So the way I decide on my blogs is usually to find questions that keep coming up in conversations I have with people. Sometimes it’s by observing behaviour over and over again. Otherwise, I’m just feeling like a bit of a troll.
Today I’m going to be looking at how you can get yourself broke, and stay there. I’ll let you decide what kind of mood I’m in today.
Let’s start with a nice simple one. If you want to go broke, then you should spend more money than you have coming in. There aren’t many things in life that are guaranteed, but this is one of them.
Now this could be a problem of not earning enough, or just spending too much. But more likely it’s a combination of both.
Your best bet is probably to work at this problem from both ends as well. Start earning more and start spending less. Whichever is easiest for you, do that first. Then work on the other one!
That whole ‘keeping up with the Jones’ we kind of laugh at… but it’s a thing. Whether it’s going round for round with someone at the bar, or if you’re dating someone who expects that 5 star michelin restaurant every time.. It’s the same thing.
As men, we’re programmed to try and show off. It’s how we think we’ll be able to prove we’re better than other men and hopefully that’ll lead women to want to procreate with us.
If you look at instagram, it appears to be working too.
Have a personality. If the only reason you’re friends with someone is because they have nice things and you can ride on their coat tails, you’re a leach. And that’s not good.
If the only way you can get partners interested in you is by spending excessively and ostentatiously, then you’re attracting shallow, vacuous people.
Instead, try having a personality. It doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with or date the same people, but now you don’t have to try and keep up with them. You’re there on the merits of your personality, not the size of your wallet (or size of your credit card if we’re being honest).
You see this a lot with internet marketing. People posing next to their Aston Martin trying to look casual. Leaning against a hedge in the grounds of their mansion. Looking confused at what to wear while casually flexing their Rolex.
I’m going to overlook the fact most of the time they don’t even own that stuff, they are renting it or using someone else’s stuff just for the picture. The fact is, they are trying to show off in order to position themselves to people ‘lower’ than them in the old;
“I’m better than you, look at all my stuff and things. If you pay me money you can be as cool as me.”
But also posture to their superiors;
“Look at how well I’m doing, am I cool enough to be in your circle yet?”
Both sets of people, probably don’t like you. If you’re trying to say you’re better than someone else because of your money, you’re a douche and that’s what everyone thinks. If you’re trying to show you’ve got money to be allowed to play in the big boy/girl pool… those with money don’t feel the need to flaunt it. So they think you’re a brash little prick.
Spend your money on stuff you like. Buy the fancy car, get the massive house, buy the diamond encrusted watch. But do it because you’ve always wanted it, think it’s amazing, and it makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t do it to try and impress people. Ever.
It reeks of desperation and makes you slightly pathetic.
I’ve always thought money just amplifies who you are. If you’re an asshole and you become rich, you become a rich asshole. If you’re a nice person and become rich, you become a rich nice person. I don’t believe money changes peoples’ character.
Equally it won’t make you happy either. So if you’ve been struggling and working hard and doing everything you can so you can buy [insert whatever it is you wanted here]... I’ve got bad news for you. It won’t make you happy.
It might give you a bit of a chemical rush for a few hours, maybe days. But think about the best thing you’ve ever bought for yourself, ever.
What do you think about it now? Maybe you get a bit of enjoyment out of it when you think about it, but when did you last think about it?
Don’t chase money because it’ll buy you something. Chase a dream that money allows you to achieve. I realise that sounds cheesy as fuck, but it’s true. If all you want to do is volunteer at an elephant sanctuary, then work out what it’d cost you to do that and go for that as a goal. Don’t workout how much it’d cost to buy an elephant (it’s about £100,000 in Thailand).
This is basically the same as the above, but written in a slightly different way. And I’m still going to answer it.
If you don’t know where you are or where you’re trying to get to, how will you ever figure out the best way to go. And how will you know when you’ve arrived?
Most unhappy rich people don’t have a financial vision and they just chase money for the sake of it. Once you’ve got some, you just chase a bit more. Then a bit more. There’s always someone richer than you that you can set your sights on and try to beat.
There is no end if you’re chasing money.
If on the other hand you have a specific goal which requires a certain level of finance, you’ve got yourself an end point. Maybe it’s to have an income of £40k a year because that allows you to live where you want and work 4 days a week and go on 4 holidays a year. Maybe it’s have £1k a month so you can live in Bali and do yoga all the time.
The point is, it’s a financial figure that allows you to achieve a life goal.
Do the maths. Work out what kind of life you want to lead and then figure out how much it’ll cost to actually live that life. Don’t be an idiot and pretend you need a house in every country you’ve ever visited that you liked. Use a fucking hotel you bellend.
But once you’ve worked out the goal, then you at least have an end point in mind. That will allow you to work towards something, and more importantly, stop when you get there.
Constantly chasing more and more leads you to taking on more and continuous risks. There are loads of chances to make money, but it only takes one failure or set back to make your ass poor all over again.
Finally, not learning from either your own mistakes or other peoples. There are thousands of people out there that have made money and lost it all again. The biggest cause of it? Lacking in financial education. There is absolutely no excuse for any celebrity or lottery winner or sports person to ever earn the kind of numbers they do, and then a few years later file for bankruptcy.
There are so many things you can do to protect yourself. And there are so many people that have already made the mistakes before, that you can learn from them and avoid them yourself.
Find someone who you’d like to emulate that’s done something you’d like to do. Then double check to see if they are actually happy or not. Then triple check to see if the numbers they are posing about are actually real.
If they pass all three tests, then see what you can learn from them. What did they do right, but more importantly what did they do wrong?
Read books about people that were successful and that failed miserably. Failing is no bad thing. It’s actually critically important to get used to and learn how to bounce back from. But taking on asymmetric risk but the wrong way round… like gambling £45,000 on the chance you can win £10… that’s just straight up dumb.
Learn enough about risk and investments and yourself to know how you can best protect your money when you make it, and how you can earn more of it without risking what you’ve already got.
You deserve to be as financially well off as you are financially well educated. If you gamble and stumble into money, there’s a good chance you won’t keep it very long. If you’re diligent about it and put the time and effort into learning more about finances, then chances are you’ll work out a formula to get more, keep more, and get it to grow more.
It isn’t rocket science, but there are enough examples for this simple fact to be true. You keep what you deserve.
So stop being a show off, stop living a life you can’t afford, stop trying to impress people, and stop hoping money will solve all your lifes problems.
21 Days to Dominate your Finances is probably a good place to start if you need a gentle kick up the arse every so often to getting yourself back on the right track. Go check it out.