I’m 36 now. Ten years ago, I started to make a little bit of money – and when I say a little bit, I really mean small sums.
I launched a business at the age of 24 after finishing grad school. For the first two years, I hardly made any money. So I moved back in with my parents and invested all my profits back into the business.
After about two years, I was finally able to pay myself. At first, I paid myself around €1400 a month, just enough to rent an apartment and live modestly. Gradually, my income increased, and now I have a seven-figure net worth.
That’s because I was lucky to learn a few money lessons early in life. Sure, I wish I learned these things when I was even younger.
But it’s never too late to change your financial habits. Here are 10 things about money that have changed my life.
- No BS Spending: Frugality was key for me from the get-go. I avoided excessive spending on items meant to impress others: clothes, jewelry, cars, vacations, etc. Instead, I focused on spending money on things with practical value.
- Saving Regularly: I made a habit of setting aside a portion of my income every month, ensuring I had a safety net and resources for future investments.
- Simple Living: Embracing a minimalist lifestyle helped me prioritize my needs and wants, allowing me to save more and reduce financial stress.
- Investing in Yourself: I invested time and money in personal growth, education, and skill development, which ultimately paid off in better career opportunities and financial stability.
- Pay Off Debts Quickly: I cleared my student debt by the time I was 30, six years after graduation. While I could’ve done it faster, this timeline worked for me as I wanted to be debt-free before buying a house.
- Hiring an Accountant: A good accountant can help you take advantage of tax breaks, investment opportunities, government benefits, and employer retirement plans.
- Planning for the Future: Setting financial goals and creating a plan to achieve them helped me stay focused and motivated in the long run.
- Investing in Assets: I invested in stocks early and bought two rental properties, which have contributed significantly to my net worth. The path to wealth always includes owning assets.
- Rich Feeling Is More Important: Living below your means gives you a sense of wealth, regardless of your actual income. Spend less, and you’ll feel richer.
- Not Taking Money Too Seriously: It’s crucial not to let money consume your entire world. Find balance in your life. If you lose money, shrug it off and learn. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
One of the first famous comedians in America, Groucho Marx, said the funniest and truest thing about money:
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.”
Life is hard, whether you have a lot of money or not. The good thing about having money is that you can live on your own terms.
If you find yourself thinking, “Who wants to be so careful with money? I’d rather spend it all today and enjoy myself,” remember that every time you make that choice, you are giving up some of your freedom.
Money grants you independence. It doesn’t guarantee happiness or an easy life, but it does provide you with the resources and flexibility to navigate life’s challenges more effectively.
When you’re financially secure, you can make choices that align with your values and priorities, which leads to a more fulfilling life.