I like to look at the way I think about money. I’ve learned, through the process of becoming debt free, that each dollar counts. I can make the choice of what I want to do with it, and those small decisions can change what I experience in life.
Recently I’ve been trying to learn more about what money means to me so I can take my life and business to the next level. I don’t need to be a millionaire, I want to be. But what would that look like?
I tried an exercise called the Prosperity Game. The goal of the exercise is to help you feel more prosperous.
My Prosperity Game
It starts on day one with $100 virtual dollars. You received this money and you must spend all of it on that day. You cannot give it away to friends and family. Each day the sum of money doubles, and you continue to play for 30 days.
Day one, write down exactly what you would do with $100. For instance, I bought a new mp3 player for $70 and spent $30 on mp3s. Day two write down what you would do with $200. Day three $400. Every day double the amount.
Find specific things to buy. When I wanted to buy a house, I looked up houses online and choose one to buy. I looked up vacations and found a retreat center in Arizona I would love to go to.
It was a lot of fun to figure out how to spend the money!
My choices included traveling, buying a new wardrobe, retreats, massages, even paying for a PhD. Daydreaming about the choices were fun too.
After day 13 ($409,600), the sums raced upward. Each day I was faced with what else to spend money on, but I felt like I had already bought everything I wanted.
When the sum reached twelve million dollars I bought another helicopter and another private island. I racked my brain to think of other ideas. I started become an angel investor, and started a non-profit.
Eventually, I became frustrated thinking of more ways to spend the virtual money. I stopped the exercise at Day 20 and $52 million.
What I Learned
I want experiences, knowledge and to give.
Even if I could have anything, I only really want a home, sturdy furniture, and reliable cars. The majority of my wants lie in the experience of life.
I want things money cannot buy. I want to speak in front of 2,000 people. I want to go with my husband and children to Spain for a month and experience the culture there. I want to learn every day.
I can do all of these things without a lot of money.
Letting my imagination run wild really drove home the fact that I don’t need a lot. I don’t need a home that has a library, an art studio and a six-car garage. Once my basic needs were met all I could do was get nicer stuff. A nicer TV will still show me the same content.
The Journey is the Fun Part.
I have always said, “I want to be a millionaire, not for the money, but for the woman I’ll become.” When life takes a lot of work it’s hard to be thankful. But it’s those experiences that make the journey. If it wasn’t a challenge, life wouldn’t be fun.
When I was younger I loved video games. One time I was playing the Sims and I thought the game would be better if I had more money. I didn’t want to do the work, so I found a cheat that would give me an unlimited amount of money.
I was excited. I bought everything I wanted. About 20 minutes later, I realized that the game wasn’t fun anymore because there was no challenge. There was no point.
Each person is different. What is important is finding out what deeply fulfills you. I highly recommend this exercise to really figure out what is important to you and to see how you manage large amounts of money. It’s a great learning experience plus it’s a ton of fun!
Are you willing to try the exercise?