How To Leave A Legacy – Compelling Life Series

How To Leave A Legacy – Compelling Life Series

Your Legacy

Your time on earth is limited. But leaving a legacy is not something most of us consciously consider. And those who do, think of it as a financial gift. Such as leaving the family cottage to their kids or leaving assets to a university upon their death. But what about leaving a nonfinancial legacy?

Can you recall someone who made a life-changing impression on your life? Such as a teacher that recognized your potential, your grandparent who loved you unconditionally, a kind boss who gave you an unexpected promotion.

Or maybe it’s someone you see daily, such as a colleague who consistently sees the good in others. Or an assistant that bends over backward for your clients.

And what about that classmate at university? The one who passionately fights the small injustice in the system to change the rules for the better? That is legacy!

We’re Leaving One Whether We Know It or Not

When individuals imprint their deeds in the hearts and minds of those around them, they leave behind a legacy. What do people recall when they think of you right now? Maybe folks around you don‟t recall you at all. How would you like them to remember you?

What could you do now to leave an imprint on someone’s life? We’re not all called to open a girls’ school in South Africa, like Oprah Winfrey. Nor are we all compelled to find a home for orphans in Calcutta as Mother Theresa did.

But whether we like it or not, we’re all making impressions on those around us; however, brief our interaction — the cheerful barista at Starbucks who adds more to your day than providing you your morning coffee.

My Dad

My dad left a lasting legacy on me. He gave me a love and understanding of economics. And it was the one subject I was passionate about and excelled at in school. It provided me with a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in finance.

The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions but in the quality of our lives. Each day is an opportunity to add something to someone’s life.

Consider doing one thing each day, however insignificant it may seem. Who knows, you may be leaving a lasting legacy without even knowing it.

Nurturing Your Often Neglected Relationship

Nurturing Your Often Neglected Relationship

Here’s The Deal

Almost half of all marriages in North America end up in divorce. One of the most significant sources of conflict is over the topic of money. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, by the end of 2021, total household debt in the US exceeded a staggering $15 trillion.

Young people are starting their lives with a noose around their neck. Student loan debt in 2020 reached $1.56 trillion.

Across the globe, money is a significant cause of stress. And financial anxiety is not restricted to those without money!

All this comes as no surprise. I suspect most people would feel more comfortable baring their bodies on a first date than getting naked with their finances.

Yet money touches all aspects of our lives; our health and significant relationships, careers, and even our relationship with ourselves. Our relationship with money affects our general well-being.

The Root of The Problem

How we manage our finances begins with the relationship we have with money. It affects how we handle other aspects of our lives!

There is still a pervasive idea that money is the root of all evil. And rich folk are corrupt, selfish, entitled %$#!!!

Money is not the root of all evil. The heart of our money issues starts with the beliefs we inherited in our childhood. Many of us were raised in homes where the subject of money was either taboo or rarely discussed openly. If we did hear our parents talk about money, it was probably to say, “we can’t afford it.”

study conducted by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave showed that 61% of women surveyed said they would rather discuss their death than discuss the subject of money. And why not?

Let’s Talk About Money

Below are eight tips to help you nurture a healthier relationship with money.

1. Be Honest With Yourself

Take an honest look at where you stand right now by looking at your net worth statement — do you owe more than you own?

If you owe more than you own, what can you do right now to change that? Double up on your debt payments or double up on your contributions to your savings?

2. Know Where It’s Going!

Do you spend more than you earn? Keep good records of your expenses, savings, and investments –where is your money going? Check bank and credit card statements to ensure no mistakes or evidence of fraud. There are countless apps to track your spending and your saving.

3. Create a Budget With Your Values and Future Goals in Mind.

What portion of your income do you save? Cut down on compulsive shopping. Before you spend, ask yourself, “Does this get me closer to the life I want?” Find ways to save in each area of your budget.

If you have never budgeted before, it will take patience and practice sticking to it. Based on your current expenses, what percentage is going towards your goals?

4. Pay Yourself First

Put aside at least 10% of your income towards your goals. This practice is a form of self-care. How you allocate your money depends on your goals and when you hope to achieve them. If you lose sight of them along the way, keep going back to what your values are. They are like the North Star, keeping you aligned.

5. Deal with Debt

Pay off all credit card balances, especially those with the highest interest. Reduce the number of credit cards you carry. If your credit is terrible, repair it. Seek the services of a debt counselor if you’re overwhelmed by your debt.

6. Build an Emergency Fund

Save an equivalent of about 3 to 6 months’ income to deal with emergencies like car repairs, job loss, or short-term illness.

7. Become Aware of Your Emotional Triggers

Money means different things to different people. And we all respond differently to money. For some, it is a cause of distress and fear. For others, money is a source of power. What emotions are stirred up for you when dealing with money?

Become mindful about your existing relationship with money. Is money like the lover that’s here only for a good time and not a long time? Or is money for you like an emotionally unavailable partner?

Maybe, you are one of the lucky ones — where money showed up more akin to a committed spouse, who’s got your back.

What does money mean for you? Know your emotional triggers around money. How do you feel each time you have to make a financial decision. Are you aware of your money personality type?

8. Get Acquainted with Your Money Personality Type

There are five money personality types. Spender, Saver, Accumulator, Avoider, and Money Averse. Which one are you?

Do you see money as the source of all the problems in this world? Or are you an avoider, preferring to keep your head in the sand when it comes to your finances? Educate yourself about all things related to money! Knowledge is power. Become a badass at money!

Bringing It All Together

Your relationship with money and your money personality type essentially make up your money blueprint. Become well-acquainted with your money blueprint and make the necessary changes to nurture a healthier relationship with money. It will positively impact other areas of your life.

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Recommended Reading

Who Will You Be In 2022? 12 Strategies To Making It Happen.

Who Will You Be In 2022? 12 Strategies To Making It Happen.

1. Start With The Vision

2. Pick One or Two Things You Want to Achieve in 2022

3. What’s Worked In The Past?

4. Be Clear About What Lights You Up

5. What Would It Feel Like?

6. Who Would You Be? Align Your Identity To Your Goal(s)

7. Daily Envision Life As If You’ve Achieved Your Goal

8. Create A Step By Step Written Plan

9. Create Daily Micro-Habits To Support Your Goal (s)

10. Surround Yourself With The Right People

11. Be Grateful.


Bringing It All Together

Marrying For Money

Marrying For Money

Lately, I have had some interesting conversations with a group of women on the issues of love and money. In this day and age of female emancipation and equality, I was surprised that many of the women I spoke to still wanted to “be taken care of.”

I, for one, have never been motivated to marry someone with the idea that they “will take care of me.” I have selected partners based on their level of integrity, depth of conversations, chemistry, intellect, and healthy physique rather than their income or net worth.

So, I probed these women on what “being taken care of” entailed. I discovered it was not about a partner who would do the dishes, the laundry and give you tender loving care when you were ill. This woman wanted a partner who would take care of them financially! They wanted someone who was financially well off!

We choose partners for a variety of reasons. But, research shows that many women still marry for money. According to a report published in 2015 from the London School of Economics, “women are now more determined than ever to find a partner who will improve their financial prospects.”

And is there anything inherently wrong with that? We hold many romantic ideas about love. Does this more pragmatic approach to selecting a mate who can “take care of you financially?” rob us of some of our idealist values around love?

Instead of roses, chocolates, and poetry, is there something less than ideal to seek a partner who can provide a beautiful home, healthy pension, and golden nest egg while also giving you roses, expensive chocolates, and poetry?

What do you look for in a partner? Kindness, tenderness, and great sex? How much would these cost you? In other words, would you trade compassion, good listening skills, and empathy for ten million dollars? Would you trade them for the options a large sum of money can buy?

While you may not marry for money, would you drop someone because they had a massive amount of debt? Would your idea about a date change if they came by to pick you up in a Porche?

I suspect, amongst other things, a person’s financial state does have a bearing on whether we choose to marry them or not. What about you?

