Hump Day Help – Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation

by | 18Jul2018 | Hump Day Help, Spending | 0 comments

Welcome to the Hump Day Help. Each Wednesday we take one of the weekly actions from Jonathan Clements‘ blog Humble Dollar and “militarize” it for you. Jonathan Clements was a longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and he offers great advice at the best price you can get…free. Here is this week’s Hump Day Help:

EXTRINSIC VS. INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. Early in our adult lives, we tend to be extrinsically motivated, hankering after promotions, pay raises and the material markers of success, like the big house and the luxury car. But as we grow older, we often become more intrinsically motivated, preferring to focus on things we personally feel are important.

 

It’s funny that he came out with this the week that I told everyone about my new favorite word – NO! That’s because I’ve reached what is likely my last military promotion and now I only want to focus on things I feel are both impactful and enjoyable for me, like writing this blog.

Many reading this blog are caught squarely in the extrinsically motivated phase, focusing on buying Mustangs and Camaros while having the latest and greatest cell phone. I use an iPhone 5. Yes, an iPhone 5. I often joke that I actually have an iPhone 11, because in my pocket is both a 5 and my work/command iPhone 6.

My house is 3,000 square feet, and I own it outright with no mortgage payment. While it is a nice house, it is at least $121,500 too big. I look forward to downsizing one day. Buying a big house only leads to temporary happiness.

The central financial principle behind Mr. Clements’ above advice is for you to realize that spending money on things does not lead to lasting happiness. If it is happiness you are chasing, you should spend your money on experiences and try to make a positive impact on other people lives while using a perfectly acceptable iPhone 5.

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