Your financial rules can kiss my ass. Actually, all boring financial rules can kiss my ass!
In case you didn’t realize over the last year or so, I’m sick of boring financial rules.
I just want you to be financially free. I want you to be financially free by 30 to be specific. I want you to pay off your debt, save lots of money, find a job that you enjoy, party, and never miss out. I don’t want you to be “financially literate” or to study the stock market all day. Finance is only boring in school. Not on Studenomics my friend.
I recently had a little revelation.
I went to drink a coffee the other day in Buenos Aires, but I didn’t have one because I realized that I woke up at 4pm. Oops!
It happens to the best of us. We drink all night and then stay up late, only to wake up the next evening!
The truth is that every day doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to fill up your schedule with activities to feel important. You don’t have to be “productive” 24/7 to get ahead. You don’t have to always brag about how busy your schedule is.
A few weeks earlier I had sold my rental property and made some decent money. I could afford to travel and do what I want.
I actually have read some articles recently that have really opened my eyes up about financial freedom and the whole idea of getting ahead. We’re going to look at a few articles and completely change how you see the road to financial freedom (hint: it’s not all boring!).
What are two simple hacks that make the road to financial freedom smooth as hell? You’re in luck. Today I’m going to share two little tricks that make saving tons of money super easy and idiot-proof! These are the tricks that your stupid friends will never figure out.
Trick #1 : Work when it matters most. Don’t force yourself to work.
Do you work all day every single day? Are you always working?
It’s cool if you do. There’s nothing wrong with following your passions and being busy. It sure beats playing video games all day.
However, have you ever thoughts about the regrets of the dying? Have you ever wondered about what really matters to you now and what will matter in the future? This article in The Guardian discusses the top five regrets of the dying.
The two regrets that stuck out to me are:
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
That second point really struck a chord with me. So I had to share the follow up…
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.”
Sad, but true. How do you chase dreams when you’re so busy with everything else? How do you stay in touch with old friends and meet new friends when you’re too busy to even respond to a simple text?
This ties into to another interesting piece from the NY Times on the busy trap.
“It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.”
Ouch. That was pretty damn eye opening. I’m totally guilty here. Too often do I try to find things to do just to feel busy and important.
Kreider concludes the article with:
“I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy.”
You get it? Stop trying to be so damn busy.
Wait a minute Martin — are you telling me to slack off and play video games?
NOT AT ALL. I’m actually against wasting time. We looked at this when we discussed the party ending. I’m all for getting work done, making money, and moving ahead.
So how can you get things done without always being so damn busy?
Tim Ferriss said it best:
“It doesn’t take much to seem superhuman and appear “successful” to nearly everyone around you. In fact, you just need one rule: What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.”
Damn. Powerful life-changing stuff right there. Ferriss has certainly changed how I approach work and getting things done.
So what’s the main point from this trick?
Stop pretending to be so damn busy. Stop filling up your days with things to do so that you feel important. Do the works that matters. Work when it matters most. Get the real work done.
I have posted the following in my room:
“Are you inventing things to avoid doing the important?”
I look at this whenever I find myself slacking off (far too often). It reminds me that I’m simply loitering.
How does this apply to saving tons of money?
Focus on the activities that generate you the most money or could generate the most money in the future. For example:
Be better at your current job. Earn further credentials if needed. Get a graduate degree. Network. Work your way up.
Go back to school. If your job sucks, you might just flat out have to upgrade your skills.
Start freelancing. If you have free time you can use it to start freelancing or making money. Sure as hell beats stalking girls on Facebook.
Time for the next trick…
Trick #2: Never ever rely on your will-power to save money or to get anything done.
Here’s a newsflash for you : your willpower sucks!
I take my training and eating seriously, yet I just ate a bag of Doritos because it was right there.
We need to stop relying on willpower and false promises that we make to ourselves.
I’m not here to bash resolutions because that’s played out. I just want you to think about why so many of your friends set goals (get out of debt, start a business, or get better at dating) and yet when you see them down the road in six months you find out that nothing has happened.
They didn’t have the will-power nor did they take any small steps in the right direction.
For the next little bit I’m going to refer to this article about BJ Fogg and his theories on behavioral design.
“You want to aim top right (high motivation, easy to do, a trigger in place). If you have high motivation and low ability (difficult to do), what you’ll get is frustration. If it’s low motivation, but easy to do (e.g. take out the trash), you get annoyance.”
To elaborate further, BJ Fogg said it best when it comes to changing behavior in the long-term and reaching goals:
“Option A. Have an epiphany.
Option B. Change your environment (what surrounds you).
Option C. Take baby steps.”
Which will happen to you? I honestly have no clue. We all have epiphanies. We just rarely do anything about them. Very few of us do much to change our current environment (stop hanging out with toxic people). We all never want to take baby steps.
Since you are here, I already know what you want to do. You want to (all or at lease one of the following):
- Travel finally.
- Pay off debt.
- Save more money.
- Get better with your money for once.
What are the main points from this trick?
Make your goals as easy as possible to accomplish. Create baby steps. Use systems against yourself. Don’t make false promises to yourself. Take small steps in the right direction. Saving $20 a week beats saving nothing.
How does this apply to saving lots of money? Two easy ways:
- Pay yourself first. My go-to tip. Make saving money as easy as possible. Get your employer or bank to take the money off your check.
- Leave money for the fun stuff. Always leave money to go out. You’ll snap if you don’t have some fun.
These are tricks that some of your stupid friends will never know of. You can share them, but chances are that they wouldn’t do anything about it. So do your best to apply these tricks to your own life. Wait it out and see how much money you have in your bank account by the end of the year. You’re welcome.
Cheers to your freedom.
“Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” — Samuel Butler
4 thoughts on “Two Simple Tricks For Saving Huge Money That Your Stupid Friends Will Never Know”
Martin, thanks for sharing deeper thought into those sayings we often hear. I share with you the angst of doing ANYTHING to avoid what I really need to do. A reminder sign like yours would visually remind me to get back to work when it really is time to focus. Thanks for your blog.
The reminder is excellent. Too often do I find myself wasting time and doing pointless things.
‘Well behaved Women seldom make history’ – Laurel Thatcher
As you know I’m a very bad, saucy lady. My husband and I both have high paying professional jobs…Psych Nurse (Crazy Right?). We adhere to what you are saying here and Thank You for your article. We are disciplined in lifestyle, I paint for ‘pleasure’ and my husband gardens for fun.. laughter is our ‘alcohol’. Travel for us is when my husband goes over seas and the company pays! Great ways to save!
Thanks for the comment. I love that quote. And laughter is key. Don’t know what I would do without it!