It’s something you’re often told: only by learning to manage your money and taking control of your personal finances can you build your wealth and the future you dream of.
The main objective of this blog is to teach you how to use your money to create your future without sacrificing the present… and while enjoying life . But the problem begins when you confuse enjoying life with living beyond your means.
Because if it is of course essential to take advantage of the present moment, sacrificing your future is not the solution either. We often come across people who can’t save because they’re funding a higher lifestyle every day than they can actually afford. And learning to live below your means is just the first step to start building a lifestyle that makes you truly happy…for a long time.
Short term desires vs. long term happiness
We all have dreams, desires, projects… but also a lot of impatience.
So as soon as an opportunity comes up, between going impulsively for the weekend with his friends, even if it means digging into his A savings account or putting money aside for his future, the decision is often quickly made.
Of course, we can say that having a good time is actually more important than the amount of your bank account. The idea is of course correct, but the vision is bad.
The problem is that you don’t know exactly why you are saving money. And in this case, difficult to save and change bad habits.
In reality, it is essential to understand what the balance of your savings will offer you in the future. Because it’s not just a number in your bank account, it’s a way to pay for your own accommodation, the trip abroad you’ve always dreamed of, the freedom to quit that job you hate… and pay for the life you’ve always lived without being limited by money.
So the question is, are you willing to sacrifice your future dreams just to fund repeat happy hours and Saturday afternoons at the mall?
Warning : the goal here is not at all to tell you to never spend pleasure again. It is only a matter of spending within reason, according to your means , and of foreseeing these expenses in advance through a monthly budget .
Define what makes you happy
The first step to affording yourself a lifestyle that makes you happy is to find what you love and what really makes you happy… free from any outside pressure or influence.
And this last point is certainly the most important. Maybe you go out for a drink every Friday and Saturday night with your friends. And maybe that really contributes to your happiness. If so, continue. But maybe you also really like art and creation, and have always dreamed of launching your online store and your small business…
And the problem is, you don’t have enough money at the end of the month to do that.
Too bad : difficult to finance both your projects and your outings with friends. At 25€ per weekend, after one year, your outings will have cost you 1290€. This would be a great contribution to your online store project.
What if you could limit them to one evening a week? Or invite everyone over for a board game night at home instead? I repeat this once again, because I know that it is a point of view that is often misinterpreted: the goal is not to deprive yourself of everything and live in a cellar for the next 12 months simply to money aside. This is just to encourage you to think about your spending.
Because how you spend your money is a reflection of your priorities . Use that hard-earned money to do what really makes you happy, not just in the short term. And that necessarily requires a little introspection, and finding alternative solutions to have fun while spending less.
During my third year of bachelor’s, I was incredibly lucky to be accepted into an international exchange program and to study at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
And as you can imagine, a one-year trip to the end of the world is expensive. And inevitably, to finance this trip, I had to miss a few evenings with friends, restaurant outings or concerts. But it’s without any regrets, because I knew exactly why I was saving. And in the end, this year has undoubtedly been the most beautiful of my life.
The Millionaire Myth, and Why Owning More Won’t Make You Happier
Don’t be fooled by stories of celebrities with exuberant spending, multimillion-dollar villas and the whims of the wealthy.
These are sensational stories that the media loves, but the reality is quite different. The vast majority of millionaires absolutely do not live like that. In his book The Millionaire Next Door , Thomas Stanley presents one of the longest and most comprehensive studies of millionaire habits ever. And the results may surprise. To take just a few:
- Half of millionaires have never spent more than $235 on a watch
- 50% of millionaires have never bought a full suit over $399
- 75% of millionaires have never paid more than $199 for a pair of shoes, and 95% have never spent more than $334
In fact, it is precisely for this reason that they managed to become millionaires. They eschewed the lavish, impulsive, and often wasteful spending that we tend to mistakenly associate with wealth. But having a lifestyle that makes you happy actually has very little to do with the price of your material possessions.
Financial independence , the freedom to do what you love, and having the means to develop contribute much more to our happiness. Remember that success is not measured by the cost of your lifestyle, or the number of luxuries you own. It may even be the other way around, as the minimalist lifestyle illustrates .
The main objective of minimalism is to seek to own only objects that make us really happy, and made to last over time . So you create a lifestyle that goes to the essentials of what contributes to your happiness.
The key to affording a lifestyle you love: taking care of your finances
You work long hours every day, every week, every month to earn money. Why not dedicate even a few minutes a week to taking care of that hard-earned salary?
Whether it’s tracking a monthly budget , setting your financial goals or managing your savings , don’t ignore your personal finances.
It’s impossible for you to manage your money well if you refuse to think about it. Unfortunately, there is no magic, and those who have become rich are excellent examples of this.