by By Kseniya Kreyman, BH Wealth Management
I absolutely love reading lists people make of things to do before you die.
For example, there’s the
- 40 absolutely breathtaking places to see before you die
- 10 places to ride your bike before you die
- 1001 albums you must hear before you die
- 73 photo locations you must shoot before you die
- 99 movies you must see before you die
- 100 books to read before you die
- 20 strange foods to try before you die
I’m not sure what it is about them, but I can spend hours at a time just reading through these lists. They excite me, motivate me, expand my horizons, give me fodder for my own mental bucket list.
Lately my little brother has been nagging my parents to let him join a soccer team. This week while I was eating lunch, he was surfing the internet beside me, researching his options. Occasionally, he would let out an exaggerated groan and mumble something under his breath. After some time, he closed the laptop, turned away from the computer and put his head in his hands. “It’s too expensive,” he said. “I would need cleats, shin guards, a uniform we probably can’t afford it.” And just like that his little dream evaporated.
My brother is 13 years old—way too young to feel any kind of financial burden—yet he’s already learned to disqualify himself from his dreams because of a lack of money. Thirteen or 30, I think we often find ourselves doing the same thing…
Though every single item on my bucket list is in some way tied to money, I’ve never seen a list that directly addresses practical money matters. Things like
- become debt-free
- stay debt-free
- have enough money to give a large sum to someone in need
- start a retirement plan
- learn to invest wisely
- grow my wealth
- put my kids through college
- help my parents financially when they’re older
- achieve financial independence
But without these things, the first bucket list—the one that is significantly more appealing—would be just pretty goals on paper. It takes money to travel, to learn something new, to achieve a big dream…but are you discovering that your financial situation is disqualifying you from living life to the fullest? Perhaps the first item on our bucket list should be to learn to rule our finances, not be ruled by them.