One of the most critical insights to create a financially free life you love is to spend less
A few years ago, I attended a top producer meeting at one of the nicest hotels in Boston, Massachusetts. Everything about the experience, from the service to the decorations, was impeccable! While I have been blessed to stay at some of the finest hotels throughout the world, this hotel made my A-list. And it was the last place I would expect to get a message to spend less!
After a night out with the group who qualified for the trip, I returned to find my linens turned down and a piece of Godiva® chocolate with a “Life Secret” message on my pillow.
The message said, “To live a happy life, spend less.” I had to laugh.
The cost per night for this room was more than most people’s mortgage payment! Even though I wasn’t paying for my room, most of the guests were. I wondered what the reaction of other guests’ was when they read the “Spend Less” message. While I agreed with the message, I was blown away that a hotel of this caliber would share such a message. I couldn’t help but wonder if the person providing the “Life Secrets” messages to their guests had read them. Had the message been “build wealth” I wouldn’t have been so surprised.
Living a Happy Life
Not only is the “Spend Less” advice essential to living a happy life, but it is also a critical millionaire insider secret to creating a financially free life you love. To “Spend Less,” you must first figure out what you spend your money on.
A few years ago, a local television station selected me as the financial expert to assist two households near financial ruin. One household was a family and the other was a single woman living alone. In both cases, the primary problem was that the households needed to spend less. While both households thought they needed to earn more income, neither had any idea which expenses were necessities (needs) and which were desires (wants).
Purchases that are necessities may include – your mortgage, utilities, gas, food, etc.
Purchases fueled by desires are items such as – a big screen television, fancy rims for a car, exciting vacations, etc.
One helpful insight to “spending less” is to remember that we do not need to own more stuff to be happy. A new purse or suit is not the secret to happiness. You may be saying, “what?” But, most people want the “rush” that comes when they spend money. Often, it is an emotion such as happiness or peace of mind, i.e., if you had more income, you would be happier.
But the reality is that this is simply a belief-not reality. The reality is that you can be happy in your current home or without that fancy purse. While the initial dopamine rush will give you a short-term high, the long-term ramifications of overspending and not saving can be devastating. This can show up as depression, anger, and worry (do you really believe people’s retirement goal is to be a Walmart greeter?)
Early in my career, a mentor shared, “People who shop in the malls have holes in their souls.” Her meaning was that when people need to buy things to be happy, they cover up a void in their life. Because something is missing, they are trying to fill it. For example, some people do drugs and drink excessively to fill a void. While buying a new suit may make us feel good for a brief period, the long-term effect wreaks havoc on our financial future.
Make a list of your monthly expenses. Once your list is complete, review each item individually. Are you spending more money on necessities or desires? Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your spending habits and determining where you are allocating your funds.
If you need help budgeting your money, start here: