Wise & Wealthy: Seneca’s life lessons and guilt-free spending

Welcome to Wise & Wealthy: A weekly newsletter full of proven ideas to become smarter and wealthier. I send this every Monday.

#100 – December 4, 2023

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Wise: Life lessons from Seneca

Seneca was a Stoic philosopher who lived in Ancient Rome from 4 B.C.E. to 65 C.E. While his ideas are 2000 years old, they are now more relevant than ever. Here are five of his ideas.

  1. Detach your self-worth from your material success: “If you’re not rich you’re worthless” is the thinking that limits many people. Avoid that trap and you’ll be happier.
  2. Strive for financial independence (but not at all cost): There’s nothing wrong with acquiring wealth. Just ensure it doesn’t come at the cost of your beliefs and character.
  3. Make an impact on others: The more value you provide to others, the more successful you become (and the better you’ll feel).
  4. Be content with what you have: Happiness doesn’t come from always wanting more, but from appreciating what we already have.
  5. Value your time more than your possessions: Out time is one of our most finite resources. Don’t waste it.

Seneca was highly focused on the inner world. The outer world often comprises what other people say, think, and do. But those things aren’t important to the Stoic.

Read more on each lesson in my latest article.

↳ Five Timeless Life Lessons from Seneca

Wealthy: Guilt-free spending

When can you buy a nice car, a month-long vacation, or even a dinner at a top-tier restaurant — while being guilt-free about the expense?

I think it’s best to look at it from a milestone perspective. For example: I only bought a luxury car after buying a house, owning a rental property, and having a high six-figure stock portfolio.

You can use this milestone-setting mindset to buy “something nice” guilt-free.

  • Level 1: The emergency fund — Unless you earn a high income, building a sizeable emergency fund takes time. So do it in small increments. Like allowing yourself an inexpensive weekend drive to the beach after saving a month’s worth of expenses. Or buying that week-long cruise trip only when your emergency fund can support you for 6 months.
  • Level 2: The intangibles of a secure, happy life — Dragging yourself to work every day just to afford an expensive vacation is not the best way to live. There are important, intangible things that can take our time and attention away from making more money. Things like being in a well-earning career you enjoy, or having a reliable professional network.

Remember: To be financially free, you don’t have to deprive yourself. If you want to travel a lot or drive a fancy car, you can do it at some point. Just make sure you build a good financial foundation.

↳ When Can You Buy “Something Nice” Guilt-Free?

One interesting thing

A recently published study on 12,526 corporate employees (aged 21-69) looked into the connection between 11 lifestyle habits (including smoking, exercise, diet, alcohol consumption, and sleep) and work performance.1Source: Science Daily

The study found that not getting enough sleep was the biggest factor affecting work performance for both men and women.

To improve your performance, always start with improving your sleep.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this edition of Wise & Wealthy useful.

All the best,


Join the 5-day Financial Freedom Challenge

I created a 5-day email course you can do alone or together with a group. It’s called the Financial Freedom Challenge. And it will help you to gain control over your finances.

Most people try to calculate their way out of poor finances. But money problems aren’t rational. They’re emotional. Manage your emotions well, and you’ll manage your finances better.

Financial Freedom Challenge

How to Unlock the Financial Freedom Challenge

You can join the challenge for free. For five days, you’ll receive a short email with a small challenge that inspires you to improve your relationship with money.

I highly recommend sharing it with your friends/family so you can go through the program together. It helps bring perspective. And it’s more fun that way too.

Join here for free: dariusforoux.com/financial-freedom

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