🌼4 Stoic Habits That Will Help You Save More And Build True Wealth (MONEY MAKER)
#Use today’s income to make life easier for your future self.
Stoicism is one of the most practical philosophies for daily life.
There’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained from the minds of some of the greatest Stoics like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus.
But Stoic wisdom isn’t just useful to live a better life, it can also help you save more money and build your wealth.
Read also: 8 tips on how to manage your finances
#Prepare During The Good Times
When times are good — your business is thriving, you’re making good money, you’ve received a financial windfall — you need to prepare for more challenging times.
As Seneca once said, “It is when times are good that you should gird yourself for tougher times ahead, for when Fortune is kind the soul can build defenses against her ravages.”
Life is cyclical. Some of its seasons are great, while other seasons are much more difficult.
When you’re in a great season of life, however, it feels like it will never end. That’s why most people spend as if the good times won’t ever end.
But reality is, you never know what the future holds in store for you:
You might get laid off
You might need to pay for a medical emergency
A global disaster (like the pandemic) could hit us again
The economy could spiral down (like it’s doing now)
When you’re in a financially great season, don’t waste your money on stupid stuff. Don’t spend as if there’s no tomorrow.
Instead, think like a Stoic. Use the harvest of a great season to prepare for a bad season.
Put some of that cash towards an emergency fund. Put it towards your retirement fund. Use it to pay off your debt.
#Use today’s income to make life easier for your future self.
Life can be unpredictable, so you need to build a financial fortress during the most profitable seasons that protects against life’s most challenging seasons.
#Focus On What’s Truly Essential
Most people major in minor things. They let the most trivial things distract them from what’s truly essential.
As Marcus Aurelius once said, “You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.”
To paraphrase the advice of personal finance expert Ramit Sethi, you need to focus more on $30,000 questions, not $3 questions.
Examples of $3 questions are:
Should I make my coffee at home or get it at Starbucks?
Should I buy organic tomatoes or non-organic?
Should I cancel Netflix now that it’s a few dollars more expensive?
Should I get this appetizer or not?
I have $10,000 in savings, should I switch banks with a 0.10% higher interest rate? (only makes a $10 difference per year)
These tiny expenses have almost no impact on your personal finances — yet it’s what people focus on the most.
If you want to improve your finances, your time is much better spent on $30,000 questions:
Can I earn more by negotiating a raise or switching jobs?
Should I start a side-hustle so I can make an extra $1000 per month?
Do I invest consistently and automatically?
How much am I paying in investment fees?
What’s the interest rate on this 30-year mortgage?
Do I have a plan to pay off my debt?
These financial decisions truly move the needle, so they are worth spending your time on.
Yet, most people ignore or avoid these questions because they are more difficult questions to ask.
“Most of us are obsessed with $3 questions, but we really should be asking $30,000 questions. Get those right and you will never have to worry about how much it costs to buy coffee or an appetizer.” — Ramit Sethi
We only have so much time, energy, and decision-making power to spend on our finances, so don’t let $3 questions distract you.
As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Focus on the big financial decisions such as increasing your income, investing early and consistently, minimizing investment fees, and paying off your debt.
Read also: 6 secrets to being more productive each day
#Avoid Ego Traps
As Epictetus said, “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
Consumer culture wants you to believe you need more stuff, better stuff, and more expensive stuff to feel happy and confident.
They have a financial incentive to make you believe that:
You won’t be accepted by the tech crowd if you don’t have the latest iPhone
You don’t belong with the cool kids if you don’t wear designer clothes
You’re lower in social status if you drive a cheaper car than your neighbor
Most people fall for these ‘ego’ traps.
They end up spending so much money trying to look rich that they don’t have enough left to actually become rich.
You become rich by investing in assets that make you more money in the future. This is how you achieve financial freedom.
But you’ll never achieve financial freedom when you play status games, fall into the consumer trap, and let your ego dictate your spending.
As Morgan Housel said in The Psychology of Money, “Savings can be created by spending less. You can spend less if you desire less. And you will desire less if you care less about what others think of you.”
Less ego, more wealth.
#Focus On What You Can Control
Marcus Aurelius said, “You have power over your mind — not external events. Realize this and you will have strength.”
When you focus on what’s within your control, you gain power. You take ownership. You improve.
When you focus on events outside your control, you lose power. You start blaming others. You won’t move forward.
For example, if you’re in a difficult financial place, don’t blame the economy, your boss, or politicians. Instead, focus your resources on what’s within your direct control:
Learn high-income skills
Look for a better job
Start a side-hustle
Minimize your spending
Make a budget
Learn about investing
Read books about money
Don’t get me wrong, the economy might suck. Your boss might not pay you enough. Politicians might make decisions you don’t agree with.
And yes, they have an effect on your life.
But when you start obsessing over these external things, you’re giving your power away. You’ll stay stuck in a place of financial difficulty.
If you want to make a change, follow what the Stoics did; take ownership of your life and focus on everything you can control.
Build better habits. Learn new skills. Improve your mindset.
This is the only way to move forward in your (financial) life.
CONTRIBUTED BY Jari Roomer
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