Let’s get philosophical before I tell you how I’m about to blow $4,000 on things people may think are “trivial.” What’s the purpose of money?
As some of you know, the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship is winding up right now. Last weekend, the top 8 teams played to whittle the field down to only the top 4. (Various copyrights prevent us from actually calling the top 4 teams what they truly are – and the “ultimate four” doesn’t quite have the same ring-J). For those that watch or follow college basketball, there are four great teams left – one of whom I’ve followed since birth and still watch religiously. They haven’t been this far in a long, long, time and may not make it again for a long, long time.
As my wife and I were watching the glorious victory of our favorite team I had (what I thought at the time was) a brilliant idea: let’s go watch the semi-final games!
Planning a Last Minute Trip
So we talked about it Sunday night and began looking at ticket prices – holy sticker shock batman! Apparently, we weren’t the only two people thinking about these games! Total ticket cost for three games of basketball: $1,500.
Now, we have to find a hotel – again sticker shock – there goes another $1,500. We decided to drive, to save some costs (also gives us some flexibility), but after food and gas our total cost is probably around $4,000 or so.
Some would call this quick, unplanned, and certainly unbudgeted for trip, excessive or irresponsible – I call it freedom. My job before this was to build a reserve…and I did. What’s your reserve for? Emergencies and opportunities. If I have a cash reserve of $30,000 or $26,000 once this is over, is it really that big of a difference? I don’t think so.
Money’s purpose isn’t to buy things – it’s to have experiences.
This is a question I rarely am asked in client meetings, but try to ask to clients as much as possible: What’s the purpose of money? Is it goal attainment or is to make your life better? Perhaps it’s to make another persons life better, or maybe even to help a whole bunch of people, say through an endowment or something similar.
I think it’s much simpler than that. Money equals happiness. Happiness is freedom. Freedom to do what you please with whom you please when you please. I’m not talking about being pompous, flashy, or flamboyant, but rather just having the ultimate freedom to do whatever you want.
…and after this, I’ll have the obligation to my freedom to build my reserve back up so (hopefully) I can do this again next year!