What is a "better life" to you? To what things do you attach value? Although the definition may be different for each of us, we all want to achieve certain things in our lives.

Try judging success by how you advance in the following categories: the personal, the spiritual, and the professional. How are you leveraging the resources that you have? Can money be used in the pursuit to a better life? Absolutely!

Below are four ways money can be used to "buy" a better life. These suggestions do not mean you necessarily need to spend more, rather in most cases it requires moving these items to the top of the spending priority list.

Buying Time. Hire expertise that gets you more than you would get on your own time. Our clients hire our wealth management expertise so they will be able to achieve more with their money and time than they do on their own.

Consider ways to strategically purchase time in your life. You likely pay someone to change your oil so that you can maintain an excellent running vehicle. You could certainly do this on your own. However, the amount of time and energy versus the dollars spent are not worth the trade off. This allows those same hours to spend on a key area(s) of your life. Think about other tasks that you could delegate and therefore buy time.

Buy Memories. At the end of your life, your legacy will be passed along in large part in the memories you created with others you love. As you plan out your year of spending, consider ways to build lasting memories with those important to you. It can be anything from a vacation to a picnic in the park. Keep in mind, memories are developed through time spent, not necessarily the amount of money spent. Another advisor in our office along with his wife decided not to contribute to his retirement plan one year in order to take a bigger family vacation. They knew they would not get back these years with their children. As O.A. Battista said, "The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day."

Buy Development and Growth. It is said that an organization that has stopped improving and growing is dead already. While we see that in different churches, businesses and associations, it is also true of ourselves. If you have stopped pursuing personal development, begin investing in yourself again. Ron Blue has shared how Bill Bright was planning and preparing his next ten years when he was in his 90s and not doing physically well. Read, learn, network, and get training to be better equipped to accomplish that which is important in your life. Discover your areas of growth and set aside a monthly or annual amount of funds to grow personally, vocationally, or spiritually.

Buy Impact. We are living our lives in the most prosperous country in the most prosperous time ever in history. With our blessing comes tremendous responsibility. Review how you can intentionally leverage your money by investing in organizations that are effective at ministry. Someone once asked Chuck Swindoll how much ministry can you do for a dollar. He replied, "About a dollar's worth." What ministries are important to you? How is your money making a difference in others' lives?

Our money and our time can only be spent once. Make wise decisions about how you spend each. Consider buying more time, memories, development, and impact in the future. This can help you live a better life.


The National Planning Group of Ronald Blue & Co.
is a unique division within RB&Co. that serves the everyday steward - For more information you can visit their website: 
www.everydaysteward.com.