On Financial Resilience: The Stoic Way to Survive Money Challenges

financial resilience

As the philosopher-king Marcus Aurelius said, “Good fortune is what you make for yourself.” 

Some people assume that the wealthy and rich are always fortunate. After all, good fortune refers to a favorable situation, essentially, being lucky. 

But this is not true. Sure, you need to be lucky to get rich fast. But you don’t have to be rich to be financially secure. 

You simply need to focus on accomplishing financial resilience. Being financially resilient in today’s world is invaluable. 

Because it always seems we’re on the brink of the next (personal or global) financial crisis. 

It’s not merely about having enough in your bank account to get through the month. Financial resilience is also about developing a mindset and a lifestyle that can withstand any monetary catastrophe.

The philosophy of Stoicism is the perfect mental model for dealing with financial challenges. 

Here are 5 tips inspired by Stoic principles to help you build financial resilience.

1. Adopt an “I can” mindset

Before you start thinking about money, change your mindset first. Seneca said it best:

“It’s not because things are difficult that we don’t dare; it’s because we don’t dare that things are difficult.”

He challenges us to embrace hardship and fear nothing, not even failure. The truth is, we often believe we can’t be fearless, but it’s just an excuse.

Most people assume they can’t accomplish the goals before they even give it a try. How do you know that you won’t succeed?

Seneca reminded us that our goals seem so difficult to accomplish because we don’t dare to try. We say, “Oh no, I can’t do that,” before we even try.

Instead of that, say, “I can.” This is not some pump-your-chest-bro-talk. It’s simply about changing your mindset. With consistent execution, you can accomplish more than you think.

2. Acquire in-demand skills

In terms of financial resilience, this means taking actionable steps towards acquiring skills that can secure your financial future.

Whether it’s coding, public speaking, sales tactics, or writing, the goal is to master an income-generating skill. Here’s a quote from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus that serves as the perfect reminder:

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

What do you want to be? A successful entrepreneur, writer, teacher, or developer? It’s all about learning the income-generating skills that help you to become the best.

Just must have a desire to be GREAT at what you do. And when you’re great, you generally get paid more.

But it’s not just about the financial rewards. When you consistently do great work, you also feel better. You will get more inner satisfaction when you see that your work matters.

Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning and strive to be the best in your chosen field.

3. Don’t try to be cool

Do you have “cool syndrome”? I think 99% of the population has it. I used to have it too, and sometimes I still get preoccupied by it.

It’s when you try hard to be cool. Even the most successful people have this syndrome. Think of Mark Zuckerberg doing MMA, Jeff Bezos showing off his biceps, and Elon Musk behaving like a rockstar.

In our lives, cool syndrome comes up when we try to show off something. Maybe it’s six-pack abs, a new car, or a fancy vacation. Admit it, we all do it.

Just stop it!

No one really cares anyway. Do things for yourself. Forget about status symbols.

Financial resilience requires a detachment from materialism, and an understanding that true value lies not in external validation but in internal contentment and freedom.

By focusing on what truly matters, you can save significantly and invest in your future rather than fleeting pleasures.

4. Get used to NOT spending all the money you earn

Yes, you deserve the money you earn. And you’re free to spend it wherever you like.

Just remember that spending affects your freedom. If you spend most of your income on consumer goods and services, you’ll likely get trapped in a cycle of constantly wanting more things.

As a result, you feel pressured to keep a job you hate just to pay the bills or not pursue your dream job because you’re too scared of giving up a comfortable lifestyle.

The Stoics believed in living a life of simplicity and self-discipline. Zeno of Citium once said:

“The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.”

This means living within your means and not being controlled by material possessions.

Think about what truly brings you joy and fulfillment, and focus your spending on those things. This could be experiences, relationships, or investing in personal growth.

Remember, money is just a tool to support the life you want to live. Don’t let it dictate your happiness or sense of freedom.

Create a sustainable financial and investing strategy. And stick to it.

5. Invest in your future

Financial resilience is not just about saving; it’s about growing your wealth. It’s cliche, but we will never really be wealthy until we can make money in our sleep.

We all need to reach the point where we no longer work for money, and our money works for us instead. That’s the power of compound interest and investing.

Whether it’s stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investment vehicles, the key is to learn about the most fitting financial strategy for your income and lifestyle. And then stick to that. Invest in yourself and your future.

A disciplined mind helps you to manage your emotions when it comes to your finances.

This is why Stoicism is so important. It teaches us the value of self-control, rationality, and the pursuit of virtue—qualities that are important to managing our finances responsibly and honorably.

Get $500+ worth of free bonuses when you order The Stoic Path to Wealth

My new book on investing and wealth-building, The Stoic Path to Wealth, is out now.

If you order the book now, you will instantly get access to the following free bonuses.

Learn more here: stoicpathtowealth.com

Read Next: