The Great Money Reset (2023) is a plain-talking, practically focused handbook aimed at empowering everyday people to take the financial steps necessary to build their dream lives. Simple strategies explain how to bring your financial life into alignment with your values, desires, and dreams, to put a truly fulfilling life within reach.
Introduction: Your dream life is financially possible
What keeps you in your job? Are you passionate about your work? Do you feel like it’s making a real impact in the world? Are you living out your dreams? Or – and be honest here – do you stay because you need the steady paycheck? Because you have bills to pay and a mortgage to cover? Because the idea of letting go of that financial safety net terrifies you?
You’re not alone. But ever since COVID-19 swept the world people just like you are increasingly reevaluating their careers and lifestyles. They’re beginning to realize their intense jobs leave little time for relationships, hobbies, and self-discovery. And they’re making big, risky changes, like moving cross-country or leaving careers for new ones better-aligned with their values. They’re focusing on what truly matters – things like family, community, and freedom from debt.
With thoughtful planning, you too can take big risks and build your dream life – without sacrificing financial security. Ready to take the leap?
A sustainable change requires high-level financial planning
Are you ready to make a Great Money Reset, and bring your financial life in line with your values, desires, and dreams? That’s great! Big, risky changes are what make life interesting. Whether you’re planning to drop out of law school to pursue a career in tap dance, or sell up the family home to move to a tiny house in the middle of the forest, you’re on the cusp of doing something freeing, authentic, and exciting.
But before you get too carried away, remember that you don’t just want to make a dramatic lifestyle change – you want to make a sustainable lifestyle change. You need planning and preparation if you’re going to make that Great Money Reset work.
Before making a major life change, take time to carefully analyze five key areas of your finances that we’ll call the Fabulous Five:
One: calculate all of your income and assets to see what resources you have available. Consider which are liquid. Having reserves of cash can help see you through unexpected difficulties or smooth your transition after you leave a job with great benefits.
Two: tally all debts and liabilities. You’ll want to consider how to balance paying down debt with staying as liquid as possible – for example, it might not be smart to pay off your mortgage and drain your cash reserves in the process instead of keeping that debt ticking along.
Three: review your housing costs and whether downsizing could free up cash. If you’re lucky enough to own a second home, or be in the position to move to a more modest housing setup, streamlining your housing can free up plenty of cash.
Four: create a realistic estimate of your monthly spending. Don’t underestimate future needs. How much are you currently spending? Can you realistically manage to make cuts here?
Five: factor in financial obligations to others, like college, or care for aging parents. How will the people in your life need your support over the next decades? And how much would you like to commit to supporting them?
Create realistic best, middling, and worst-case scenarios for after your planned change. Identify backup plans, like starting a new career if early retirement doesn’t pan out, or moving somewhere cheaper if your dream location proves too expensive. Consider how you might make incremental steps rather than dramatic moves. For example, try a trial period at a new job or in a new place before you fully commit.
Taking the time to assess your finances thoroughly will give you confidence in your ability to make a successful change – or it may show you need to modify your plans. You may find you don’t need an extreme reset – smaller tweaks could work. The key is to act deliberately, and limit your risks.
If you’ve run the numbers, and you think it all adds up, then congratulations! You officially have permission to make the leap!
Curb your consumption to bring dreams within reach
Okay. Let’s say you’ve done a stocktaking, run the numbers, and financially you’re not exactly looking poised to pack it all in and chase your dreams. No matter how hard you look at your bank statements, no extra zeros are appearing on your balance, and you don’t have a second – or maybe even a first – home to sell to fund the life you’d love to have. Rude!
Don’t give up. There is one thing you can do that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling more financially empowered, no matter what your salary or the state of your retirement fund. Two words: spend less.
It really is that simple. To make major life changes successfully, take control of your spending and consume less. Examine current habits and cut unnecessary costs. Perhaps, like it did for many people, the pandemic prompted you to rethink and reduce consumption – if that’s you, you’re already a step ahead! Now try to stick to your new, more measured lifestyle.
Ready to try out a more frugal style of living and consuming? Don’t go too hard too soon. Instead, run short experiments, like living for a period on reduced income, to test your ability to cut back. You may find you need less than you think to be happy. Then again, you may find you need a little bit more than you thought – so be flexible about finding income streams, like part-time or freelance work, that can give you that bit of wiggle room.
To maximize future options, keep spending in check consistently over time. You can’t always slash enough at the last minute to fund a major change. Controlling your spending allows you to direct more resources toward goals like retirement, education, or career transitions. With discipline, many people can fund their dreams without blowing their savings.
