My name is Bill, and my wife is Amanda. Our adventure to wealth began with a very simple dream: to find the purpose of life.
During my 20’s, my purpose of life is all I really thought about. The first time the thought appeared in my mind, I knew it was a journey worth devoting my life to. I became obsessed with trying to understand what the purpose of life was really about. I spent all my time building my mind; reading, writing, and experimenting; and improving my character, so that when the adventure to find my purpose finally came to me, I would be ready like a perfectly prepared ninja heading out on their first mission.
It is very clear to me now how the puzzle pieces of purpose and wealth fit so perfectly together. But when I first started out, there was a major flaw in my thinking.
In the beginning of my journey, I was so focused on finding my purpose, that I didn’t think enough about money. But human beings can’t survive on purpose alone. We also need money to fund our journeys to find out purpose. For these reasons, I started to believe that understanding money is just as important as understanding faith and purpose. They are all integral parts that put together the big puzzle of life. Purpose gives us a reason to live. But we need money to buy the resources we need, and fund our adventures to experience and live.
After graduating college, I knew couldn’t find my purpose living as a child at my parent’s house forever. I was an adult, and I had to learn how to finance my own journey from now on. I started by getting my first adult job.
Abraham Maslow was a famous American psychologist born in 1908. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (pictured below) shows the steps I needed to take before I could understand the harmonious relationship between purpose and wealth. We all have to start at the bottom.
Because I was motivated to reach the top of the pyramid as quickly as possible, I realized one way to speed up the process was to maximize the resources I collected in each stage. By learning how to make smart financial decisions through trial and error, I realized that I could climb the pyramid and reach the top in half the time it would take most people.
As I secured my most basic needs; avoided the black holes of consumerism and bad debt; and found my identity as a unique adult, my life started to change. At first I didn’t notice the changes because they were so subtle. But I was so focused on finding my purpose of life, that I didn’t see how much my frugal decisions were changing the financial landscape of my life.
One of my biggest fears, was to get stuck in a job that I hated. The fear of losing the time and energy I needed to find my purpose was my main motivator that inspired me to save my money, and understand how financial decisions worked. I knew that if I could become good at managing money, I wouldn’t ever need to work at a job that sucked the life out of me. Because I had built a lifestyle that didn’t take much money to sustain, more doors leading to finding my purpose opened to me.
My first step toward accidentally building wealth was a recommendation to save six months of cash in an emergency fund. This way, if an emergency did happen, I at least had time to figure out a plan B.
Once I had an emergency fund saved, I saw that my lifestyle of finding my purpose didn’t cost much money, and I had a lot leftover to save. Books, friends, and outdoor adventures were mostly cheap or free. I saw that when I made expensive decisions, over decisions based on finding the best values, the level of my happiness didn’t really increase at all. This led me to having a surplus of cash saved almost every month.
To further protect myself, and my journey to find a purpose in life, I saved a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc., emergency fund, and invested those amounts into different mutual fund accounts. (Follow the link at the bottom of the page to read exactly how I did this.) Over time, the share prices of these mutual funds increased, and the compound multiplied my invested money into more money.
Once I stopped caring about how much money I had, I became more worried about finding answers to the deep life questions I had. I realized that my journey to find the purpose of life, was almost identical to the process of creating wealth.
Wealth = Purpose + Simplicity + Happiness + Value + Time.
Ultimately, we all have to ask ourselves: What do we want out of life? Expensive things? Or purpose and time to create your dream life?
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Wealth Well Done isn’t about a quick path to being rich. It is a choose your own adventure story that leads you to finding purpose, simplicity, and happiness. Wealth, is just a natural byproduct produced when one goes on this journey.
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DISCUSSION TIME. LEAVE A COMMENT TO HELP THE PEOPLE WHO ARE READING THIS AFTER YOU:
What are your thoughts on the purpose of life? How does money and financial literacy relate to helping you find your purpose?