I’m going to be honest with you: I’ve never been the money-saving type of guy.
Money was just a way to get more stuff and things i liked.
I started working after school-hours when i was sixteen because i wanted a scooter.
(which was awesome by the way)
After i got it, i felt awesome, finally something i bought with my own money! YAY!.
It felt so great, i wanted to experience that shot of dopamine again and again.
-Insert buying frenzy here-
It took 10 full years to realise that buying stuff wasn’t making me really happy.
Buying things was the only way to feel ‘happy’ and content. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not a pessimist nor depressed. But every time i bought something, it gave a little ‘extra’.
Scientists have actually determined a link between ‘buying’ things and dopamine, the drug-like hormone that triggers ‘happiness’ in our brain. Read more on it here.
Our whole Consumerism-economy is based on this principle of buying = happiness.
Be sure to check out the documentary ‘minimalism’ on Netflix, it’s awesome!
Now don’t gt me wrong, i like buying things just like everybody else. But it has to be intentional, i need to need it.
I can almost hear you say; “But Mr MF, i really need the latest iPhone!”, let me ask you; how many hours do you need to work to save up the money for that phone? Not just your take-home pay, but your actual money that you can save every month?
Secondly; could your current phone hang on for another year? Why do you really want it? Would it provide real value to your life? Or do you just ‘want’ it?
Thirdly; if you buy that phone, what are you giving up in return? I’ve seen multiple people in my office giving up their pension saving plans to buy consumer items that would provide short-term value. Effectively prolonging their working time by years.
If you -after reading that and thinking about it- don’t want to buy that iPhone anymore, you’ve just resisted one of the most hard-wired concepts in our brain: impulse.
That’s what Financial Independence is about for me; resisting the impulse to buy stuff I don’t really need. Live intentionally and look for real value in my assets.
Stay tuned, more awesome bits are coming!