Money or Life, Which Comes First?

I recently had a debate with my friend Lisa Chastain, author of Girl Get Your $hit Together, about what comes first: get your money together or get your life together?

This question reminds me of the chicken or the egg question. Was the chicken born which created the egg or did the egg have to come first to born the chicken? And in the end, does it really matter?

I asked our question to many women before the debate and got the following answers:

1.    Money is a part of life so they go together.

2.    You need to get your life together so you get clarity over your money.

3.    I don’t know…Fair enough!

Lisa’s insights were to get your money together first because it will then allow you to live your authentic life. It will no longer prevent you from doing the things you want to do in your life. She is living proof of it! She got her own money $hit together, and now loves helping other women, specifically millennials, get their money habits and beliefs more aligned with their authentic selves. 

I agree with Lisa; HOWEVER, I come at it from a different angle. From my experience and those of the women I work with, it is CRITICAL to get your money together first. When you don’t have control over your money, you can make many decisions out of fear. When you make decisions out of fear, you do not get what you want. When you have a good grasp on your money, you can start to get financial stability and security. When you feel secure about your money, you are able to make decisions out of confidence. 

Let’s dive in even more. Let’s say you have an amazing job opportunity to do exactly what you want to do. You will leave work every day feeling so darn good about your work, you are able to make a change on someone’s life every single day. BUT the job comes with a pay cut from your current job. Uh oh, what should I do? Do I take a leap because I really want this amazing job, or do I stay with my secure high paying job? 

If I take the leap, I will be flip flopping every minute whether this pay cut will jeopardize my family’s lifestyle, our goals, and our future. Will we have enough to pay our bills, save for our future, and still make sure our children can go to summer camp? Will the stress of figuring it out take away from the satisfaction of my new job? You can see where the downward spiral of fear comes in…

But if you stay at your current job, will you leave work hating yourself? Will you always be thinking about what if I took that job, how amazing it would be? Many become resentful of their current job and the reasons they had to stay…the needs of their family. Once again, your needs and wants may not have been taken into account and now you are stuck at this job you hate.

Both of these life decisions were made with fear. You tried to get your life together, but the money part kept creeping in to ruin it for you. 

What if you look at it from the money side first? One of the ways to gain financial security, and thus confidence, is to have a plan and someone to talk it through. You run through our Goal Plan and can compare the two scenarios: taking the new job or staying at the high paying job. What are the consequences of both over the next year, 5 years, and even 30 years? Now you can make an informed and confident decision about your life and not worry about whether you are jeopardizing your future. 

Let’s start making decisions about our lives with confidence! It allows us to do what we want to do without worrying about the money. That’s the goal! I want money to be the reason you CAN do something not the reason you CAN’T do something you love.

Want to talk about which decisions you have coming up? How you can feel confident as you make them?

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of any of the quoted professionals/authors or their respective firms/publications.

Any opinions are those of Jess Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.”