Many people like to track their net worth and their expenses on a regular basis. I personally think this is an excellent idea, however, while healthy finances are important, as humans, we generally long for more in life, such as healthy bodies, meaningful communities and a sense of purpose. Sometimes our pursuit of increasing net worth can interfere with these intrinsic values.
So, instead of just focusing on increasing net worth, how about we start by increasing self worth first and then integrate net worth?
Instead of focusing purely on a particular income and comparing ourselves to our peers, could our society value pursuing activities and businesses that bring more purpose to our lives and to the lives of others?
With simple (low cost) living, could we move to a workforce that values part time professionals who have time for healthy eating, exercise and meaningful relationships?
Can we value cooperation over competition?
Can we start to value sabbaticals for creative and meaningful pursuits, instead of worrying about a gap on our resumes?
Can we create “no-brainer” budgets by coveting people, time and creative pursuits over shopping?
Can we find more happiness in volunteering rather than keeping up with the Jones’?
Can we value the conservation of resources and eco-system services over mindless consumption?
Think of it this way: If you knew your time was limited on this planet, would you look back at your life and value the money sitting in your account, or would you value how you made a positive difference in the world? Well, all of our lives are limited, so while it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t build up healthy finances, we need to take care of our intrinsic and physiological needs as well.
How about you? Does your self worth match your net worth?