Do You Have Financial Purpose Or Do You Just Manage Your Money?

Print Friendly

Steven Covey makes an important distinction between leaders and managers.

Leaders are those who have vision and direction.

Managers simply master the art of doing ‘it’ better and more efficiently.

Covey offers the following illustration:

The managers are those who are finding better swinging movements to cut more branches with less effort while the leader is the one climbing to the top of the tree to see if they are in the right forest and to see if they are heading the right direction.

The manager might race to figure out how quickly she can climb up the ladder while the leader checks to be sure the ladder is in the right place before attempting to climb.

Too often our time and energy is spent managing money.

We simply try to do the money thing better.  We want to maximize our investment on return, find the best savings account, and learn how to cut a few more dollars from our budget.  But at some point, we need to take a break from our busy money management and ask – what is the purpose of all this?

Your financial purpose helps you be sure you are doing the right thing with your money – not just the most efficient thing with your money.

4 Reasons to Discover Your Financial Purpose

1.  To Have Clear Financial Goals

Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to be ‘on track’ financially?

It is impossible to know if you are on or off track until you have first looked ahead to decide on some financial goals.  Once you have financial goals in place, you can now set some goals along the way to help you track your progress.

When you have financial purpose you can spend, give, live, and save your money according to your goals.

2.  So You Can Find More Financial Satisfaction

At times we wonder – what is the point of all this?

Why should I save this or spend that?  We fall into a pattern of money management depression.  We find that budgeting is a waste of time.  There is no point in tracking your spending.  This indicates that you are just managing your money.  You have no sense of direction or purpose.  If, however, you establish a clear financial purpose, those accounting and money management tasks become tools to help you accomplish your God given financial responsibility.

When you have financial purpose, you will find more satisfaction in your interactions with money.

3.  You’ll Have Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual Peace

When you accomplish something, you typically feel a tremendous amount of satisfaction.

When people decide to diet and start to lose weight, they often talk about how it impacts them both emotionally and even spiritually.  There is something satisfying about accomplishing goals.

When you have financial purpose, you will experience emotional, physical, and spiritual peace.

4.  You’ll Get to Help Others More

Giving rarely happens unless it is intentional.

The wait for “enough” is a loooooong wait.  In fact, if you cannot give today, I suspect you will find it hard to give tomorrow – no matter how much you make.

When, however, you have a financial purpose, you can intentionally decide to bless others based on what you have.  A classic example of this is the graduated tithe.  The graduated tithe gives you a direction and a purpose even for money that you are yet to earn.

When you have financial purpose, you have a wonderful opportunity to help others. 

For a moment, step back and commit to looking at the big picture.  Don’t just try to make or save an extra $1,000 by the end of the year. Rather, decide on a legitimate purpose to make or save an extra $1,000.  If, for example, you want to make some extra money to pay down debt, each dollar you earn can then be used according to your financial purpose.

Set some larger, long-term goals to give purpose to your money management, and you will find the mundane financial tasks easier to manage.

Get out of your financial rut.  Stop merely managing your money.  It’s time to lead and find your financial purpose.

What are you striving for?  What is your financial purpose? 


  1. says

    I’ve looked at your blog a number of times, but am only now really starting to read it. I’m very impressed with the practicality of your articles. Very good. I’ll be referring your blog to young couples I do pre-marital counseling with.

    I see you authoring a book of financial advice in your future.


  2. says

    Thanks Graig,

    I had to learn the hard way, but I’ll testify to the fact that PURPOSE is key.

    It wasn’t until I started re-reading Purpose Driven Life and came across the 7 Investments Christians Who Are Rich in Christ Participate in that I began to get a clue.

    You MUST know your WHY for doing what you’re doing because if you don’t, you open yourself up to be abused by someone who does know their purpose.

    Great article!

    Thanks again!

    • says

      As I was writing the article i thought about the Purpose Driven life. Knowing why is sometimes almost as important as what. I think you reminded us of a great point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *