Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Get the things you truly want

Think back to when you were a little kid and wanted something from the store. Did your parents ever tell you something like “No, we don’t have the money”, but then later buy something else?

Maybe you reacted by saying “Hey, I thought we didn’t have the money!”, leaving your parents to explain.

Little kids are especially prone to taking statements like “we don’t have the money” literally. If they’re worriers, they may stress out about things, believing that their parents are down to their last dollar.

What our words really mean

But as we get older, we realize that “I don’t have the money” is really just a shorthand way of saying “I have different priorities” — especially when someone else is asking us to do something that we hadn’t planned on doing.

Sometimes though, we can fool ourselves. We may look at our bank account and wonder where all the money went. “I’d love to do _____,” we think, “but I just don’t have the money”. That’s where the danger lies.

Don’t fool yourself

If you’re staring at an empty bank account and wishing you had the money to do something enjoyable, recognize that this still means that you just have different priorities. Maybe at this point in your life, those priorities are things like eating and having a place to live.

Or maybe you just haven’t taken a good look at your finances, and you don’t know where your money is going.

If you really want to do something, but don’t have the money for it right now, begin making that thing a priority in your life.

Put your money where your mouth is

If you’re saying that something is important to you, stop spending money on the things that aren’t. Or at the very least, prioritize your spending.

If what you want is more important than cable, cancel cable. If it’s more important than getting a new car every few years, hang on to your existing car longer.

There are many ways to get the things you want, if you look at your situation clearly.

The things you spend your money on are your current priorities — whether you realize it or not.

If the things you’re spending your money on don’t line up with your values or desires, put your money where your mouth is. That way you’ll get to where you want to be.


  • Kathy

    In a book I recently read it described the “I’d rather” philosophy. If I’m looking at a new purse but I’d rather put the money toward a nice trip, then I skip the purse. If I’m pricing airfare for a trip but decide I’d rather pay off a credit card, then I skip the trip. It puts the decision totally in your hands and you don’t have to feel deprived because you are always putting the money toward whatever it is you’d rather use it for.

  • My husband and I review our budget and our spending together at least once a year to make sure we are spending on our priorities…not just stuff that seemed like a good idea at the time. Generally, we rather spend on retirement savings and travel than on clothes and coffee…