The difference between having money and wealth
How many of us are working day-to-day doing a job we don’t particularly like, for a boss we don’t particularly like and earning a wage that never seems to go far enough? How many of us are worried about the future, how we’re ever going to pay off the mortgage and secure enough money to have a comfortable retirement? Do you even feel like you might not ever be able to retire comfortably and that there’s no hope for a happy, worry-free future?
That’s exactly how I used to feel until I decided to up my game and do something about it. One thing I’ve learnt is that there are no free rides in this life. If you want something then there’s only one person who will get it for you. And that person is YOU!
The work-debt cycle
Before I started to educate myself on how to become financially independent I was trapped in a cycle of debt. That’s to say I’d get up, go to work, get a pay cheque at the end of the month and then spend it trying to make myself feel better about my crappy job by buying the latest gadget and designer clothes. Then when the money ran out I’d get out the credit cards and buy more things. The next month would see me having to work extra hours to pay off the credit cards, which made me feel even more depressed so I’d go out and buy yet more useless things.
It wasn’t till I decided that this was a really horrible way to live that I started to read every possible book I could on what made happy and successful people, well… happy and successful! I soon discovered that it isn’t necessarily being rich that makes people feel financially secure. It’s being wealthy. That’s to say, having enough money to be comfortable, but also strictly living within your means, and also having control over how you make that money.
Live within your means
One recurring theme I soon recognised was that many successful people don’t need to have vast sums of cash coming into their bank account each month. What they do instead is live a moderate lifestyle and invest any excess money they have whilst having an ultimate goal to live without fear of money. Many successful people are secure in the knowledge that even if they don’t work they’ll be able to pay their bills because they have discovered passive income. It’s a powerful driving force and it’s a concept which has changed the way I live my life for the better.
The idea completely threw me at first. If you’ve got a decent amount of money come in, why on earth would you not just spend it on the latest gadget and the best designer clothes? Why would you hide it away in stocks or gold or bonds and not enjoy it today? But think about it. Is buying the latest gadget really what makes you happy? How long will the buzz last after you’ve spent 2 weeks wages on a new watch? What do you really want from life?
For me, spending time with my loved ones, working towards my goals and doing what I love every day are what’s most important. And these things don’t even need any money! They’re free and once I realised this I also realised that you don’t need to spend, spend, spend all the time to feel happy. And if you’re not spending so much you’ll suddenly find extra money sitting in your bank account. You can then re-invest your excess wealth into yet more wealth generating vehicles. It really is a win-win system.
So let me know what’s your favourite way to re-invest your wealth. Is it into your business, real estate, stocks or maybe commodities? Go ahead and comment below.