Are Your Family Accounts Bankrupt?

 Many people start out with the good intention of providing for their family.  They believe “If I’m out there working hard, earning money, then I am taking care of my family.”  But somewhere down the road, relationships with family members start to suffer. It starts out small with longer hours at the office, missed dinners and forgotten baseball games. Eventually it results in broken marriages and children who grow up not really knowing who their parents are.

Making money never equals taking care of your family if there are casualties along the way. Click To Tweet

I hear many stories from my clients: “My dad didn’t attend any of my sporting events.” “My mom had no idea who my friends were.” “No one even knew what I liked or wanted.” Money is necessary, yes, but there must be a balance. Children can grow up in a wealthy home with all the stuff money can buy, but what they long for is a close relationship.

No amount of money can create or replace the human connection. Click To Tweet

My father died at an early age, but he left me with many wonderful memories. From the time I was five years old until high school, he was my football coach. This is a man who was running a business almost seven days a week and yet somehow he made time for me. This cost him no money, only an investment of time. Because he thought I was worth that, I grew up knowing he cared and that I was important to him. As a parent, you can rationalize that by working you are spending time and energy caring for your family, and this might very well be your intention.

But this way of thinking is a trap that can lead to bankrupt relationship accounts.

Make time now. It’s easy to forget that relationship withdrawals add up, too. Because family are the people you count on every day, these relationships can become taxed, over-drawn, and maxed-out. If you wait too long, you’ll find these accounts closed and the very people for whom it was all for no longer there.

In order to achieve balance between work and family, relationship accounts need to be replenished with regular investments. One must become a good steward. Small investments now with whatever time, energy and money you have are better than waiting.  Invest in what I call a RichLife Term Policy. By setting this in place, you will insure that the people closest to you will be there to enjoy and share in your future successes. TERM is an acronym for:

T – Time If we invest our time in things we really don’t care about, or things that aren’t taking us toward our goals, that time is wasted.

Take a look at “time leaks” in your schedule and replace them with relationship investments. 

E – Energy  The same is true with investments of energy. Our energy should be invested in the areas that bring us closer to our definition of a  RichLife. This includes time with family.

Sometimes we stay in old relationships that no longer suit us. Take a look at relationships that you find draining, and set up clear barriers. By being a better steward of your energy, you will have more to give to the relationships that do matter.

R – Relationships  Be a good steward of your relationships. The last thing you want is to make the mistake of bankrupting your personal accounts with the people you care most about. If you do that, all the money in the world will not help.

Action Challenge:

Set aside a block of time to invest in a relationship important to you. This can be as simple as taking a walk or a planned date night.

Give yourself the goal of how much and by when:

I plan to invest in my relationship with _______________by spending ____________________(amount of time) with them doing ___________________beginning on______________________.

EX: I plan to invest in my relationship with Sam by spending 30 minutes playing catch this Saturday morning.

M – Money Being a good steward of your money in the simplest terms means:

  • Living below your means
  • Paying yourself first
  • Giving back

There is no better investment than giving back to the people we care most about.

When it comes to money/family balance what are your thoughts and experiences?

About Beau Henderson

Beau Henderson is a financial advisor, author, coach, radio personality, and CEO of RichLife Advisors. He has helped over 3,000 clients to not just improve their relationship with money, but to live the life of their dreams.

22 Comments

  1. Victoria Gazeley on March 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    This is so timely, Beau! I moved out of the city specifically so I could spend more fun time with my son and less travelling back to work, at the office, etc. And I’m so happy I did! Great advice in your post, as usual…



  2. Sharon O'Day on March 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Nice, clear process to be sure the other parts of life are given the time and energy they deserve. Great advice, Beau.



  3. Beau Henderson on March 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Victoria,
    I thought about you and your decision to get out of the city when I wrote this post…



  4. Beau Henderson on March 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks Sharon!
    So great to hear input from another teacher of the “truth” when it comes to life and money.



  5. Carol Giambri on March 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Beau, Love reading your articles. They always hit a home run to me. Relationships are wonderful to have and need cultivation just like “soil.” Of course generalizing here but I know family relationships are not always the same as friends, but sometimes a friend can be just like a family. Regardless it is “now” that counts to start growing those “relationships” with deeper roots, feeding and watering them too. Maybe I am speaking to myself here, but still this is how it hit me. Thanks for sharing.



