The most important parts of your life are determined by your spending. This may seem weird to say. It sure feels weird to write. But if you give me a chance to explain, I think you will come to agree that this is an extremely empowering concept.
You get to do more of what you want to do, when you want to do it, how you want to do it and with people you want to associate with as you master your spending. Check me to see if the idea doesn’t resonate with you.
My great friend and drum teacher “B” doesn’t consistently make a ton of dough even though he’s one of the most sought-after cats in the Los Angeles music scene. But he’s happy and in love with his life. He gets to do what he was born to do. And he does a great job of supporting his wife and children with a secure and full life. How can a musician pull this off? Because he never lets his spending get out of rhythm.
If “B” didn’t keep a close eye on the outflows, it’s conceivable that he’d have to give up his amazing career (heaven forbid) in order to pursue a more traditional gig. His spending supports his life passion. That rocks….righteously.
How Wealthy You Are
No brainer. If your income is “X” and you spend “X” plus “Y”, it will be next to impossible to become (or stay) wealthy. In fact, if you do this long enough you run the risk of going broke and even becoming homeless. You don’t have to be Gary Coleman or Nicholas Cage to figure that out. (Despite earning more than $40 million in 2009, Mr. Cage burned through his fortune and wound up owing the IRS over $13 million in back taxes.)
On the other hand, if you earn “X” and only spend 70% of “X”, your wealth builds quickly. You write your own story and it’s a sweet fairy tale friend.
Who You Play With
People like to spend time with other people who have similar values and who are in a similar socio-economic level. As you control your spending, you build security and success. You will be around other successful, secure Pilgrims. That’s cool. You’ll learn from them, be of service to them and be around when opportunity presents itself.
On the other hand over spenders are downwardly mobile. Sometimes it’s OK to overspend. But if this is the rule more than the exception, you’ve got trouble. Sadly, people who are at the mercy of their spending usually deal with others in similar situations. And those who struggle find it more difficult to enjoy themselves. Who wants to be around sourpusses all the time?
Notice – I am not talking about people who are in debt. Many times being in debt is caused by circumstances beyond your control. People who are in debt but working hard to climb out of it can have a fantastic life because they are actively doing something positive for themselves and others. Over spenders might have fun for a while but sooner or later they have to pay the piper. Among other things, that price is a complete lack of peace of mind. Heavy.
Where You Play
People who are smart about their money get to travel to cool places and (more importantly) thoroughly enjoy their vacation time. They don’t waste precious break time worrying about how to pay for the trip because they’ve already figured it out and they’ve budgeted for the excursion. Of course it may take time to save up for a certain adventures and they may have to settle for Santa Barbara instead of San Tropez. But they’ll have just as much fun.
If you spend more than you earn you have a lot less freedom and choice. Rather than take a vacation in Bermuda, sooner or later you’ll be stuck in “Nowheresville” and for a very long time.
What You Do
Let’s say you can’t stand your job and really want a change – STAT. If your spending is under control it’s easier to do something about it. You might even give notice immediately. That’s because people who control spending usually aren’t in debt. That means they have lots more freedom and choice.
Folks who refuse to put spending on a leash are often stuck in dead-end jobs. Often they are trapped there for life because they can’t afford to make a change. To me that sounds like a very unattractive way to be.
How Happy You Are
Yes, money can make you happy. But I don’t mean that more money brings more happiness. If you control your money rather than be controlled by it, you will be much happier. I met a man about 3 years ago who was worth over $4 million but he was miserable because he didn’t know what he could or could not afford. His money was sitting in investment accounts and he would just withdraw it as he wanted it. He was sort of a Nicholas Cage light.
On the outside he seemed pretty content but once I sat down with him it was clear that this was anything but true. He was a walking bag of nerves because he didn’t know how quickly he would run out of dough and he was worried about it all the time. He couldn’t enjoy the wealth he created.
Being on top of your spending is empowering. No doubt about it. It’s not so much question of how much you have, but how you arrange your life around what you have now and what you want for the future.
How has your spending impacted your life and overall level of happiness? I really want to know your story. Please leave a comment below.