Me, Myself and I have been doing a lot of work lately around money.
After graduatingl I’m realizing that this “abundant” mindset was really just another form of consumerism disguised in new age clothing. I’m sure it’s different for some people, but that’s certainly what it is for me.
Growing up in a lower income family, we often had to scrimp and scrounge to get by (though we always had enough money for my interests such as moto x and snowboarding. I’m VERY GRATEFUL). I was taught that money wasn’t everything,
As I grew up I wanted to prove to myself that I could have what I wanted. But because I didn’t yet know that true abundance is control of your time and having enough of what you need, I spent money carelessly on things I didn’t really need.
I learned some hard lessons in my early twenties by spending all my money on food, drinks, taxi cabs, highly expensive acting classes and getting massive overdraft fees. This woke me up a little and kept me from living so recklessly, but I still felt at my core that I needed to prove that I was “abundant” by eating out whenever I wanted and buying gadgets.
One of the worst instances of this was when I bought a 6 week acting class in LA for $800 on credit. Even though I couldn’t yet afford paying for it in cash, I “needed” to have it. I was tired of “saying” I was going to move to LA so I thought I needed “insurance” in order to actually move. Well I never actually made the leap to LA. $800 down the drain.
If I would have waited a few months I could have easily saved for it, paid in cash and avoided credit card interest fees.
Being a person with an addictive personality, it’s very easy for me to rationalize things. I’m a King at justification, Lord of Rationalization. For years I would reward myself for not smoking with, well, smoking a cigarette! (Even though I’m a health-nut.)
As of late, I stay close to spending all my income each month, forcing me into short-term thinking.
You might think that being single, waiting on tables and renting rooms is the ultimate freedom.
But it’s not real freedom if you’re still required to work 30 hours a week and also try to start a business because you’re spending 98% or more of your income into the business you’re far from free.
What I’m realizing now is that freedom is really about mobility (mobility = more ability). It’s about having the ability to create choices.
As of right now, if I wanted to I couldn’t stop working for the next three months (not yet).
There are two avenues to influence freedom to work or not work:
A) Earn more money B) Spend less money
Simple LTN? On paper, maybe?
The old me would have tried to solve all my problems with earning more. “Need a new computer? No problem, I’ll just make more money.” “Work more hours at the restaurant” “Car I really want to buy but I can’t afford? No problem, I just need save a little more then last week.”
This genre of thinking can be helpful as a hamburger helper and don’t get me wrong, the ability to hustle to earn cash is a great asset to have. I know how to make money when I need to thanks to the internet, being able to give good value and understanding how Ebay works.
But problems start to happen when you simply justify expenses. They tend to creep until you have little to no gap. To behave at the maximum of your income or revenue puts you in a position of weakness, always looking at the short term. You’re stuck trying to figure out how to hit your target next month, rather than thinking about the long term health and prosperity of your business.
I’ve realized it’s much easier instead of earning more, to want less. It’s better for my personal stress, it puts me in a greater position of strength (more f-you money), and it’s better for the planet as well.
In the process of wanting less I thought I’d feel deprived, but exactly the opposite has happened. I feel richer than ever!
The truth is that my lifestyle, even on the $1,800/month income. I’m living pretty fucking frugal compared to the rest of the world. (One of the very rare occasions I compare myself) im just saying- If you make over $30k a year, you’re already in the top 1% of the world!
So, when it comes down to it, it’s all a matter of perspective.
It doesn’t have to be about stuff either. I bought very little things, but spent all my money on grocery bought foods and tech- equipment. Rationalizing each purchase $10 at a time because “I deserve it.” The justification becomes really easy when it’s just $5, $10 or $20 here and there (especially when companies like sweetwater have monthly payment plans)— but at the end of the month, or year, what do you have left?
At the end of the day I’d rather have had the increased freedom and absence of stress knowing that I’m not living paycheck to paycheck and having “f-you money.”
If it helps you, see every dollar you spend as a piece of your life energy. You have to exchange time and your personal energy for that gym membership, dinner or car. How much of your life energy is that thing really worth? (If you calculate your hourly wage, you can actually calculate this, dollar for dollar.)
Many of us may be “abundant” in stuff but we’re really poor in time and mobility.
That to me is not real freedom or wealth. It’s renting out your time to spend money on things that you don’t really need.
Mizz Linda Breen Pierce was onto something “Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality of life, as defined uniquely by each individual.”
Purchasing your freedom is actually pretty easy. All you have to do is start wanting less.
Connect with me at LoganTylerNelson.com