4 Strategies to Manage Your Money for Better Work-Life Outcomes
Which one of these are you?
Mine is No. 4 (don't judge me yet, wait till you see yours).
1.Do you work for free, then resent "never having free time", "always being taken advantage of", "never seeing the exposure they promised pay off in paid opportunities"?
2.Do you negotiate low pay because "of the fear of losing out should you ask for more", "you think you are not qualified to ask for more", "you want to prove yourself first", then struggle each month to find other sources of income to meet your expenses?
3.Do you make enough money, but have no clue where it goes, because you spend without prioritization, telling yourself "you've earned it", "it is therapy for a problem in another area of life", "you want to enjoy your life", "you want to fit in in certain circles and they "make it rain"", and therefore, never have enough to meet your current commitments?
4.Do you have a budget, but compromise it by giving away money because "you feel guilty for having money", "you feel guilty for saying "no", "they" helped you in the past", "you fear people would think money has made you stingy", "you figure God would bring more"?
5.Do you invest in your priorities, but never follow through because "you are too busy", "you have delegated them to others", "you are not qualified", "there will be other opportunities", so they don’t ever yield optimal financial returns for you?
Whether one or more of these, or something entirely different, resonates with you as a problem with your finances, you are not alone.
But understand this, like it or not, in this world, our finances are a greater determinant of our total life success than we would like to admit. How we manage our money affects every other area of our lives.
4 Strategies to Manage Your Money for Better Work-Life Outcomes
Being a leader, you must be aware of and in control of your financial wellbeing to be able to have the freedom and peace to direct the affairs of your work and life.
Below are 4 strategies to manage your money for better work-life outcomes.
1.Align Opportunities with Your Purpose & Values
“The goal isn't more money. The goal is living life on your own terms”
From the five scenarios shared above, it is clear that money is not the problem. We are the problem.
Our challenges lie with having the clarity of what we want out of life, and courage to pursue that without compromise.
Without clarity and courage, we settle for whatever comes our way.
There is an old story that shows the cost of compromising for a lack of clarity and courage.
An older brother, and heir to his father's great wealth, returned home weak and famished from a long hunt. As he entered the family tent, he was greeted with the smell of a delicious stew his younger brother had been cooking. Exhausted, he asked his younger brother for some of the stew. His younger brother, wanting to take advantage of his older brother's momentary weakness, told his older brother that he would give him the stew in exchange for his older brother's birthright.
Without thinking it through, the older brother blurted out that his birthright would serve him no purpose if he died of hunger, so he agreed to sell his birthright to his younger brother in return for a bowl of stew.
The lawyers among us would tell you that this was a binding legal agreement, which cost the older brother everything.
Coming back to us, to you, have you ever not "thought things through and out of momentary desperation sold long-term prospects for short-term gains?"
This is why it is important to write down your purpose and values and to consult them every single time before you make decisions so that you do not make financial decisions today that will cost your livelihood and welfare for the rest of your life.
2.Direct Decisions to Serve Your Vision & Goals
A client of mine said that she took an executive support role she was over-qualified for because rather than taking the normal, saturated, and highly-political entry to mid to senior-level career route, she could fast-track her career by being immediately and directly exposed to executive-level decision-makers and projects.
A brilliant business mind, and masterful networker, she knew that all she needed was daily access to high-level movers and shakers and she would be able to distinguish her performance and executive value-add to position for promotion.
Which she did. Making the money and fast-tracking her career growth with one strategic move.
What is your vision for your career, business, family, impact, and finances?
Have those in mind when you make financial decisions today so that whatever and however you choose to invest your resources, you do so with the intent to make those choices serve your vision as implemented through your short, mid, and long-term goals.
3.Pause Commitment to First Review Your Budget
When interviewing for my first, entry-level position, I turned down a competitive entry-level salary at an incredible multinational with great career prospects, because of the expenses I had to meet at the time, which included a hefty student loan in British Pounds.
Two weeks after walking away from the offer, the Human Resource Director called me back with a position she created for me that would allow me to earn more.
Imagine if I had agreed to the first offer. I would not only have continued to fall behind in my student loan, as well as family responsibilities, but may have also had to divert time and resources to a second job or business, which could have compromised my health, performance, and future prospects.
What is the moral of the story? You may need the opportunity, but before you agree to sign on the dotted line, pause to review your budget to ensure that the package aligns with, rather than sabotages, all the other areas in your life that depend on your income.
4.Set Relational Boundaries & Financial Limits
“Learn to say "No" to the good so you can say "Yes" to the best.”
-John C. Maxwell.
The sooner we realize that no one; not our parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends, faith leaders, clients, managers, peers, or direct reports have any influence over us apart from that which we grant them, the sooner we would reclaim our power to make financial decisions that set relational boundaries and spending limits.
Experts at U.S. News say that nowadays "lifestyle creep" a.k.a "keeping up with the Joneses", poor planning, or lack of a decision-making process lead to overspending.
In the African culture I come from, those who are older, more educated, have a job or business, are often expected to provide for their immediate and even extended family and community.
This can often extend them to compromise provision for their and their immediate family needs.
Whatever your reason for spending beyond your means and or financial goals, the outcome is that it will ultimately take a toll on your mental health, relationships, performance, and overall work-life well-being.
It is therefore critical to say, "No", limit your contribution to others, and focus on building financial wealth that frees you to live a life you can afford to enjoy with loved ones, be at peace to engage in work that brings you intellectual, physical, and financial fulfillment, contribute to causes that matter to you, and secure a future you can financially sustain even in the event you no longer work to earn.
“Winning at money is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. What to do isn't the problem; doing it is. Most of us know what to do, we just don't do it. If I can control the guy in the mirror, I can be skinny and rich.”
It is interesting to learn that it is not how much a person has, rather, how well they steward what they have that influences whether or not (and by how much) they progress in their finances and every area their finances affect.
In summary, people who succeed with money and in life know and actively pursue their:
and they have the peace to choose these each time, without guilt or compromise.
If financial decisions are affecting your work-life well-being, I welcome you to book a consultation call to work on freeing you and your finances so that you can pursue your purpose and vision, and achieve your immediate, and long-term goals.