What are your financial motivations?

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 07.28.2010 (4:00 am) | Write a Comment  (23 Comments)

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Most of the readers of this blog as well as yours truly are into making money at least to some level. I think that’s fair to say and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Getting out of debt, saving for a first down payment, saving your first 100K or eventually your first million dollars are all very noble achievements. Anthony Robbins explained very clearly though that there is something deeper than money. No one, even the more wealthy is after money only for money. There is a feeling, a meaning or something else associated with money for all of us.

I’ve written about my financial philosophy in the past but have never explained what is behind those and for a long time I maybe didn’t really know.

My motivations

“Basic needs”

Personally, there are many things that keep me “hungry” when it comes to building a bigger business, a better and more efficient portfolio and in the end more income. The more obvious reasons are security for myself and my friends, knowing that I could survive for some time if I lost my job, being able to do a grocery without always looking for the cheapest meal, going out with friends, etc. To me, having my house and car is not a luxury either and it’s something that I consider almost necessary.

“Luxury needs”

Once all of those have been achieved, there are some other elements that I truly enjoy and get me motivated such as travelling abroad, a nicer car, being able to have weekends away with my wife, being able to buy nice presents for those I love, etc. I wouldn’t consider that any one of these is necessary and while money might not directly bring happiness, these are all things that bring me a (perhaps superficial) level of joy.

“Early retirement”

Like all of you I’m certain, I’ve grown a bit afraid of reading about pension plans from governments and companies. Promises are always great but we always find ourselves one bankruptcy away or one government policy change away from a very different level of life during our retirement. One of my biggest motivations is therefore being able to retire at an early age without depending on any institution to provide for me. Obviously I aspire to an active retirement with traveling, a house near a lake or the beach. It is still far away but I believe that early planning makes a world of difference. So yes I am already planning how much I will need to live my retirement!

“Money aside for kids”

I was lucky to always get support from my parents and help for my eduction, travel and giving me the necessary throughout my life. That was priceless and I fully intend on offering a similar level of support to my kids later on. There is a major difference between starting a career with no debt or having a 100k loan to pay back. It’s easy for me to get highly motivated when it comes to helping my family and if that is not enough motivation for someone, I’m not certain what would be.

The Ultimate Motivation: Giving more to charity

Finally, like most of us, I aspire to make a difference in our world, make it a better place even though by myself I have limited resources and time. To me, it is the ultimate motivation and I think the way I set up my finances this year has given me even more motivation. Since the year 2010 started, I have been giving a percentage of my income to charity. It goes directly into an account that has 2 purposes:

-finance all charity donations
-accumulate capital to create my own little “endowment”

Setting a percentage, as little as I could afford was key. While I have been helping out to some level, I can easily see how much more could be done if I could somehow increase that amount. Of course that can be done in two ways:

1-increase the percentage: the easiest way but it obviously has its limits and is not sustainable for very long

2-increase my income: this in my opinion is the best way to get it done and thus make a bigger contribution.

If you want to have added financial motivation, simply start giving to charity and make sure to get information about the impact that money has and how additional money could do even more.

What better motivation?

I recently read an article in Fortune Magazine about an initiative from Warren Buffet, Bill & Melinda Gates to get Billionaires to give away important portions of their fortunes to charity. Warren Buffet has already pledged to give away 99% of his net worth to charity through his life and after he dies. That will have a lifelong impact on countries, will save lives and improve the lives of millions of others. And while I cannot have as big of an impact, I truly believe that making a significant contribution to our society is the best motivation any one of us could ever find.

What motivates you to make and accumulate more money?

I know there are many different reasons and each of us have different backgrounds that define us but also define what we aspire to. Some want to make money because it is what helps them keep count and compare themselves like any other game. Others want to save because they do not want to ever live with debt or be dependant on anyone else. I would love to hear about your motivations!

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23 Comments

  1. Comment by The Financial Blogger — July 28, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    My financial motivations? I have plenty of them. But basically, I just dream the day I will be able to do whatever I want whenever I want (in a not exaggerated way 😉 ).

    I want my wife to stay home to take care of the kids, I want my kids to go to a nice school and I want to be able to travel each year…

  2. Comment by IS — July 28, 2010 @ 11:10 am

    @TFB lol what do you mean by what you want when you want then?

  3. Comment by JP — July 28, 2010 @ 11:56 am

    Right now my goals are debt repayment and to expand my online store.

    For the future I have similar goals to TFB. Be a man of leisure, own a large chunk of property to hunt and fish on, allow my wife to work or not work if she desires and give my kids whatever education they want.

