to the fourth agenda item, and this one is probably the most critical, which is: Based on those things that need to be done, who is on point? And I would say it’s always critical to put one primary name next to it. Is it you? Is it a family member? Is it a professional advisor who’s on point to make sure that change happens? It doesn’t mean they need to do all the work. It just means they’re on point to manage that change, that adjustment. And when does it need to be done, or when are you all going to check in on the progress?
And with those four agenda items, you revisit money and meaning, you make sure you’re on course to get to where you want to go, whether that’s the moon or to some other planet, and you can then have ongoing success when it comes to your financial life.
That’s it for this episode of the About Money podcast. Please email us with the topics that you would like us to address at AboutMoney@wellsfargo.com. And if you really like the episode, share it with family, friends, and anyone who listens to podcasts. About Money is produced by Wells Fargo. You can learn more about ways to work with us at wellsfargo.com/aboutmoney. I’m Michael Liersch, asking you to talk about money today.
This information is provided for educational and illustrative purposes only.
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