Beyond the basics of food, shelter, and health, what do you need money for? Does beauty matter? Does comfort matter? Does stability have great meaning for you, or the capacity to travel the world? If you say it matters to you, then it matters. And what matters varies wildly from person to person.

You are the economist of what matters to you.

Luxury might be a necessity for your peace of mind. Tithing may be part of your basics. Freedom could mean stock options and a company expense account, or it could be the liberty to design your own day, every day. Culture could be owning a Francesco Clemente portrait or having enough money after you pay bills to buy a round at the pub. You could use your disposable income to shop organic or fund an expedition to Everest.

When you establish your purpose for money, you have a rudder to help guide your purchases, investments, donations, savings—all the things that you do with money. You also motivate yourself to go get what you want the most.

Tucked into my planner is a tattered and love-worn list titled “My Purpose for Money.” When I wrote it, I was living hand to mouth, had just been rejected by an art school, and was officially lost—it was the perfect time to steady my aim.

Every single word in my purpose list is intentional and prayer soaked. And because of that, the list has just as much relevance ten years later. I’m a ways from fulfilling my purpose for money, but I’m on the right path.

My Purpose for Money. By Danielle. circa 2001.
Rapidly create a lasting empire of hip-consciousness products + writings…beautiful communication.
Travel with Scott, our child, friends and family, widely and freely.
Create and invest in socially responsible ventures.
Generously and frequently gift family and friends.
Be a philanthropist.
Own a beautiful home in Vancouver.
Time and luxury space in Santa Fe (and elsewhere…)
Buy beautiful art.

Do you want to make a million bucks a year? Why? For what? Do you really need it to do what you want to do and be who you want to be this lifetime, or do you need more? How much will be enough if you’ve reached your lifestyle goals? And who really needs “more than enough?”

Conscious wealth has greater value.

. . . . . . .


Danielle LaPorte is the author of The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms(Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Her next online program launches November 2012, called DESIRE: The Map to What You Truly Want.

Over a million visitors have gone to for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality”, and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can find her on Facebook and Twitter @daniellelaporte

*Photo by 401(K) 2012.