Today, Mak and G look at what really makes you happy, the importance of having the right money mentality, and the value of starting your savings early…
We all know money can’t buy happiness, but it can play a vital role in giving you the freedom to do what makes you happy.
This “Money With Mak and G” podcast episode, Mak and G look at the importance of having the right money mentality, how we can meet our saving goals, and why saving is so important in the first place.
In Part 2 we delve into this deeper and talk a bit more about the numbers behind our savings goals…
“It doesn’t matter the reason you start, just get started.” – Mak
“You can make all your own decisions if you have money.” – Mak
00:30 – Our market updates for this week.
01:21 – What money does and why you need the right money mindset.
02:17 – What the most common causes of happiness are.
04:16 – When you should start saving.
07:39 – The number one rule of building wealth.
08:15 – The importance of having a savings goal.
09:35 – The value of having a support group.
Connect with Ben Jones:
DAD: Hello and welcome back to Money With Mak and G. This is for the weekend in April 23 2021. And we’re so glad you’re here who’s in the studio today. We got G man. You there?
GRANT: What’s up?
DAD: What’s up? How about you Makadoo?
DAD: Alright, I think we’re gonna go ahead and start it off at the markets. Take it away Mak.
MAK: Hello, this is Mak in the markets. Hey, that sounds pretty good. We’ll go with that. This week in the markets, things were relatively quiet. The Dow covering the big 30 Blue Chips continues to hover around 34,000 which means it’s still up double digits for the year. Along with this s&p which continues to say at its record high as well. The NASDAQ hasn’t changed and is in positive territory, which is slightly lower than the Dow and s&p around 9% for the year. Bitcoin took a tumble down last week almost 17% along with other well known cryptocurrencies, but it’s still up over 76% for the year. And it might be a little hard to believe but we’re still in positive territory with Apple two weeks in a row. But we know stocks go up and down and we’re on the upside now. That’s it for the markets time to talk mindset. Take it away, Dad.
DAD: Hey, a friend used to tell me that money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it takes you to a lot of nice places where you might find it. Well, he loved to travel and saw money is a means to that end. As I grew up, money always seemed to give people the two O’s, options and opportunities and I wanted those in my life. I wanted to be included. If I wanted to travel to sink what Tara in Italy or eat at St Elmo Steakhouse, or go skiing and Vail, money seemed like it would get me there. Over the years, it changed a bit but it boil it down to one word of flexibility. That means I have enough money to choose what I want to do, when I want to do it. Having those choices as well as enough money that I could choose how to use my time without worrying about a roof over my head. It’s funny that they say money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it does provide you something that seems to be a large component of what people want, and does make them happy.
MAK: There was a book in 1981 before we were born, called ‘The Sense of Wellbeing in America’ by Angus Campbell. This guy researched happiness and summed it up to the most powerful common reasons for happiness. He said it was, “Having a strong sense of controlling one’s life. It was more dependable predictor of positive feelings of well being than any of the objective conditions of life we have considered.” It’s probably not surprising that dad has a very similar feeling when he talks about money. It gives him control or flexibility, which is a clear part of his goal. Who doesn’t want to be happy?
GRANT: I know all of us kids understand this concept. We love to have more control over our lives and make our own decisions of what we can do and when. I would love to take more time playing Rocket League or some other video game with my friends. It would also be nice to make my own decision on when I take a shower. But I have to admit, I might be pushing it a teeny weeny too far on occasion if I did, and who likes having a teacher tell you all the homework you have to do. Mak and I were up till 10 o’clock on Tuesday night during our video for Spanish cooking class assignment. No s window, a lack of control is not a lot of fun. I bet most people would agree that if they had more control over their lives, it would reduce stress, allow them to enjoy more things they wanted, like family time with a new grandson, which would ultimately make them at least a bit happier. Some people may see money as a means for buying a new car or paying their bills to relieve stress or for something more serious like medicine they really need. I would think having more control over your life and the ability to provide stuff that your family may want or need would be a great start. I’m sure things would be different around here. If we had to cut back on a lot of the fun things we do. So dad will ask you what’s your goal? He’ll always tell you that it doesn’t matter the reason you start, just get started.
MAK: He started saving because his mom kept pushing him too. She said you can make all your own decisions if you have money. That’s control. He’ll admit that when he started he couldn’t really imagine retiring since he was in his 20. I can’t imagine it. He barely started working and he had to start thinking about finishing work. That’s a bit weird. But I’ll explain things changed. His wants and desires over time have changed, but with a little money, he had options along the way that he couldn’t have imagined 10 years earlier. I get it. I love stuffed animals like crazy five or so years ago. Now, it’s just not the same. I love my iPad, painting and playing Roblox, realizing things changed and that money can meet those changing desires in the future is pretty awesome. I would have never known that I like lacrosse even six months ago. Newsflash!
