Photographer and blogger Eric Kim describes how changing attitudes toward money helped him achieve financial stability. Now he owns his own business and lives from hand to mouth no longer. He has not become a millionaire, but he has reached a level where you do not need to constantly think about finances. Kim shares tips that he would give to himself at 18. Perhaps they will come in handy for you.
If you need to convince yourself to buy something, don’t buy it
One of the main financial mistakes is to buy things unnecessarily. We often do this: we buy new clothes, a phone or a computer, just to keep up with others and feel fashionable. But we do not need most of these things. When something is really necessary, you understand it right away. If you have to convince yourself before buying, do not take this thing.
Never by “version 1.0” of anything
When you see a new model of a car, camera or smartphone, do not rush to buy them. Wait for the next version: there will be no problems or shortcomings that the first versions has. You will protect yourself from excess headache.
Don’t skimp on things which bring you joy
Money can buy happiness if you spend it on impressions and things that matter to you. If they delight, inspire and motivate — these are necessary investments in your well-being.
The pleasure of things lasts shorter than the experience.
In just two weeks, we get used to new things and stop noticing them. Impressions please us much longer. You can mentally relive them again. In addition, they help us grow and develop new skills.
Earn more, spend less
After salaries being raised many people start spending more. They buy an expensive car, travel more often and eat in a cafe. As a result, they do not become richer, but remain at about the same level of well-being. But if you earn more and spend less, free money will remain. It can be put on the account or invested.
Think about how you could earn more: take additional responsibilities at your current job, find a part-time job, engage in freelance work. Then think about how to spend less. For example, cook at home and go to cafes less often. Spend less on clothes. Sell your car and use public transport.
Never go into debt
No matter how rich you are, if you have debts, you are a slave to the banking system. To pay them and maintain the necessary standard of living, you have to work. Perhaps you have a job you don’t like.
Therefore, never borrow. If you are considering opening your own business or creating some kind of project, but for this you need to get into debt — postpone this venture. Start only when you can pay all the expenses yourself. So you risk less. And yet the lack of funds forces us to seek a creative approach to problems.
Learn not to desire more than you have
Being rich does not mean having everything you can. True wealth is when you do not need anything other than what you already have.
We feel that we are missing something when we compare ourselves to people richer than us. Instead, compare yourself to those who are poorer. Then your current lifestyle will seem sufficient to you.
Don’t live in a consumerist environment
The only way to escape spending so much money on “keeping up with the Joneses” or wasting money on stuff you don’t need is to change your environment.
Know that your environment affects your consumerist tendencies more so than you’d like to. Nobody is immune to it. If you really want to spend less money, live more humbly, and simply — the best advice is to change your environment. That might mean moving away from where you live, to a simpler city, neighborhood, or environment.
Of course you don’t always have the control to change your environment— but change your lifestyle in subtle ways. Avoid going to the mall, shopping areas, or any place that might excite any of your cravings to buy stuff.