Common Conflicts Couples Have Regarding Money

Common Conflicts Couples Have Regarding Money

Conflicts around money and finances are one of the main reasons couples get divorced. A study from Kansas State University for the National Survey of Families and Households reported that “arguments about money (are) by far the top predictor of divorce.”

That same research also found that marital arguments about money were usually longer and more intense than arguments about other matters. So, what exactly is it about money that causes conflict?

Being Financially Overextended

Most couples start their marriages in debt of some form or other-whether it’s student loan debt, a car loan, mortgage debt, or credit card debt. Carrying a significant amount of debt causes tremendous stress to a marriage.

A typical example of being financially overextended is when a young couple buys a home that ties them to a mortgage they can barely afford.

And debt is a significant cause of stress for many couples, regardless of income. People on large incomes can overspend as easily as those on lower incomes. To manage your debt, you must agree on a common approach to spending. And stick with it.

Inability to Compromise on Spending

If a couple is unable to compromise on spending and cannot reduce their debt, this will cause tensions to rise. Unless something drastically changes, such couples are on a potential “collision course.”

Opposing Views on Money

When two people come together in a union, they often bring with them different beliefs about money. Beliefs that were ingrained from their upbringing. Conflicts arise when these beliefs around money are opposing.

One person may be very careful with money and the other may be free with how they use money. To some people, money means security; for others, it means status; to others, a great lifestyle.

Your broad view of money will determine partly how you spend it and the level of consideration you have for how your partner prefers to use money. Some people appreciate seeing their savings accounts grow and others prefer using money for the finer things in life.

Instead of judging your partner, acknowledge that it is merely another point of view coming from a different background. Communicate your differences. Come to a compromise.

Financial Infidelity

Trust and respect are the foundation of a strong marriage. Infidelity of any kind breaches these values and can create rifts. Just like sexual infidelity, financial infidelity, can erode trust and lead to marriage breakdown.

Financial infidelity shows up in numerous ways. Holding a secret bank account, a credit card ‘maxed out,’ or hiding purchases are all examples of financial infidelity. Resolve this before it reaches a breaking point.

Complications from Combined Bank Accounts

Most married couples choose to combine their accounts. You are not obligated to do this. Combining accounts can be a source of conflict. One person may feel constrained by this, and the other spouse may feel liberated.

It may create less tension if accounts remain separate. Another option is to maintain three accounts — a joint one and a separate one for each partner. Maintaining joint or separate may also be beneficial for tax reasons depending on your situation.

It’s Never Just About The Money

Arguments about money are rarely about money. They are more about security, freedom, and connection. Money is a tool that provides a couple with a sense of security, freedom, and connection.

When conflicts happen because of money, it is usually more about underlying issues in the relationship. Sometimes, couples avoid the subject of finances, knowing that it will lead to an argument. Avoiding discussions about your finances can damage your marriage.

The effects of conflict about money can cut deep into the well-being of a relationship. Is the issue of money worth destroying your relationship?

Before You Say, “I Do”

Start having conversations with someone you’re dating long before you decide you get into a commitment. Here is a list of things to do before you say, “I Do.”

● Discuss your goals — individually and as a couple.

● Prioritize those goals. Do you want children before you can afford a home?

● You come from different backgrounds. Discuss what money means to you personally — this will shed light on your relationship to money. How did your parents manage their finances? Were they generous, cautious, prudent, or just lived for today?

● What’s your tolerance for debt — Just as people have different risk tolerance levels, some people are more comfortable carrying debt than others. Some are so uncomfortable with any level of debt that they may not want to buy a house till they have a sizeable down payment.

● Discuss whether you want joint accounts or would prefer to keep things separate.

● How will you share the costs of running a home?

● Talk about your past experiences with money. Were you from a family with money? Or Not?

● Disclose all debts, assets, and financial obligations. It is one way to get real! 

● Discuss the issue of control — how much control does each person feel they need in finances. For example, how much is your partner allowed to spend before you feel a need to know what’s been purchased?

● How will you deal with conflict regarding money?

Final Word

Money touches all aspects of life. Avoiding discussing the topic of money with your partner will eventually result in conflict. The sooner you address these, the better.

Your Finances In The Event of A Separation.

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