    BTW, I signed up for both of your newsletters just to be fair!

  4. Comment by The Financial Blogger — July 28, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    I mean that I can control my self (i.e. don’t buy a BMW, going on a 10K cruise, build a garage and buy a new TV during the same year), but I want to be able to live without a “budget” per se.

  5. Comment by Catarina — July 28, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    IS, my financial motivations are now to:
    – Make enough money to pay my bills, especially my credit card hehehe My problem is that I spend more than I earn, but I really love my job (that’s important isn’t it!!)
    – Mid-Term/ Save enough money to buy my home (still in the process but will take a while)
    – Long term/ Save enough money to retire at a decent age (I’m currently 29, so I still have the time to decide when to retire)

  6. Comment by Frank — July 28, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    I want to make lot of money so I can retire early. I like that.

    Also being successful is also one of my financial motivation.

  7. Comment by IS — July 29, 2010 @ 4:23 am

    @JP – Seem like great goals, how are you planning on expanding your store? Thanks for signing up to the newsletter by the way:)

    @TFB – Yes, I see what you mean, very easily in fact!!

    @Catarina – LOL… I would say that you should really consider taking down those expenses a little. Who is financing your deficit? Credit card? Bank? Or your husband?:)

    @Frank – That easy hey? How do you define “being successful”?

  8. Comment by Catarina — July 29, 2010 @ 6:52 am

    Financing my deficit by my own, by paying interest each month. I’m not married, but I wish I could transfer my debts to him hehehe

  9. Comment by IS — July 29, 2010 @ 7:02 am

    @Catarina – Lucky him:)

  10. Comment by Frank — July 29, 2010 @ 7:44 am

    That’s a good question.

    Every year my financial goal is to beat the S&P in my portfolio. I’m doing well when I’m doing good. I’m frustrated when I’m doing bad.

  11. Comment by stephen — July 29, 2010 @ 9:04 am

    I want to retire mortgage free and with enough money so I don’t have to depend only on social security.

  12. Comment by Catarina — July 29, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

    Stephen, what age would you like to retire?

    For me, I was thinking 60 years old 😉

  13. Pingback by Financial Ramblings — July 30, 2010 @ 2:54 am

    […] by the long term health benefits as well as looking fit. On the financial aspect, IS asks, “What are your financial motivations?” I’d say needs, and then a little of my wants. 7. Previous Lives: Blowing Things Up is […]

  14. Comment by stephen — July 30, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    I wish I could retire now Catarina but 62 sounds good.

  15. […] What Are Your Financial Motivations – Intelligent Speculator […]

  16. Comment by Broke by Choice — August 2, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

    I have many small business ideas. I would love to have the money to try a couple without having to work for someone else during the day.

    I also want to help others discover financial freedom and continue to give.

  17. Comment by JP — August 4, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    @IS, I plan to expand the online store by carrying more brands and then by expanding to other products. I am trying to do it with cash in hand…it takes longer but I do not want to take debt on.

  18. Comment by IS — August 4, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

    @Broke by choice – Sounds like you are only missing a plan right?

    @JP – Great. So how are you getting your traffic so far?

  19. Comment by JP — August 5, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    @IS – Traffic…that is what we all want in the online game right? That and sales/revenue! Right now traffic has mostly been coming from Google and IE search engines. I have a Facebook page and a Blog providing product updates with back links but I am still back on pages 2-3 when doing a Google search for the products, ie. EaglteTac T20C2, but if you enter T20C2 I am on the first page of Google results. These are flashlights or torches depending on what neck of the woods you are from. In the near future I plan on looking for and joining forums where my core customers hang out and doing some marketing there.

    Any tips on generating more positive traffic?

  20. Comment by IS — August 5, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    @JP – Do you have a mailing list to be able to reach past and future customers about new products & promotions? Yeah, hanging out in forums, giving incredible service (Zappos model) and in time you will see efforts rewarded I’d say.

    I’d also reinvest revenues if there are any:)

  21. Comment by Zavi — August 5, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    Really inspiring, especially the last part. I also put money aside every year to donate to charity.

    If you wanna read all the pledges from billionaires, click on this link:
    http://givingpledge.org

  22. Comment by IS — August 5, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    @Zavi – Wow, thanks so much for posting that, will certainly spend a while but that is truly inspiring and those 40 people/families will end up making a huge impact. Bravo to Warren Buffet & Bill & Melinda Gates for setting this up, it certainly sends a very powerful message.

  23. […] assets that contribute to your financial objectives and that help you succeed in whatever are your financial motivations. There are obviously many different possible answers but I decided to list those that I could […]

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