Follow the Money

There’s a great quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We submit to you that real change only comes when you allow God to change you too. And the only way to truly accept change in yourself is to know exactly what you’re dealing with by taking a good, long look in the mirror. The majority of people we’ve counseled over the years are living a double life. We’re not talking about a secret agent, hidden agenda, and clandestine type of life. We’re talking about something less sinister, but equally as damaging because they are living lives they cannot afford built on lies they cannot sustain. Most people live the life they want other people to see, and then build a reputation on it. Then there’s the life representative of who they really are. In most instances, those lives are vastly different, and the common denominator is money.

Something we have learned about money over the years is that it tells the truth about who a person is. If you follow the money trail, you can learn almost anything and everything about someone that you need to know to better understand who they are, where they’re going, what they want out of life, and what their plan is to accomplish it. 

On the outside, many people live like their finances are under control and they have all the money they need to fund the extravagant and luxurious lifestyles they lead. However, on the inside, many of the people who have come to us for help are financially barren – practically destitute – and can barely afford the designer clothes on their backs, much less the luxury automobiles and huge houses they live in. 

How you spend your money is often a good gauge of where you are in your life. Something we say in our business is, “Follow the money.” When you identify where someone spends most of their time and money, you can learn a lot about them and find out what their priorities are. For some, it’s a matter of basic necessities like keeping the lights on and putting food on the table. For others, it’s a matter of appearances such as frequent trips to the hair and nail salons and sporting the latest designer bag and shoes – regardless of the fact that most of these expenditures are paid on credit and almost never paid off in full. For most, it’s keeping up appearances – and living up to the professional degrees, titles, and positions that have been acquired. It is often about joining the right country club, paying for private school, living in certain neighborhoods, dining at certain restaurants, and basically bankrolling the present while bankrupting the future.