The biggest joke I know today is money.
Money is something we can use to solve virtually any problem we have in our lives.
So if for example we are feeling sad or incomplete, we can always go out and buy something that will make us happy again. If something breaks in our lives, like our car, or our health, we have money! We can fix it. No stress.
The health example is a bit extreme, because the last thing you want to be fixing with money is a life or death situations.
Perhaps it is easy to see that if something happens with our car we can just pay a guy, so our only expense is time without a car and money we spend on fixing a car.
With health, we need to pay for our treatment, but this is still just money. A more expensive cost is changing personal life in a way that avoids the need for a treatment and it usually costs no extra money.
If have money we can pay off all our problems.
So simply we need to have money.
Money is a stress reducer. With a big enough bank account, no problem is big enough.
That is why rich people are said to be the happiest. All their problems can be solved with money, while having no money will cause stress and will create a need for creative solutions.
Still, rich people get stressed because they see money (almost as everyone else does) as the source of stress. Losing money is considered stressful, while what I am telling you today is that spending money is anti-stressful, if you do it right.
If I have a trouble, I just pay it off and laugh about how easy it was.
So for these of us with no money, how do we get money?
The answer is: learn how to become rich.
Being rich means to have money and to have money means to save money.
It is impossible to become a millionaire if all we consistently spend everything we earn. Millionaires don’t just get a million out of the air (for the most part). They work for it and they put money to the side, which accumulates into a million over time.
We don’t have to go further than that. We don’t need, for example, to learn how to invest money, although it would be a next step to become a millionaire.
Saving money alone is enough to get you half way and that is how you can do it:
First, don’t spend money.
This is my A-level advice. This is one of the most important things I keep on saying over and over again.
I expect you to have enough money today and to be able to start save it.
If you live in a developed country you are already expected to have much more than you need. You are expected to have enough money for food, you should already have enough cloth and to have a roof over your head.
If you don’t have these 3 things you have to fix them first.
Still, I doubt you would be reading this if you did not have your basic needs covered.
This is to say that I expect you to have enough and you don’t need to spend money besides your basic needs.
You should be happy already, because you have enough.
Everything else that is not a basic need, meaning a food, housing, health and a cloth (at a moderate level) can be saved.
This is we need to have a saving mentality instead of spending mentality.
Saving mentality means to truly enjoy saving money more than spending it. In fact, spending money should become something you passionately dislike.
I promise you, the day will come when you have to pay some unexpected bill and it will be so unexpected that it will be expected.
Second, putting some money to a side in the beginning of a month.
This is advice took from countless gurus of personal finance.
Before paying any bills or spending income on everything that you think you want or need, put money first into your saving account.
You can start doing it by putting 10% of your earnings, or even 1% if you feel uncomfortable with 10% (and gradually increase it to 10%), but over time you can learn to put 20%, 30% and even 50% into savings.
This saving account will guaranty your stress free existence from the day you open it.
Third, get rid of debt.
Today banks want you to get debt, because this is how they are making money. Banks want you to buy houses by taking a mortgage loan, to buy a new car, to take a consumption loan and so on.
What they don’t tell you, however, is that this loan will give you more unhappiness that your new possessions you will buy with these loans.
Debt unhappiness is another advice taken from countless personal finance guru out there.
If you have debt, make it your 1st priority to pay it off.
Lastly, use money to pay off your stress.
If you have a problem, spot seeing it as a problem. See it as a price tag. The price tag can be indeed big, but money is just money. It comes and it goes. If we have enough money to cover a price tag, than great! One less thing to worry about in your life.
Again, spending money on new things like a new car or your own house will give you happiness, but only in short-term happiness.
Studies after studies show that we get used to new things very quickly, to a degree that new possession makes virtually no difference on our long-term life satisfaction.
Indeed, after buying a new house, we start wanting to have even bigger house, and than a villa, and than a castle, meaning that the circle of desire never stops unless we stop it a most basic level of needs.
If you have enough, that no new possession can truly make a difference on your long-term happiness.
On the other side, saving money and paying off your problems will give you happiness. No more stressing over small things. You have a problem and “poof” it is gone. This is what I call a long-term happiness.
Now for a quick example of how money can solve our problems.
One of my friends once approached me and asked my opinion about his career.
He was stuck in a dead end job with no opportunity for growth and no opportunity to leave his job because it was paying his bills.
He said that leaving this job would mean to find another less well paid job and that would get him into even more trouble with the bills.
Plus he had debt. He was trying to pay in off for 5 years already and the amount he owned has not changed at all.
He earned 5 times the amount of money I earned.
My first question to him was: How is it possible that you earn so much money and you don’t have any money in the end of the month?
Ok, I don’t have debt so that helps. Still, how much debt do you have that you cannot pay it off? Where does all the money go?
So his house (one of his major expenses) was costing him 3 times the amount it costs me. His debt was taking 1/5 of his earning. Other money would go to cover all other “good life” expenses.
By showing him that other “good life” expenses were taking majority of his money, the solution was simple.
Stop eating in expensive restaurants, stop going out to expensive clubs and spending a fortune of drinks there, stop his buying unnecessary stuff, which he already had too much and move into a more affordable accommodation.
With this advice he will finally be able to pay off his debt and to save enough money to accept a less well paid job, which offers more life satisfaction.
Definitely, paying off the stress with money.