What’s your money motto?
A motto is a short saying or phrase that represents a set of beliefs or ideals. Schools, cities, and organizations often have mottos that represent their brand or who they are. These mottos can be found on license plates, letterhead and on public signage.
What is a Money Motto?
A money motto is a saying or phrase that represents your beliefs around money. It is a guiding principle that represents how you interact with your money.
A quick Google search reveals lists and lists of inspirational money quotes and sayings. Some of these can be easily adapted into money mottos.
Here are some examples of money mottos:
- Spend less than you earn
- Buy less, choose well
- Pay yourself first
- Keep it simple
- Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do
Why Have a Money Motto?
A money motto provides an underlying foundation for your money choices. It is something to fall back on when times get tough. And when it comes to getting out of debt and saving money, times will get tough.
When setting your financial goals, having a motto can help keep you motivated to achieve them. It can be used as a daily reminder of where you are headed or what you are trying to achieve.
Having a money motto is a quick way to get started on your financial journey. If right now the thought of money and finances is overwhelming, coming up with a money motto can help. It can be the catalyst that starts to shift your mindset.
Your money motto could also represent where you are going financially and what you hope to achieve. It may act as a source of inspiration for you as you continue on your money journey.
Determining your money motto is an easy way to start taking control of your finances. There is no math involved, there is no right answer and it is strictly personal to you. People may have an opinion about your money motto, but it doesn’t matter what that opinion is.
A strong money motto can be motivating, inspiring.
How to Determine Your Money Motto
Start by taking some time to brainstorm your money habits. Are you a spender or a saver? What are you trying to achieve with your money? It is said that money is a tool, what do you want to do with that tool? Does the thought of money make you want to ignore it or are you motivated to track your spending? What is your financial why? Why are you working to make money?
Once you have answered some of these questions you may start to see a pattern evolve. What are some common themes that are coming out of your brainstorming?
Now it’s time to hit the internet. Search your themes and see what quotes or mottos come up. Which of these quotes resonates with you? If there are a few mottos that stick with you, that’s okay.
Write down your money motto and put it somewhere in your home that you will see daily; your fridge or bathroom mirror are great options. If you have more than one quote that resonates with you, put up each quote in a different location.
After a month of seeing your money motto daily, take some time to reflect on it. Does it still resonate with you? Or if you had many quotes, is there one that resonates with you the most? If so, great, you may now have a money motto. If not, then its time to search your themes again and come up with more options.
My Money Motto
My money motto is a quote from Jerry Rice “Today I will do what others won’t so that tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
Having grown up surrounded by athletics, I am sure that it where I heard this quote. Jerry Rice is a retired NFL receiver. Although the original intent of this quote was probably not financial, it fits perfectly with my goals and intention.
What It Means to Me
This quote is about going against the status quo to a certain extent. The status quo means working for someone else until the traditional retirement age of 65+. Being like everyone else means keeping up with the Jones’, spending all (or more) then I make in order to impress others.
That’s just not for me. Today I want to set myself up to break away from the status quo. I want to accomplish what others can’t and take control of my time. To use my time however I want to – even if that means still working. But I want the choice to do that, I don’t want to have to do that.
I have no ambition to do what “everyone else” is doing with their money. I want to do what is right for me and my family – not what others say I should. After all, isn’t personal finance about being personal?
If I do things slightly differently now, I can accomplish things later that others can’t.
Some of the ways we (my husband and I) have “done today what others won’t”:
- paid off our mortgage in less than 5 years
- bought 9 rental properties in 4 years
- save upwards of 40% of our income some years
- work overtime when the opportunity arises
- continually seek to create passive income streams
- spent the summer living in someone else’s house
- took on roommates when we bought our first home
Some of the ways these decisions have been able to “accomplish what others can’t”:
- international vacations annually (visited 12 countries in 6 years)
- husband took 4 months off for parental leave to stay at home with our daughter
- money is not something that we stress over
- on pace to become financially independent well before traditional retirement age
- adapting a financial freedom mindset now to enjoy life on our terms
What my Money Motto Doesn’t Mean to Me
It doesn’t me depriving myself – it just means being smarter with my money.
Only 61% of Canadians can achieve the minimum target score on a financial literacy competency survey. By taking the time to learn about financial literacy I am already doing what others won’t.
As the focus turns more and more on consumerism, my money motto could be interpreted as depriving myself of all material goods. But this is open to interpretation. I choose to not interpret it as such. For me, it’s not about making sacrifices but rather aligning my spending with my values.
Sometimes when things get tough or I get stuck, I just refer back to my mantra: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” Today is going to have to be a bit uncomfortable so that I can grow tomorrow.
Now that you have spent some time thinking about your money motto it’s time to act. Keep it up somewhere you can see it in your home. If after a few months it still resonates with you, you may want to display it more prominently. You may also want to go as far as creating or purchasing a print of your money motto for a wall in your home.
Whatever you choose to physically do with your money motto, try to keep it in the back of your mind when it comes to making decisions about your money.
What’s your money motto?