You’re on the path to Financial Freedom. So we know you’re looking to liberate yourself from your money’s limitations and enjoy the life you design. And constructing your Freedom Generator absolutely requires you to live well within your means.
But, for many people, spending—and overspending—gives you a special kind of high. And living on less kills that shopping spree euphoria. Feeling like your missing out can make you resentful of your journey to Financial Freedom.
So how do you stay on the path to Freedom and live joyfully within your means?
Focus On Your Goal
If you’re on a mission to drop 20 pounds, you might tape a picture of your younger, thinner self to the fridge door as a not-so-subtle reminder of your objective. Money is the same.
Everything worth having requires some measure of sacrifice—whether a greasy, midnight snack or a pricey impulse buy. The 96% who don’t attain Financial Freedom fail to do so because they haven’t identified, pursued and stayed focused on that goal. A goal that is completely achievable if you stay the course and correct your mistakes as you go along.
So remember why you’re doing this—why you’re part of this community and what Freedom means to you. If you need to define your goal or revisit it, go through this essential exercise.
There’s a widespread misconception in today’s culture, and it’s this: Wealth leads to happiness.
But your mission isn’t simply to accumulate money for the sake of possessing money. Ultimately, you want to live a life you love—whatever that means to you—by buying your time back. And, along the way, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the good life with a little ingenuity.
Who says you need to spend hundreds of dollars out on the town for an enjoyable evening? Or that having a beautiful, comfortable home means outfitting it with the finest décor?
Brainstorm ways you and your family can live well on less. Get excited about finding low-cost but incredible experiences to savor. Look hard at the material goods you buy. Find great deals on quality, attractive items without splurging on unnecessary luxuries.
Skip The Envy
Keeping up with the Joneses is a losing game.
Sure, when your neighbors install a pool and buy a luxury car you may secretly feel resentful. Or when your kids’ classmates all have the latest gadgets and designer clothes. And when your Facebook feed mocks you with your friends’ exotic vacations.
Comparing yourself to other people makes you crazy. So remember these two truths:
- You never know what’s going on behind closed doors. It looks as though everyone else is living better and enjoying more money than you are. But your spendthrift acquaintances may be up to their eyeballs in credit card debt and have nothing in the bank. Or all that spending may be an attempt to compensate for personal unhappiness.
- It’s not a race. Maybe your neighbors really are as wealthy as they seem. They actually do have the disposable income to buy luxuries or they’ve already found Financial Freedom. Instead of resenting their success, celebrate their achievement! Reaching a goal is so much easier when you have examples of people who are already there. And seeing a constant reminder of the lifestyle you might have one day keeps you motivated.
No one leaves this earth wishing they’d accumulated more wealth. Financial Freedom is about enjoying the life you want to live. But nothing’s stopping you from living with joy and gratitude in the meantime.
So look around at what you have—health, family, friends, a home, a job, whatever it might be. Value the beautiful experiences you’ve enjoyed and the ones you’re looking forward to. And be grateful you’ve started a life-changing journey creating a life few people get to enjoy.
image credit: Bigstock/Subbotina Anna
Dr. Tony is the co-founder of MindShift.money and the best-selling author of three books on personal and business finances. Having achieved Financial Freedom at 27, Dr. Tony believes that through Financially Fit Bootcamp and Cash Flow Cure everyone can get there. He has made it his life’s mission to help others live a life where their money works for them—not the other way around.