DAD: I have more years under my belt than Mak and G to see how things have changed. Spending money on toys when I was a kid, then traveling as a young adult, a house for the family when older. And now looking forward to retirement and maybe learning how to play golf. It simply changes in my mid 20s. I would have never ever imagined how fantastic it would have been, and how it would make me feel. If I could take my family on a great European vacation on a Disney cruise. I would have told you, you were insane that I’d set foot on a Disney ship with Mickey Mouse? When I was a kid, I had to admit I was just like Grant. I loved video games. My dad used to put all his change from his pockets on top of his dresser in his bedroom. He had tons of it. It covered the entire top of his side. Back then arcades were the real deal. Imagine no video games at home or on your cell phone and only at an arcade. You go there as often as you could. PacMan was my game. I knew all the patterns, I would swipe my dad’s quarters which would pay for my video game habit. Because video games only took a quarter at the time. I know stealing is never good and I’d like to think I paid him back over the years as I did have some guilt about it. Anyway, my dream as a kid would have been to have had a house full of stand up video arcade games. Sounds pretty cool huh Gman?
DAD: Plus, I have boxes of Pop Rocks that you can eat when playing Asteroids, Joust, Space Invaders, Dig Dug in more. If you don’t remember Pop Rocks, that’s the candy that exploded in your mouth. When I look back, I think how crazy that would have been if I had money and made that happen. Things change. Now I would love to retire and have the opportunity to travel with my wife, visit Mak and G whenever I like at college and maybe pay for a wedding and a trip to the Galapagos Islands with the kids.
GRANT: I think Dad is making the case that saving is good no matter what. You may or may not have a goal right now, but it’s time to set your mind to it. If we were putting together rules on starting, creating and growing wealth, I know what rule number one would be. Spend less than you make.
MAK: It does mean changing your behavior. And that starts with your mind. Even if you’re not so sure what you want in the future. It’s okay. But I think we can all agree that having options is a great idea. After you start saving, you have to invest. Your savings need to continue to grow because prices go up in the future and $1 today is worth less than $1 in the future because of inflation.
GRANT: So investing is very important to reaching your goals. We’ll get to that.
MAK: Okay, you can take our word that saving for a gene you don’t have yet will come. However, we really want to encourage you to have a goal. And if you need help figuring out your goals and how to get there, you can always go to an expert. If you go to our YouTube EduCounting channel, search for choosing a financial advisor. It’s a video that’s only a minute and a half long, and gives you a good basis for choosing one. Anyways, saving and investing can be fun, but at times you might feel it isn’t. That’s why it’s really important to have a goal. Take dad’s goal of financial flexibility or just giving him more control over his life. Another goal is to help donate to charity, that motivates him. He already started a foundation and has done some great work. Grant, do you remember when he donated money to watch a love for our schools charity drive?
MAK: That’s probably helped a 100 people’s lives. Anyways, by having a goal, it helps you to get through the tough times. When I want to get better at tennis, the guitar or anything, knowing my goal of getting better beating Grant or singing and playing the guitar with dad keeps me going,
GRANT: Hey, You’ll never beat me in tennis.
DAD: You better be careful G, Mak’s getting better. So preparing your mind is crucial. Having a goal helps you focus and then you can build the small steps to get there. Okay. When I was in Chicago, I joined Weight Watchers and lost over 20 pounds. It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve done. But I learned a couple things from that experience which are helpful here. First, you have to forgive yourself if you get off track. It’s not about messing up. It’s about getting back on track. Having support is another super helpful thing. When going through the experience. We helped each other in the program. We can encourage others to stay on track and congratulate them on reaching a goal or making progress. I know it may sound weird, but there are studies that if you have a good workout buddy, you know someone who works out with you, you’re much more likely to stay on track with your exercise regime if you have a good one. For now, we’ll be your virtual workout buddy and continue to help. But if you have someone closer to home or someone to share your success, trials and tribulations, it can really help.
GRANT: My video game buddies keep me on track and working towards my goal.
MAK: What goal is that G? Do you want to see if you can spend all day in one place on like couch?
GRANT: I’m not going to answer that. Maintaining your focus on your goal helps keep you on track. That requires a commitment at the beginning. Dad told us about his crazy story when he was trying to pass a CPA exam almost 30 years ago. He actually put together a contract, yes, a contract. He was living at home at the time and wanted his parents to know his commitment. He knew it was important and didn’t want to waste time retaking a test that would be so beneficial to his career. In the contract, he committed to doing his absolute best, which meant studying on nights and weekends as well as going to every CPA review class. He asked his parents to support him, which meant not asking him to do the dishes or cut the yard or other items that would take away from studying until he was done. He needed time to focus. Everyone signed it and they put the sign contract on the fridge. So every day they could all see their commitment and remember what they agreed to. Maybe I should have a contract like that, too. I like the sound of not helping out around here.
DAD: Nice try. G. I think it’s time to say goodbye to part one. But please join us for part two as we continue our discussion on your mindset, because it’s not only starting the process, but keeping it going. We’ll talk a little bit more about the numbers next time. So stay tuned. And as always, thanks for being here. And don’t forget to like subscribe and comment on the podcast. We’d love to from you and we’ll see you next week.