Negotiate your way to a better role – without quitting your job
What’s your Great Money Reset? Do you want to tell your boss at your soul-sucking nine-to-five exactly what you think of them before tossing your phone in the nearest river, then heading into the mountains to live off-grid? Love that for you! You can feel free to skip this blink. On the other hand, perhaps you enjoy your job – it’s not perfect, but you find it fulfilling, like the field you’re in, and feel challenged and excited by aspects of your work. And yet … something’s missing. You might want more money to fund hobbies you’re passionate about. Or you might crave more responsibility and recognition – the chance to become a leader in your field.
If this is you – if you feel like, with some changes to your work situation, you could bring your financial life and your dream life in line with each other – then I want you to bully your boss.
That’s right, bully, as in B-U-L-L-Y. Begin by clarifying your B – your Big Ask, whether that’s higher salary, more flexible hours, or the chance to work remotely from a Nicaraguan beach. Next comes U, which stands for Understanding the framework of your ask. Paint a clear picture of how your Big Ask would negatively and positively affect your boss, and your team. Do the same for a scenario in which your Big Ask is not granted and you quit – what revenue, skills, or connections will you take with you?
Then it’s time for the L’s. First, Lose your ego. Even if you don’t love your boss, a bit of sucking-up will smooth the way for you to broach your Big Ask, so make sure to work some positives into your pitch. Then, Leave time to practice. Run through your spiel a few times, so you feel confident. And whatever you do, don’t Y – Yuck it up. Meaning: don’t make threats, don’t get aggressive, and don’t burn bridges. Even if your Big Ask gets rejected, No doesn’t need to mean No forever – unless you really Yuck things up with your boss, in which case, it definitely does.
A Big Ask doesn’t need to be a one-time thing. Even if the market changes, keep advocating for yourself by making both big asks and smaller ongoing requests. Negotiating a better deal can empower you to make positive changes without necessarily quitting your job. This can facilitate major “Great Money Resets” in your life, creating opportunities for career transitions or improved work-life balance.
Your four walls might be a ticket to financial freedom
There’s more to home ownership than the dream of 2.5 children and a white picket fence: owning your own home creates infinitely more financial flexibility in your life. Selling or downsizing can provide the cash injection that helps fund major Great Money Resets. The trick is to manage your real estate portfolio thoughtfully, and let logic – not emotion – dictate decisions around when, if, and why you sell.
First things first. Selling might be the right thing to do on paper, but letting go of the home where your kids grew up, your dog played in the yard, and your friends dropped by for impromptu dinner parties can be tough. Feel your feelings, but don’t let them get in the way of making a smart sale. Remember, letting go of a cherished property is painful, but may lead to happiness.
You don’t need to have all your ducks in a row before you sell – in fact, waiting until conditions are completely perfect can hold you back from getting the best deal.When the market is hot, selling even without a clear plan captures opportunity. You can bank the proceeds to pay off debt, save, and explore options. Remaining flexible preserves future choices.
For some homeowners, selling their property is a move that funds their dream future. Other homeowners might need to sell to get out of pressing current difficulties. Selling your home can be the Great Money Reset that frees you from mounting debt by allowing you to access your equity. Selling your home to pay down debts should be a last resort – but if you’re out of options, leveraging your equity is an escape hatch that can lead to a more financially authentic way of life.
Though difficult emotionally, a real estate sale often facilitates major positive changes. But move thoughtfully – not based on fear or others’ advice. Let your dreams and values drive the decision.
Design your own dream job
Let’s say you’re the CFO of a major tech company, but your passion lies in crocheting quirky Christmas ornaments. Or you’re a corporate lawyer with dreams of inventing an app connecting dog-owners with dog-sitters in your local area. Or … well, you get the picture. So many of us work in conventional roles, but dream of turning our hobbies or ideas into side-hustles … and then turning our side-hustles into our main hustle. Guess what? It’s totally doable. The trick is to design your dream job with financial sustainability in mind.
Chaotic times, like the pandemic, can spur entrepreneurialism, providing an impetus to start a business or side hustle aligned with your passions. But whatever your side hustle, when starting out, go slowly – begin with a side hustle while keeping your job. This allows you to test ideas without excessive risk. Think of this phase as a Great Gradual Reset. Growing your business incrementally allows you to experiment, troubleshoot, and grow without the specter of bankruptcy looming over your head.
Maybe you’re not a nine-to-five worker. Maybe you’ve already grown a side-hustle into a thriving concern. Maybe you’ve done that a few times. If things are feeling stagnant and you’re ready to take another leap, your Great Reset won’t involve quitting your job, but selling your business. You might be tempted to hold out for the highest price – to wait until your current business has achieved its greatest gains. Don’t ask yourself whether your business might be worth $2 million at some indeterminate point in the future – ask what you could do with the proceeds of a $1 million sale that’s on the table right now.
If your business struggles unexpectedly, you might feel like you have two choices: sell, or keep plodding away until you’re forced to close. But there’s a third option that’s always available: tap into your resilience and get creative. Look for ways to evolve offerings to changing market needs rather than shuttering. Looking at where you’re failing to connect with customers can help you find a new niche; seeing how your clients needs go unmet can set you on the path to creating a new offering.
