Even as children, people create this big picture in their minds — a reflection of how they envision their life to be. Whether your big picture is similar to what’s called the Australian Dream (home ownership as the key to a better life) or not depends a lot on your priorities and goals in life.
Either way, your big picture may involve having a family, living in your dream home, earning enough to buy and do the things you like and spending a lifetime of happiness with your loved ones.
Of course, this big picture can evolve as you go through life and gain more experience. Usually, however, the basics persist — the desire to have a home, a happy family and a good career remain unchanged.
What changes, though, may be the criteria you use or your definition of what your home should be, what being happy as a family means and whether a good career means being in a job you like that also pays well or one or the other. After all, some dreams come true, whilst others don’t.
Wealth and happiness
Today, where experiences take precedence over money (ideally), people are taught early on to value happiness over wealth.
Studies on happiness have shown that whilst having enough money or being financially comfortable can afford one certain luxuries and material pleasures, the satisfaction that comes with collecting things is short-lived.
This is why financial experts advise people to treat money as a means or a tool to have a meaningful existence. So, rather than making wealth accumulation (i.e., becoming rich) their goal, people should treat money as a means to an end.
How your finances impact your big picture
In terms of your big picture, you can have that dream house if you handle your finances with care.
When you’re financially stable, you can buy your dream house and perhaps even add your dream car and travel into the mix. This means that if you take care of your financial well-being, it becomes possible to not only satisfy your needs but also enjoy certain luxuries.
Will you be happy? It depends.
Having a family can add meaning to your life. Children can strengthen your sense of purpose, as you’ll be responsible for the welfare, safety and happiness of little people entirely dependent on you.
When you’re financially comfortable, fulfilling your obligations as a parent can be a little easier. Rather than stressing over how you can afford to keep them healthy and safe and fund their education, you can focus on bonding together as a family and making memories.
It also becomes possible to start your own company and make a difference in more people’s lives. You may also find it meaningful and rewarding to involve yourself in charitable causes or volunteering. You can choose to lead a life of adventure and extreme experiences as well. It’s all up to you.
Make your big picture come true
Achieving financial stability and independence and preserving whatever wealth you build take time and effort. How quickly (or slowly) you gain financial freedom and accumulate wealth depends on your circumstances. Your skills, abilities, experiences and the opportunities that come your way can affect your financial success.
Therefore, the earlier you start financial planning, the better for you.
Once you achieve financial stability, you can focus on fulfilling your bigger goals.
To get started on your journey to financial well-being, seek professional advice from a qualified financial advisor.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.
This information does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before making a decision, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation or needs.