How Much Money Leads to a Great Life?


I typically don’t play the lotto, but not too long ago I bought a PowerBall ticket.  

At dinner, I put the ticket on the table and my kids and I spent 30-minutes dreaming about what we’d buy if we hit the jackpot.

My youngest son went first: he wanted a trampoline, hoverboard, and a bubblegum machine.  My oldest son, a history buff, wanted a trip to Europe to tour WWII battlefields.  As for me, I wanted to travel first class to Bali and stay in one of those over-the-ocean huts.

After the dinner discussion, I pulled out my calculator to price up our wildest dreams and discovered something important: we don’t need the PowerBall to feel like millionaires. Our wildest dreams were not as out of reach as we were thinking. We just need to plan and prioritize what is important, and perhaps consider dipping into savings or even maxing out a credit card if the dream warrants it!

In other words, our wildest dreams are within reach.

A few weeks ago I published the results of a survey we conducted where, essentially, 96% of us confessed that we’re not living our wildest dream – and 22% mentioned money was holding them back from pursuing what’s on their heart and in their mind.

Is this you?  If so, I want to nudge you a little: how so?

In my book Bet on You, I write about how many of us think money is holding us back from taking risks, but more often than not we use money as an excuse to disguise our fears about investing in ourselves.  After all, I know many of you don’t think twice about investing in your child’s travel soccer team … but can’t seem to pull out your credit card to invest in either the luxury of a bi-weekly mani/pedi, or the weekend bike and brew tour with your crew.

My bet is that your wildest dream life, that truly reflects your passion and purpose, isn’t that out of reach for you either.  Case in point: I have an exercise for you: 

  • Take out a piece of paper and write down what your ideal workday and your ideal weekend look like.  Get granular, too – what are you wearing, what are you driving, what type of coffee are you drinking, and what gym do you have a membership to?
  • Then, price out your life.
  • Finally – compare between where you are and where you want to be.

My hope is that you’re not that far off.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece about how much more money we think we need to be happy  (here’s the link for those with subscriptions) … no surprise that it’s not as much as we think.  

The article also cites an interesting study that when people received a $10K bonus, the impact of that “joy” was about 6 months.  Another study shared that rather than focus on the quality of life impact we get from money, we need to think of how we’re using our resources today and prioritize how we’re spending our time, versus how we’re spending our money.

The point of all of this?

We need money to give us a fundamental foundation of security.  A little extra cash can give us a boost, but it’s not sustainable.  But to achieve our wildest dreams?  Maybe there’s a more creative, lasting path that doesn’t require as much money as we think.  I want to help you find it … without maxing out your credit cards.  

How about trying to:

  • Take time to put an actual price tag on your dream life … and then creating a plan
  • Using our resources differently …valuing how we spend our time over how we spend our money.
  • Being more creative in our approach to goal accomplishment.
  • Sure, and maybe buying a lotto ticket from time-to-time … why not?  Random luck can happen to us randomly, right?  It’s gotta happen to someone.

I’m here for you as you work to transform your dreams into realities – don’t forget to sign up for our Year of Transformation communications.  I’ve got something pretty exciting planned for next year.  You’ll want to be among the first to know!

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What I’m Reading

Rarely does a book make me go: WHOA.  

David Brooks’ book “How to Know a Person” is one of those books.  If you need to improve a relationship, and – hey – don’t we all?, then you’ll want to read this book. He has a list of great conversation starter questions that will make you seem like a conversationalist genius.  Purchase the book by clicking here.

Making Change in Your Life

GUEST Anne Bonney

November 30, 2023

When was the last time you danced in the discomfort zone?  Believe it or not, that’s where growth happens.  When we’re uncomfortable, yes – there’s a risk we’ll likely screw up.  Yet, we’ll figure it out and get back on the right road in pursuit of our dreams. Hear from motivational speaker Anne Bonney … she’ll share with you the Three P’s of personal change.