Building wealth and living happy is not a short-term affair, it’s a lifestyle, it takes time. Before you do anything, anything at all you need to first identify what it is in this world you value. And what exactly does that mean? What is value? Well think of it like this: We are all on Earth (I am pretty sure of that one) and on Earth we are born, we live and then we die. That’s it; it is just that simple. People on Earth come in all different shapes and sizes and have various means, some have lots of money, resources and friends, others do not. BUT, the common denominator for all is TIME. We all have time in the same increments: seconds, minutes, days, years, etc… Yes, some live longer than others, but each of us, for the most part, has significant control our own, individual time on this planet.
VALUE = How you prefer to spend YOUR TIME ON EARTH.
With each second that passes YOUR TIME becomes more and more important to you as a living being with a limited life span. So, the question becomes “what do you value?”, OR put a different way: How do you want to spend your limited time on the Earth?
The first step is to make a list of what you want out of your time here. Second, look at the resources (your income) available to you and understand that no matter how large or small your income may be there are limits to how much of your various wants and needs can be attained. BUT, the great part about the list of things you value is that you will find that many of these are things that really do not require money. For example, if you value staying in good health and exercising then all you need to do is go running. Better yet, call a friend and go running and have a great conversation while you do it. The fact is that most of us value positive feelings and relationships, money is not required to have those, generally speaking.
Now, some folks might value possessions, like a new, expensive car or even a posh penthouse in the city. And that’s fine! If that is what you value, then so be it. BUT, you must be able to afford these items without incurring debt (by living within your means). Once you begin living outside your income then the things you “think” you own, end up owning you.
Third, pay yourself first a set percentage of all you earn for as long as you are working. That money is for you, for investing in your future, for your retirement, for long-term goals. A financial advisor can help you make that pile of money grow, but without regular savings growth will be muted.
Use the remain monies to life a happy and full life. Spend all of it!!! Not some, ALL. Spend it all on exactly what you wrote down on your value list in step one. However, carve out 5%-10% of this money for giving back to charities and to help friends in need.
Now, here is the interesting part: Just knowing that you live within your means, that you have a regular, systematic savings plan and that you know just how you want to spend your time and money (on what you value) will automatically lead you to living a more relaxed and happy life. Knowing thyself and planning according IS a happy life. Life really is that simple!
I highly recommended reading the book “Richest Man in Bablyon” (link below), which can help anyone turn the complex world of personal finance into a such a simple and clear “idea”: That you are in control and the rules of wealth have not changed much in the last thousand years. Live your values, spend and save within your means, keep in good health and happiness will find you!