Starting or transforming a business creates opportunities for positive change. Move boldly but deliberately – don’t jeopardize your stability. Let prudent entrepreneurialism fuel your Great Reset.
Craft your Great Money Reset to last for the long-term
You might not think a Great Money Reset is on your horizon. But the need for a Reset can come along when you least expect it – a sudden shuffle at work can leave you longing to pack it all in and retire early; a health scare can see you realize that your time on Earth is finite, so if you ever want to motorcycle around Vietnam, you’ll need to do it sooner rather than later. It’s a smart idea to start planning for a potential Reset now – that way, you won’t be scrambling to figure one out at the last minute.
Ideally, you should start your financial planning five to 10 years in advance of a potential career or life change. Project what your future spending needs will be, and use that projection to set a savings target. Within your planning, make sure to prepare for worst-case scenarios – get wills, life insurance, disability insurance. Let’s hope that you won’t need to use that insurance – but trust me, not taking it out is not making a saving. Don’t jeopardize your family’s well-being.
Take time to prepare emotionally, not just financially. Big changes only take root when they come from within, after introspection. On that note, don’t feel like you need to make everything happen all at once – that’s a surefire recipe for overwhelm and burnout! Scaffold your reset by making small incremental shifts in your life and thought patterns over time. Slowly but surely, these little shifts will create new neural pathways that support bigger change.
Remember, your Great Money Reset isn’t fundamentally about money. It’s about rethinking your life. Money provides you with the means to do that. Life is short – don’t let fear hold you back. With prudent planning and self-reflection, you can turn even an unexpected reset into a wonderful opportunity.
No matter your financial circumstances, you can achieve your dream life without sacrificing financial security. Making sustainable and considered lifestyle changes will enable you to take the bold leap toward a more fulfilling and authentic future.
About the Author
Money, Investments, Personal Development, Career Success
“The Great Money Reset: Change Your Work, Change Your Wealth, Change Your Life” by Jill Schlesinger is a comprehensive guide that explores the relationship between work, wealth, and personal fulfillment. Schlesinger, a renowned financial expert, delves into the challenges and opportunities individuals face in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape.
The book begins by examining the traditional notions of work and wealth, highlighting the flaws and limitations of the conventional approach. Schlesinger argues that the old paradigm of working tirelessly for financial security no longer guarantees happiness or fulfillment. She proposes a new perspective that emphasizes aligning work with personal values and passions.
Throughout the book, Schlesinger provides practical advice and strategies for readers to redefine their relationship with money and work. She encourages readers to assess their current financial situation, identify their core values, and explore alternative career paths that align with their passions. The author also emphasizes the importance of financial literacy and offers guidance on managing debt, investing wisely, and planning for retirement.
Schlesinger addresses the impact of technological advancements and automation on the job market, urging readers to adapt and embrace change. She explores the concept of the gig economy and the rise of remote work, highlighting the opportunities and challenges they present. The author also discusses the importance of continuous learning and acquiring new skills to remain competitive in the evolving job market.
In addition to practical advice, “The Great Money Reset” incorporates personal anecdotes and case studies to illustrate key concepts. Schlesinger shares stories of individuals who have successfully transformed their careers and achieved financial independence by aligning their work with their values.
“The Great Money Reset” is a thought-provoking and insightful book that challenges conventional wisdom about work and wealth. Jill Schlesinger’s expertise in finance shines through as she provides practical advice and strategies for readers to navigate the changing economic landscape.
One of the book’s strengths is its emphasis on aligning work with personal values and passions. Schlesinger convincingly argues that true wealth and fulfillment come from finding purpose and meaning in one’s work. Her guidance on assessing personal values and exploring alternative career paths is particularly valuable for readers seeking a more fulfilling professional life.
The author’s exploration of the gig economy and remote work is timely and relevant. Schlesinger acknowledges the benefits and drawbacks of these trends, providing readers with a balanced perspective. Her emphasis on continuous learning and adaptability is a crucial reminder in an era of rapid technological advancements.
“The Great Money Reset” is not just a book about finances; it is a guide to living a more fulfilling life. Schlesinger’s incorporation of personal anecdotes and case studies adds depth and relatability to the concepts discussed. Readers will find inspiration and motivation in the stories of individuals who have successfully transformed their lives by aligning their work with their values.
While the book offers valuable insights and practical advice, some readers may find certain sections repetitive or overly detailed. Additionally, the focus on the American job market may limit the book’s applicability to readers from other countries.
Overall, “The Great Money Reset” is a highly recommended read for anyone seeking to redefine their relationship with work, wealth, and personal fulfillment. Jill Schlesinger’s expertise and engaging writing style make this book a valuable resource for individuals navigating the complexities of the modern economy.