There are a lot of motivational quotes all over the Internet – Instagram, YouTube, FB, Twitter, etc. A significant portion of them claims that if you don’t do *something* you would hardly get rich. Not that all of this is false, but I think it demotivates people from actually doing stuff that would help them grow.
One type of posts got me going a few days ago and sparked the idea about this post. It was claiming that if you don’t do investing, saving, budgeting, spending, working, etc a certain way, you would never achieve your money goals. Most of that content is kind of demonizing personal spendings for clothes, cars, travel, fun, etc. I think this is a bit excessive because there’s still a way to spend money on yourself and have fun without getting in debt or going broke.
Spending money on yourself is okay and it wouldn’t make you poor. It might not make you rich, but it would definitely not make you poor. Not acting on your spending habits, debt, and career growth might keep you from growing wealth. However, becoming financially independent is a journey. Spending money on yourself during that journey is totally okay.
Buying a new car from the dealership is okay
If you do your math right and you are sure you can afford to buy that car, then just go ahead and buy it. You’re still not convinced? Well, there are a couple of options ahead of you. The first one is to follow my posts series on Buying a new car here on my blog. I’m sharing my partner and I’s decision to sell our current car and buy a new one. All of the reasons behind that decision, some history of our cars, how we chose one, how we’re going to buy it, etc.
The second option you are having is to check White Board Finance’s YouTube channel. Some time ago Marko shared a video that will perfectly explain to you if you can afford a certain car. If I was on the market for a new car, I would definitely subscribe to his channel – he shares a lot of stuff about finance!
Working like a madman for 12-14-16 hours a day wouldn’t necessarily make you rich
We’ve all heard that Elon Musk works 80-hour workweek. Are you Elon Musk? If you are and you read this blog post, then I’m a lucky guy. However, my bet is that you are not. And to be honest, if you were, this doesn’t mean that you had to do it in order to be successful.
Successful people work a lot, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t bust their asses for years in 80-hour workweeks in order to achieve something. “Work smart, not hard”, as people say. Yes, there are cases and situations when this is inevitable and you don’t have much of a choice. Yet, if this is your lifestyle, I would definitely think of a better way to manage my time, if I were you. I mean, if you work that much, when would you be spending money on yourself or at something at all?
Dressing as you own a multimillion company is okay
You don’t believe me? My partner just bought an original classic Calvin Klein bag for €75 Euro. Mint condition, black leather, looks flawlessly. The original price is about €300. How did that happen? Well, she did some research, talked with a fellow blogger Sherry from Save. Spend. Splurge. and made the purchase. Does that purchase make my partner look like a million dollars on the street? Yes! Does the bag cost a lot of money? No!
Buying stuff that you can’t afford can make you poor, that’s for sure. However, buying expensive things for the right price wouldn’t make you poor, nor it is spending money on yourself. It’s the same with stocks. You so much wanted to buy Tesla shares when they were $2000, but you didn’t have the money. Well, they now cost 5 times less and you can afford to buy Tesla shares. I think you get my point.
Still, the fact that Tesla shares are now a few times cheaper, doesn’t mean that they are actually worth it. You should be careful with these and do your research.
Saving 90% of your income wouldn’t make you rich
The FIRE community is all about saving the maximum portion of your salary while living with the bare minimum. Some people will tell you that saving 80-90% out of your salary is the way to go. While that’s partly true, I personally would like to take things a bit slower than that and enjoy myself. I mean, why would we save all of this money all of our lives? Just to have something to live off when we retire? That’s boring!
I’m sure that if you’re a sensible human being, who thinks and acts on a decent career and aims to earn a good salary, you will make it. There’s just no chance that you will not save enough, keep 2-3 rentals and live off by the combined income from that plus some dividend income.
You can live below your means, save most of your income, but that doesn’t mean that this should last forever.
Spending money on yourself isn’t a bad thing
Few lines above I mentioned something about enjoying yourself. Spending money on yourself wouldn’t make you poor but it certainly will make you happier. And happiness is having fun, going out, traveling, spending on stuff that you’re not completely certain you will use that frequently, etc. Yes, you have to be careful and keep an eye on those credit cards, income, and expenses. If you’re budgeting, don’t lose sight of it. If you find yourself hoarding useless stuff – donate or do a garage sale!
Enjoying yourself means not only spending money on stuff but means to enjoy life as a whole. If you found the secret of budgeting and that allows you to save for your next trip – go ahead! In case you don’t like budgeting (like me), but you still keep track of your spending habits, it’s okay to plan a big home renovation or buying a new car.
There’s quite a lot about life and despite that money is an important factor in it, they shouldn’t consume all of your time and happiness.