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The Never-Ending Money Cycle – Nate Nielsen

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And the two questions that got me out of it

I’m on a quest.

I’ve been on it for most of my life but never known it. Something is driving me and hides beneath my desires, hopes, and passions. There’s been a whisper in my ear ever since I began my first job saying, “what is the point of this…all this time working to make money?”

I give my time at work, and for my contributions, I earn a paycheck every two weeks. The money goes towards bills, mortgage, food, date nights, investments, etc. You know how it goes. I end up in a perpetual cycle of making money so I’ll garner enough to live off of when I’m not working anymore.

Something in me says that there is more to this than the balance of earning and spending. Something much deeper.


My two-year-old is a joy to be around. She’s in the phase when her imagination is always at play; making my wife and I dinner in her play kitchen. She brings us “water” from the same kitchen faucet. She gets our dog, Sammy, his toys and water too.

I’ve come to face some realizations about my life by having her.

She’s made me look at myself and ask: “Why?”

“What is the point of going to work when I can stay at home and play kitchen with my daughter?”

The obvious answer is to provide, and it was enough in the beginning. But I had a problem with the reason now. It no longer satisfied the innate hope and desires I had for my family.

It was during this time I started exploring what my desires meant. I discovered it meant a whole heck of a lot more than what I thought. These hopes and passions are what is driving me towards financial planning. These questions from advisor Carl Richards put it clear in ways I haven’t seen before:

What is it that you find to be most important in this world?

Are you prioritizing your emotional and behavioral decisions to align with what you find to be most important?

This is what your money is driving towards, and why all financial plans are not the same. These questions make me take a dive into the meaning behind the money….beyond the mortgage, bills, and investing. It makes me look at my values, what non-profits should I support, and what is worth saving and spending money on.

Financial freedom may be your goal. Going on vacation once a year or just saving enough for a weekend getaway could be it as well. Whatever it is, I want you to know the things that you care about. I want to be sure you’re taking steps with your money decisions to reflect that type of care and importance in your life.

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