This past weekend the iron went out. It was a pretty high quality iron, one of those that cost more than $100. This was an unplanned expense that would require me to either buy a new, similar quality iron, OR, pay for a less expensive $20 iron.
My thoughts on this dilemma triggered a light bulb. One that I want to explain to those “you gotta live” or “I don’t want to deprive myself” folks.
Frugality isn’t about depriving yourself, frugality is about rewarding yourself. There is nothing more rewarding that keeping the hard earned money that you worked for, stashing it and then deploying it into a larger opportunity that can bring you back even more money.
When I speak on frugality and not spending people all of a sudden assume that it is some punishment. Why is that though? Why do we tie spending money and giving money away as a reward? Why is it rewarding to make other communities wealthy? The only explanation is marketing and branding. We find more value in what we put on our bodies that shows we made it or that we are successful. Not being able to take that trip or buy that bag seems like deprivation to the person that finds their worth in bragging about accomplishing one or both.
To me, I find value in my financial statement. You think I am not happy because I don’t go to Hawaii, I like knowing I can take any trip I want, as I slide that trip or concert money on over to the brokerage account. In ten years, you will live like they never could, passively. “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else”.
Frugality is not depriving yourself, frugality is rewarding yourself. Instead of chasing the stuff you get to chase down your freedom. Instead of building your life around spending, and minimum payments, instead build a life that elevates you, your immediate family and your heirs. I was listening to Gary V and he made the point that immigrants win because they come to America, work hard for 10 years and they don’t spend their money on dumb stuff. Then they buy a liquor store or a dry cleaners or a restaurant. Meanwhile we are over here with our expensive stuff complaining that immigrants get free loans or tax credits, NO they just did the work you were unwilling to do.
Immigrants live like they don’t have money so they can keep their money. Frugality is about keeping your money. If you don’t keep your money you can’t accumulate money and if you don’t accumulate money you can’t get enough money to buy something that will change your life. Its not frugality for the sake of frugality its frugality for the sake of stashing enough money to go on offense for the big play!
The difference between that $20 iron and the $100 is $80 kept, saved, stashed. This multiplied by other purchases like purses, shoes, watches, dinners all adds up to a life of wealth. Instead of choosing Rolex, choose yourself. Instead of choosing Louis Vuitton, choose yourself. Go with the functional alternative, pocket the rest, stash it and deploy it then live the life you want to live.
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Be great and invest well!