Last month (around April 20th or so), I used the leftovers from a few commission and royalty checks to pay all my rent and bills for the next four months.
That means no financial obligations until August.
After doing this, I started thinking about money management personal wealth. And I came up with three tips for saving lots of cash.
What’s more, none of these involve extensive math or extreme penny-pinching. You won’t see something like “eat a box of crackers before grocery shopping so you don’t make any impulse purchases while hungry.
Instead, these are all mindset principles. Change the way you think, and you change the way you handle money.
1. Who Are You Buying For?
Getting rich is tough. Pretending to be rich is easy.
Because of this, most people love to buy things they can’t afford in order to show off to others.
This leaves them in a perpetual cycle of debt and frustration.
When you concentrate on “wowing” others, it becomes impossible to find inner-happiness. You’re so busy trying to one-up “friends” that you forget about your own personal wants and needs.
The other downside is that there’s no ceilings in the world of material competition.
You buy the Michael Kors watch, then you buy the Rolex, after that you’re ordering an Audemars Piguet.
It’s a very slippery slope.
Now, that’s not to say that buying nice things is bad (if you truly want a Rolex, buy a Rolex), but it is important for you to figure out who you’re buying for. Is it for your own self-satisfaction, or for the hope of impressing strangers?
Here’s a personal example.
I grew up in Iowa, and almost everyone I went to high school / college with is now a “foodie.” They go to trendy restaurants and spend $15 on a jazzed up lunch in order to post about in on Instagram.
Do that three or four times a week and you’re spending $240 a month on sh*tty food.
Personally, I’m not into this.
In fact, you’ll never see me out to breakfast or lunch (unless I’m meeting a friend or conducting businesses). Most (22 out of 30) of my lunches are cooked at home. And I’ve eaten the exact same thing almost every day for three years (salad coated in one-pound of grilled meats).
Unimpressive and very poor Instagram fodder.
But (and this is the kicker), I use the money saved from having “boring” lunches for fine dining.
There are many Michelin Star restaurants (here’s a good starter list), that are insanely affordable. And (yes, there’s more), many “upscale” venues are still quite cheap. On of the best steakhouses in Asia (so say the culinary experts), costs $30 a person.
So, here’s the million-dollar question.
Do you want to spend money on things you don’t want to impress people you don’t care about? Or, do you want to invest in quality experiences you actually enjoy?
This is applicable to everything.
Warren Buffett drives a used car and lives in a ranch house. He can by anything he wants, but that’s what he likes.
Multimillionaire film producer Roger Corman flies economy class on international trips.
Heck, the Trump family flies economy class whenever they’re traveling from New York to Florida.
Most “flexing” is done by the $30,000 millionaire crowd. They try hard to impress, and end up in deep debt as a result.
Figure out what you actually want in life, and invest your money there. Posturing that you’re “cool” is a fool’s game, and one that’s very transparent.
2. Convenience Is More Valuable Than “Stuff”
(Owning A Car Is Great, If You Love Being Stuck In Traffic)
I grew up in a big house surrounded by lots of land, and I didn’t like it.
Because there was always an endless list of chores that needed to be taken care of.
Vacuum this, move that, help your dad replace the hot water heater. Basically, every weekend was spent doing some sort of home improvement/maintenance project.
Big houses are a lot of work.
As such, I live in a nice-but-modest apartment. However (and here’s the important part), I have a housekeeper. For me this means:
- Laundry is taken care of.
- No dusting or vacuuming.
- Never having to make the bed or changing the sheets.
With a larger property (like a big five-story villa), I’d be stuck doing all the maintenance and chores I’ve always hated. It would also eat up huge amounts of time, and be incredibly frustrating.
Now, obviously, your own “convenience vs stuff” situation might be different.
But, in the majority of cases, there’s an easy solution.
- Hate driving? Ditch your car and only use Uber (between insurance, oil changes, and basic maintenance, this might actually be a cheaper option too).
- Want to travel the world? Rent short-term properties, instead of locking yourself into a lengthy mortgage.
- Don’t like your job? Start a side business and grow it until it’s highly profitable.
Many of the more convenient options aren’t as “prestigious,” but who cares? Going back to point number one, you can do what’s right for you or you can try to impress your peers.
3. Never “Spend Money”
What I’m about to tell you may sound weird, but it’s something I love to brag about.
I’m the poorest person in my neighborhood. By at least four or five million dollars. It’s great.
Because it’s a first-rate education in how wealthy people actually use their money.
This isn’t some cheesy “Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind” seminar info, it’s first hand observations and experience.
Anyway, want to know the secret about what rich people buy?
Barring some clothing purchases and entertainment stuff (and even this is debatable), these people never part with their money. Instead, they buy things that generate even more cash.
Case in point.
A guy in my neighborhood has multiple Lamborghinis. He also owns several upscale bars, nightclubs, and hotels.
Guess where all his nice cars are parked every Friday and Saturday night?
In front of his hotels and clubs.
Because it attracts customers. People see a cool car and want to feel successful too. So they pay an already rich guy for the privilege of hanging out around his expensive things.
You might not own a Lamborghini or nightclub, but there’s a good lesson here. Every time you want to buy something, ask yourself if there’s a way to monetize your purchase.
In many cases, the answer is “yes.”
Here’s a quick and simple example: Every time you go out for coffee, bring some product you sell with you. It might be a book, “special report,” or piece of software. Take a picture using this item at the coffee shop.
You can then use this image as the basis for a sales letter, email, or blog post.
Writing an article like “An Investment Program So Simple You Can Plan Your Retirement Over A Cup Of Coffee,” sounds dumb, but it’s a technique that’s made a lot of sales (and paid for my daily coffee consumption a thousand times over).
Likewise, there are a million other ways to apply this “Lamborghini Principle” to your daily expenses. It just takes a bit of creative thinking.