109: How Much Money Do You Really Need?


Welcome friends to Episode #109 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. One of the first things that happens when we start thinking about changing our jobs or our lifestyle is we get worried about money. Even if finances don’t drive your decision about what you do for a living, you still want to feel like you can support yourself. You are making decisions on a daily basis about how you live your life based on money. The question is, “How is that working for you?” Today, we’re going to talk through how much money you really need to help inform how we spend, save, invest and earn money.

Financial Autonomy

Financial autonomy and stability come from your mind. If you’re not feeling like you have autonomy or stability, we often think it’s because we just need to have more money. Money can bring happiness but it’s because of what you can give and contribute with your money. It’s not because you have it all. The ability to spend it the way you want and save for what’s important – and your ability to grow and make progress in these areas are what give you that happiness.

When you think about financial autonomy, I want you to actually consider that you deciding what you want to do about money has nothing to do with what you have already. Autonomy is saying that I have choices. You have choices to go make more if you need more. You have choices to go save more if you need to save more. You have choices to invest in yourself in big and small ways to grow your mind or have different experiences. There is so much more choice than you realize.

Yet, if we don’t get to a place where we know for ourselves how much money we really need, we will feel this constant sense of unease or uncertainty about if you’re making the right decisions.

You will make investments in yourself whether it is to take a paycut for lifestyle or changing jobs or starting a company or paying for things like a house, childcare, education, lifestyle or coaching. It is because you decide how you want to spend your money that you will be able to change your life. You really want to make this change. You believe it’s the right thing to do, but you hesitate because of finances. 

Every decision we make is an exchange of resources. We are trading something for another. I teach that we invest money and time in order to live your values. Most people haven’t been taught the impact of this and how it shapes their life so they spend their money and time in ways they see other people spending it. It feels safer to do what everyone else is doing, yet that’s why you have a safe life but not one that is truly your own. 

When you only think of money as an approval mechanism for other people to validate you and your life, you will try to make a decision to change your life in some way but then when you see you need to make financial decisions to get there – you get scared and back away. This is normal. It’s not even a problem. You’re just not used to spending money on this thing in this way. You think “I’ve never done this before” and when you feel confused you don’t make a decision. The vicious cycle occurs because you then see yourself not moving forward in the way you want, you think “I don’t know why I don’t do what I know I should do” and you feel embarrassed and continue to stay in indecision.

The real issue is you are not thinking about what you value. You might not even be clear on what you value. You think about money as if it was assigned to be spent on a few categories that you know well. What if you thought about money as a completely neutral resource? To be spent on anything. Anything. 

I teach my clients a model of money that aligns with values. If you don’t know your values, you don’t know if this decision aligns to your values and allows you to move forward and live the life you desire. Instead, you just keep looking at the monetary dollar amount and think “I wish it was less” instead of “is this worth it?”

There is no right answer. You will have to decide what is right for you. This is how you design your life. You decide what you need, what you want, how to live within your means, how to live beyond your means and how to grow your means.

There have been studies that show that there is an amount people need to make to be happy. It was $75K in 2010 but recent studies have shown that it is actually closer to $90K now. Many of you are making that amount or a lot more and still feel like you’re not happy. It’s still not enough. 

You will continue to chase more money until you see yourself as wealthy already. With exactly what you have today. When you get specific and look at your numbers you see that today, not tomorrow, you can decide that you have enough. You can still want more, but you first build the identity of the person who is wealthy. Wealth is knowing you can give, spend and earn as you desire. It is freedom. It comes from your spirit, your confidence, your thoughts and your energy. 

If you actually create a budget and calculate what you need you’ll see that you have more than enough. You are definitely doing fine. You want more. That’s different from not having enough. Sit with that knowledge today. That you have enough. That you are living within your means because right now, you can decide to make more and save less. No drama. Nothing to hold onto except your own suffering if you desire. You don’t have to feel bad about your financial situation. It is human to see what you lack more than what you have, but this is why I coach on spiritual achievement. To see that you are a spiritual being having a human existence and to see the intangible as more real than the tangible.

I am challenging you to move beyond the tangible. In the space beyond the numbers of what this costs and what you have is your own energy and the infinite possibility. You can explore so many more possibilities of ways to live your life in fun and interesting ways with whatever it costs with the money. I invest in growth and development in big ways because I deeply value growth and learning. It has shown up in a number of ways. I loved it when it was free at the library as a kid. I thought the library was literally the best place in the world. It is no surprise that I wanted to do a masters degree. Even then, I wanted to do a full-time MBA program because I wanted the experience of the full-time program. The experience of meeting people, being fully immersed, spending time with others and traveling all over the world. It costs a lot of money to stop working and spend a lot of money on these things. I took on debt. I wouldn’t, however, go back and change it though at all. That was the price I paid and it was worth it.

If I were to only look at life decisions through a financial lens, I would think my goal is to maximize the amount in my bank account, not live a life where I spent my time the way I wanted.

What do you want out of life? That’s how much money you need. You don’t even have to have it all now but I encourage you to make a wishlist of what you need and what you want. Not to be a consumer and spend money buying happiness, but in the ways that really matter to you.

I had a goal of spending more time with my kids and I took a financial hit to do that. Was it worth it? Absolutely. How much money do I really need? Very little. How much money do I want? Lots. I want to continue to travel and be generous with my time and money. This means I need time and money. I want to continue to be coached at the highest levels so I can evolve to my highest levels. I want to see how simple I can live, how much freedom I can have and how to be fully present. All of these concepts have brought me and others sustainable success.

This is why I teach these concepts in my coaching programs. Simplicity, freedom and presence are the tenets of how we structure your life, business and career.

When you think about the next several financial decisions in your life, I want you to consider that you are someone who can pay for the investments. You are someone who lives within their means. You are someone who knows how to make good financial decisions based on what matters most in your life. You take appropriate risks and investments. You don’t spend to prove your worth. This is who you are. Someone who is confident in knowing the gap between what they need and what they want is where they play every day. 

I want you to go into this week with a different identity than you had before around money. Not because you’ve ignored it, but because you’ve managed your mind and your relationship with money so that you are driving money, instead of money driving you.

Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you next time.

If you want to become the person who is engaged with all aspects of their life, reach out at https://mayempson.com/contact to schedule a consultation. It is the next step to learning more about whether or not coaching is right for you and how to make the best use of coaching. In our coaching together, you will simplify your life, create more freedom of choice and learn how to live in the present moment.

If you’re ready to Own Your Best Life, I want to invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies. You can access the training at https://may-empson.mykajabi.com/stand-out-and-lead.

You can then apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call HERE. We’ll see you inside.

No matter what success means to you, coaching will help you get there faster and more sustainably. We work towards results in every area of your life. Time management – spending more time on what’s most important. Creating a mix of work and personal life that is sustainable. Career and Business – deciding what you want next and how to achieve it – whether it is more flexibility, purpose or deciding to start your own business. Energy management – improving your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health so you build confidence in designing your own life. If you’ve got some changes you want support in thinking through, book your free consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact today.

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