A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance
A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance
For most of my life, I wasn't very good with money I made it and I spent it. The money came in and out and since nearly eight out of ten people live paycheck to paycheck, I'm guessing that's something that you can relate to as well. After four years of college, I left with a degree in economics and couple hundred thousand shillings in student loan debt. Then I bought a brand new car; I told you I wasn't very good with money. I had very quickly dug myself into a hole so deep it didn't even seem possible that I'd ever get out. The crazy part all that debt wasn't stopping me from spending. After I got the new car, I added a new TV, Computer and even a leather jacket to my running tab.
Soon after college, though,I came to the realization that I needed to make a change. I couldn't just pretend like I wasn't in massive trouble. It was one of the most challenging things that I've ever done in my entire life. Over the course of 4 years, I was able to pay off every single student loan, even that car payment, and that's what I want to talk about today, money,Our problems with it, and how minimalism has helped me.
There's a basic formula to win at personal finance and, it is this, spend less money than you make. In practice though, it is not that easy. Money seems to completely slip through our fingers. No matter how much money we make our bank account seems to have a completely different agenda. One of the reasons that we're bad with money is because money is taboo. We can't even talk about it with coworkers, with family members without people feeling judged or downright offended.
We can only improve if we start to have honest conversations about money. We need to remove our egos and actually try to learn. One of the best ways that I've found, to learn about personal finance is through books and I'll give three recommendations, Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, Ramita Sadie's I will teach to be rich and Tony Robbins Unshakable. All three of these books lay out great advice trusted advice that has worked and I think that you'll find a lot of value from them.
Don't fall into the trap of lifestyle creep. Whenever we get a pay raise or we start to make a little bit more money, we land a really big project, the first thing that we want to do is Upgrade our apartment, buy a better car; increase our lifestyle. So then that way we're in some way rewarding this win. But, if we were instead to be more mindful about our spending, if we were to keep our lifestyle in check and not inflate it as our income rises, 5, 10 years down the road we're gonna be able to live a lot more comfortably and we're gonna have so much more security than if we continue to increase our Lifestyle every year.
Let's be honest; we buy a ton of shit and we convince ourselves in a lot of sneaky ways why we deserve it. I mean; I like shopping Is there anything so wrong with that? not all advertising is bad but a lot of it is Driven to make us feel as if we deserve the indulgence; you've worked so hard you deserve this handbag these sneakers or this watch. And The truth of the matter is that what you deserve is to be debt-free?
You deserve not living paycheck to paycheck; we face pressure from social media keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians is a very real thing. And if we're not curating and mindful of our news feeds and our social media feeds it can be very tempting to want to keep up and have the things that everybody else have; otherwise, we'll have the fear of missing out. But here's the thing, rich people are rich because they make smart decisions with their money, they don't go out and lease a brand new BMW; They don't rent an apartment that they can't afford.
And the last type of pressure that we face is pressure from ourselves. There's this thing called the myth of 'I don't have'. And it's something that we tell ourselves to convince us that we need to go out and buy that thing. So as a filmmaker, you might say, I really want to make that film or that video but I don't have this lens or I don't have this camera so I can't do it. Or I can't go out for that run or that jog, I can't start my new workout routine because I don't have that pair of sneakers. But really the only thing that's doing is procrastinating us from getting started with our goals and our dreams and it's convincing us that buying that extra thing is gonna solve everything which it won't. You need to make sacrifices; when I graduated college, within 3 months I decided to move home with my parents and I lived in my parents’ basement, literally in the basement, for two years. I didn't date much didn't spend much I didn't go out much because I knew that I had to make some sacrifices to get to a point when I could start to take risks. You have to be completely clear with why you're doing this in the first place. Why do you want to be debt-free? Why do you want to have Financial freedom? when we truly understand why we don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck? Why we would want to be debt-free? Everything else comes a little bit easier.
When we think about having the security and safety, being able to take care of our family and our friends if they run into trouble it becomes more obvious why this is so important. You're able then to take more risks, to challenge yourself, push yourself outside of your comfort zone in ways that you otherwise wouldn't be able to. I know for myself if I wasn't debt-free, I Wouldn't be where I am today. If I didn't take in that first step and realize that I had a problem
I wouldn't have been able to take pretty ambitious and risky decisions to move across the country to leave my business and start a complete new one. These aren't easy decisions and when you have debt it's gonna be that much more difficult and that less likely that you're gonna succeed. The strategy couldn't be more simple; spend less money than you make, but as you know we face a lot of pressure to do the exact opposite. If you can out-maneuver these forces, if you can build a healthy relationship with money, and create positive habits that stick, you will be able to become financially free.