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Ask Dave

You Need Something That Matters

Isaac and his wife have no debt and $50,000 in the bank. They live on less than they make but can't get motivated to do a budget.

QUESTION: Isaac in Michigan and his wife have no debt and $50,000 in the bank. They live on less than they make and earn $90,000 a year, but at the same time, he can’t get motivated to do a budget. Dave talks about the two things that tend to motivate people and how Isaac can incorporate that into his life.

ANSWER: There are two things that motivate you: pain and pleasure. You don't have any pain, so we're going to have to figure out pleasure. You're just killing it. You're so weird. I love it. You are in a great place. You are weird in a good way.

What I have found is this. I work 50 or 60 hours a week. I'm worth several million dollars. There's no point in me working. So why do I do that? Because I've got something that's bigger than money pushing me. That's what you need to look for. You don't have a goal. Money can't be the goal. What money does has to be the goal. If you eat enough lobster, it tastes like soap. It's ungratifying to just have a pile of money. There's no satisfaction in it. When you have something that you want that money to do, then that gives you a reason to make it behave.

Just enjoying making $90,000 and having $50,000 in the bank and living on less than that in your 20s and you don't have any debt at all and you're in great shape financially—there's not much there to motivate you—no desperation, no freak-out, nothing. You've got to have something that's a little bit bigger than you and go, "What is it we're saving for? What is it we want to be able to do with the money?"

God calls you to manage money well to be able to do good things for His kingdom and His people and people that aren't His people and that kind of thing. Broke people can't give. You are obviously a gifted couple in earning and managing your money, and so you're to use that gift for the good of others.

If you put those things together, somewhere in there is something that matters. What you desperately need is something that matters.