  6. Rachelle Carlson on March 3, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I’ve never heard of anyone who was on their deathbed say they wish they had made more money. They say things like, “I wish I had spent more time with my family.” Relationships are where real wealth is. Thank for the article, Beau!
    Rachelle



  7. denny hagel on March 3, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Beau, This is so important. A great deal of the parents I hear from are in need of emotional support to help their children through the pain of divorce…9 times out of 10, the reason for the divorce is financially based. Your message needs to get out! Thanks for all you do.



  8. Carol Douthitt on March 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Beau, This is absolutely one of the BEST articles I have read on Money and Family Relationships!
    “No amount of money can create or replace the human connection.” Thanks for sharing your expertise!



  9. Deb on March 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Beau,
    Loved this article and a brilliant reminder on the importance of Family Time. Thanks for sharing.
    Deb



  10. Sean Smith on March 4, 2011 at 12:07 am

    This is why you really “get it” – it’s so easy to get too caught up in money and leave our other values on the side of the road. That only leads to being unfulfilled. Well done, Beau.



  11. PJ McClure on March 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Great framework Beau.
    We share a mission of pointing people to the truth in their life and I received big value from your approach. Thank you for bringing such clear and useful tools.



  12. Beau Henderson on March 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Yes Carol,

    For many of us our friends have turned into our “family”. There is nothing in this world that cannot be accomplished if you have invested in enough of these relationships…



  13. Beau Henderson on March 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Rachelle,

    I’ve asked that question for years, and the answer is always, “spend more time with the people I care about”. It’s funny how we need the threat of a death sentence to get clear about what is really important.



  14. Beau Henderson on March 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you Denny. I think we should work to have these conversations with each other and our kids be the new rule rather than the exception.



  15. Beau Henderson on March 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Carol,

    Some of the saddest clients I’ve worked with have had more money than they need, but lost the people they cared about in the process. I had one guy with $20+million net worth wish he was dead because he was so miserable…



  16. Lily Iatridis on March 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks so much for the reminder Beau! Sometimes I find work bleeding far too much and far too easily into my family time– especially since my office is just in the next room. After all, we do often spend far too much money on things that are completely unneeded and unnecessary, don’t we?



  17. Annemarie Cross on March 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Great advice Beau – particularly the relationships. Unfortunately ‘making money’ for some, can be to the detriment of their family. And, when all is said and done, relationships are far more special. Thanks for sharing Beau!



  18. Angela Brooks on March 5, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Money is wonderful and it gives us lots of opportunity. When I was given a large sum of money when my aunt passed away – I would have handed every penny back to have her still in my life. Not one dollar in my hand eased the pain of losing her and what she meant to me.

    I know some happy people with large amounts of money I also know some who have all they can spend and more and are so miserable.

    I agree with you in this article



  19. Susan McKenzie on March 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    An investment of our time… to experience true wealth… I completely agree with you! This creates one of the wealthiest family legacies one can imagine. I’m glad your father demonstrated that principle and now you can share with others… Thank you, Beau, for the practical action step – I will be doing this, this week!



  20. Sharon on March 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I agree Beau, no amount of money can replace human connection! I had never thought of relationship accounts, what a unique way to look at this. One relationship that we should never discount is the relationship with ourselves. Too often, especially with women, they give everything to everyone else but never take time to replenish themselves. Think of when you fly on a plane, what do they tell you to do in the event of no oxygen….put the mask on yourself first!

    Sharon Worsley
    4 Diamond Leader™
    http://www.sharonworsley.com/blog



  21. Todd on June 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I enjoyed reading your article – in it you mention “time leaks”. What would be some of your examples of "time leaks" and more specifically does your definition include people as "time leaks"?



  22. Beau Henderson on June 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Great question Todd.  A time leak could be "checking out" in front of the television for hours after work, too much time on social media.  I consider time leaks anything that we spend our time/energy on that takes away from the values, goals, people, and things that are the most important to us.   Yes, people can definitely be time leaks if they fit that definition, and we have to put boundaries on some relationships to honor others. 



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