Some people assume that wealth creation is just about making money and that being a successful wealth creator is having a lot of it. If you feel the same way then there is a chance you are selling yourself short and missing out on a lot of other aspects that can increase your wealth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with money, it’s great stuff, but true wealth is about a lot more than just money. On the other hand, if you feel that wealth creation is about surrounding yourself with love and happiness and that nothing else matters, then it is likely you have poor money skills and are in need a reality check.
Whether you like it or not, Money matters. Money pays the rent, puts food on the table, and buys stuff you either need or want in order to improve your way of life. It doesn’t matter if you rent rather than buy, move overseas to a country with a cheaper cost of living or decide to pitch a tent somewhere amongst nature, there is a minimum dollar amount required every day to pay for the way you decide to live.
“The best things in life might be free, but everything else is going to cost you something.”
The reason why people get so worked up about making money is because it buys them stuff and as much as we might like to think we aren’t materialistic, we all are in one way or another (some are just more so than others). Personally I don’t see anything wrong with this, you should definitely have the things you want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The trouble is, most of us can’t get everything we want immediately because we don’t have the financial means. This is where some impatient people get themselves into trouble with excessive spending and credit debt.
If you can avoid debt, or learn how to control it so it works for you, then there is a good chance you can continue to have the things you want guilt free. It might be that you need to accumulate these items or experiences over time, but if you really want them there is nothing to stop you from having them. Sure a trip overseas is nice because it broadens your horizons, but it’s not for everyone. Maybe you want a new car, or a flat screen TV, or to be able to splurge on new clothes regularly. It’s good to want things, it will help you set goals for your savings and spending. It does take some patience and as boring as they are, budgets are useful. If you can define what wealth creation means to you, then spending money on the things that make you happy and increase your wealth is something you should do.
Work to Live
I’m no layabout at work, I give it everything because I like to be successful at what I do and I subscribe to the “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” theory. Work is also something that takes up a large portion of most peoples lives so ideally the work we do should be enjoyable, or at least satisfying in some way. Doing work that I love is important to me and it helps get me up in the morning, but the key thing to remember is that work is something we do in exchange for money and it is that money that pays for the things we really want to do.
I’m probably going to sound like an asshole now, but I don’t go to work for the friendships. I have made some great friends over the years, but I’ve also pissed people off too. Some people get it, others don’t, in the end I don’t really care. I go to work to do exactly that. I give someone my time and expect compensation in the form of a salary. When I finish doing that, I get to do the things that matter to me.
Lately I’ve been very interested in how I can work smarter and spend more time doing what I love, but this isn’t necessarily something I can afford to do right away. I’ve already put my lifestyle ahead of my work, but I still need an income to live the way I want.
Delayed gratification and budgeting go a long way to help with using money effectively, but they don’t always create wealth. You can save all your life and watch every penny, but I guarantee you’ll wish you spent it on something you really wanted on your death bed.
Frugality is not wealth creation. Yes it is good to shop around, use coupons and hold out for a sale, but it is smarter to ask yourself how you can create the means to have something rather than denying yourself. If you want a store bought coffee every morning, then do it. Just make sure you allow for it in your budget or allocated pocket money. If you want to be a trendsetter and buy swanky new clothes regularly, then do it. Just find a way to fund it, like selling your old stuff on Ebay to make money and room in your closet or allocating the interest earned on your savings so the clothes are effectively free. Don’t stop thinking about the things you can’t afford, think harder about them and creative ways you can have them (note: this does not include stealing).
The money making part of wealth creation is really simple. Work out what it is going to cost you to have the lifestyle you want, then after that it’s just stuff you don’t need or time spent working when you could be doing something else. Find out what it is you want in life, work out how much it will cost per day, week or year and focus on that. Work towards ways of creating these funds passively, so you can devote more time to doing the things you want to do and you will have all the wealth you will ever need.
Don’t get rich, get wealthy
Image by Wesley Oostvogels