Money on my mind

We watch Hollywood movies, read glossy magazines and think, we know all about how good it is to be rich. But to be honest, people have a lot of misconceptions about money. I’d like to share some of mine, that in the last 10 years, I’ve discovered and re-evaluated.

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I’ve been doing some money management courses recently and started consciously analyzing what I spend my money on, what results those investments (or whims) give me and also why I spent the money in those particular areas.  It’s been really eye-opening. I’ve discovered that the investments I made in some self-development courses or my company, is the spending that actually brought me satisfaction and a more lasting feeling of happiness, while all the whims, often in shape of expensive clothes, bags, etc. were mostly inspired by my own misconceptions about money. That’s why today I’d like to share some of them with you. Maybe you’ll have some AHA moments as well 🙂

1. When I have more money, I’ll be happier –  When I was a broke student at uni, having just enough money to buy some food and pay my rent, I kept thinking that once I have a good job & start earning a steady income all my problems will be over and I’ll have a happy life. Ha, I guess I’m not the only one who was thinking this, and how wrong was I! Yes, it was good to have money and not to worry about making the ends meet. But once I was past the first few months of ‘having enough money’, I realized that actually my needs have increased. And the things I wanted were more expensive, so I actually still didn’t have enough money… And it was like vicious circle because the harder I worked and the more money I got the more I needed.

Now I know that there is NO difference, in terms of wealth, whether you earn £200 p/m and spend it all (so at the end of the month you have £0 in your bank account), or if you earn £20,000 p/m and spend it all (so at the end of the month you have £0 in your bank account).  More money, if you actually save some of them, gives a feeling of stability, but if you end up sending them all, especially on the whims, you definitely won’t be happier long-term!

2. Rich people drive fancy cars & wear expensive clothes – Well, that’s what all the TV programs show, right? It must be true. The media machine makes us believe that once we have this designer bag or some super expensive cosmetics, we’ll be special, we’ll be like all the rich people. And we want to be special, we want to be rich, so we buy it all, often with our credit cards. But how surprised was I, when I actually met some millionaires in person! I discovered that most of them, well those with their heads screwed on right, have money, an impressive portfolio of assets and comfortable houses or working spaces but rarely did they have mansions, butlers, Bentley’s or wardrobes full of designer clothes. (I haven’t met any billionaires yet ;))  They actually live comfortable lives, have all they need but on a daily basis are quite frugal and, most of all, always know how much money they have what are they spending those money on! And they choose to buy things that will help them to multiply their money, rather than expensive toys which are just liabilities.

3. I have to work very hard, to earn good money – Maybe it’s my up bringing or the Polish society that I grew up in but I’ve always believed that in order to have money I have to work very hard. What’s more, I was full of myself enough to judge other people who didn’t try so hard, who achieved things the easy way… I thought this was dishonest and wrong. But actually I was wrong. Yes, sometimes you do have to work hard & you have to be persistent but you don’t have to work hard all the time!

When I became a manager, I realized that only approx. 20% of the work has to be done perfectly, the rest just needs to get done. I didn’t appreciate people spending too much time on tasks that in grand scale of things were not that important. I’ve also understood that I’ve been doing the same before. Done is better than perfect & perspective is the key.  There is no point in sweating over the small stuff because in big picture they don’t matter that much. There are some standards that I follow, there are things that I always pay a lot of attention to but not EVERYTHING has to be done this way. Once I’ve discovered that, I understood that the more conscious I decide where to spend my money and my energy, the better results I get. As simple as that.

And the best, long-lasting results I get, is when I invest in my self-development. Language course, traveling (not 5* hotels but good, smart deals), time spend with like-minded people, personal development courses, coaching, books, workshops. These are the investments that I’m making currently. Am I happier? Definitely. Is it because I have more money? No! It’s because I manage my money better.

Find an hour this week to have a look where you spend the most of your energy & money, have a look at your financial situation. Look at your beliefs around money. It really pays off to stop and think about it all. If you feel you might do better with you money management, start asking questions, learning, find someone who can help you… Money is important. Don’t be afraid make some conscious, not impulsive, decisions. They might actually change your life for the better!

[Photo by Vitaly]

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