How many of us devote as much time to how we’ll spend our money as we do to how we’ll make that money, save that money and invest that money? I bet not many of us. Do we stop and think what it is that we REALLY want to get out of it?
And until recently, I never gave it much thought. I never stopped to think about what money could buy me beyond things and trips, oh – and a roof over my head! But what money can really do is allow you to start living your dreams, no matter your net worth, age or stage of life. Money can buy you time and give you the freedom to choose how you might want to spend all that time.
You’ve gotta ask yourself what all that money you’re building is really for? I mean why do we work 9-to-5 (or more – for those of us who do the real slog!)? Is it to keep all that money stashed away so that it can keep growing and growing? And all for what end? So that we can take it to the grave or leave everything to our kids? Nah.
Your money is there for spending. Not for keep your virtual accounts warm!
When people say that money can’t bring you happiness, this sort of misses the point a little bit. Money – if spent meaningfully and intentionally – can definitely bring you a sense of joy and inner happiness. If it’s used to spend time with loved ones, building awesome and long-lasting memories, doing things you truly love, don’t tell me that that won’t make you happy! It most definitely will.
But money, when it becomes a source of stress and anxiety, will take us further away from that. See, most people see money as restriction, guilt and shame. As something that needs to be controlled. But no one really stops to talk about how they can spend money to create real meaning in their lives.
We tell ourselves that one day, we’ll start living our best life. But at what point is that? Is it when we’ve hit the million-dollar mark? Or five million? Or ten? At what point do we stop and realise that our money is there to be enjoyed, every step of the way.
Hone in on what makes you happy. What makes you tick. What gives you a sense of purpose, enjoyment and fulfilment. Design your rich life. Figure out what excites you and don’t stop working toward that!
What’s the point of all that money if you don’t – or can’t – spend it?!
We think that we’ll start doing things ‘when I have money’, ‘when I have time’, ‘when I get that salary rise’ and so on. These are all lies we tell ourselves because they never end up happening. If we don’t plan how we’ll spend our money, that money will have either a) vanished, b) be spent on things that give us 0 meaning or c) land us needing to save more. Or all 3! That’s not a cycle you wanna be caught in.
I was chatting to one of my new colleagues who told me that him and his partner are jetting off to Thailand this the winter for 2.5 weeks! They’ve planned this trip in 2019 but it got cancelled. Twice. All thanks to covid. So now they’re finally taking the trip. They’re splashing out and I bet they’ll love every minute. Oh, and his partner is already planning their next trip! These are the sort of things you’ll remember in years to come and what you should constantly be working toward.
But it’s not easy going from 0 to 100. From being that super-careful-with-money person to a let’s-spend-meaningfully kinda person. It’s hard and it takes a re-wiring of your money mindset and what you really want to get out it – and in life really! I’m definitely trying to make that switch and plan for things I want to be doing in my 20s – not waiting till I’m in my 50s!
People in retirement that have loads of money aren’t always able to spend it. They’ve been so used to saving and investing, building their net worth so that they can build a better life for themselves and their family. But once they’ve built it up, do they start splashing out? That’s rarely the case.
They’ve built the muscle of saving not spending. And have totally neglecting the spending muscle. It’s not one or the other, though. You should be doing both – and simultaneously.
We have this mindset that you aren’t supposed to be spending! That it’s all about saving and investing. But that’s just so not true. If you never spent properly you’ll be missing out on a whole chunk of your life. Money is there to give you a better life. So use it!
We feel guilty when we have these money dreams. That stuff needs to go.
If you want to be able to travel for a few months or take your kids to school every single day, go after that. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Take the time to make a plan for how you’re going to optimise your money. The very money you spent so hard building. Redirect your money to where it needs to go. Be in control of your money, not the other way round.
If you have a dream to take a cruise, for ex, work out how much it’ll cost you. Figure out a savings plan that’ll help you reach your spending goal in the time you want it for ex if I save £100 a month it’ll take 2 years to reach my goal – something tells me it’ll be a lot more but you know what I mean!
You’ll start to feel more in control of your money and you’ll also feel super motivated. You’ll start thinking twice before spending a tenner on lunch when it could go toward your cruise. Tap into that motivation. And btw, this is all done alongside investing/saving for your future. But your present life should never be compromised. You should be working toward your best life all the time.
Dig deep. Find what makes you tick. What you really enjoy and what you’ve always wanted to do. Open a separate savings account that’s just for this. An account all for your experience. It’s for you to enjoy.
People can end up waiting a lifetime for a lottery ticket or to land an inheritance before they take that trip or finally spend more time with their families. But why wait? If you don’t plan, you’ll never do it.
Plan for things before you need them. Think ahead. Ask yourself, what do I want to do this year? In 5 years? Over this decade?
We’re so used to seeing life with a one-month-mirror that means we miss the point. So zoom out for the year and the years.
So go and spend a little. Treat yourself and those around you and create everlasting memories.
In the end we only regret the things we don’t do. So get planning – and spending.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment.
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