Delayed gratification- Being able to put off buying things has saved me enormous amounts of money. Whenever I want something big, I was a while before I buy it, if I still want it and still think it is valuable I’ll get it. What usually happens though is that I totally forget about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I’ve wanted something then 24 hours later I’m glad I didn’t buy it. The bigger the purchase, the longer I wait. Another drink at a bar, I wait 5 minutes; I new car, 6 months; new house, 2 years. Think about all the stuff you have around your house that you don’t love, how many things would you be willing return for the cash purchase price if you could? Probably most of it; so try to avoid buying these things.
Focus on income not pinching pennies. I used to stress about buying groceries and coffee; today it doesn’t even cross my mind. I spend marginally more on small purchases and relieve tons of stress. A few dollars per day doesn’t add up very quickly, but it can make you a lot happier. Be strategic with the big ticket items like your career, housing, and car. If you spent the time you wasted worried about not drinking coffee, you could make a lot of extra money. For an average person making $60,000, a 2% pay increase would pay for hundreds of lattes.
I quit comparing myself to others- I deleted most of my social media presence, I quit worrying about appearances, I just did what I made me happy. “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like”- Fight Club. Quit doing this. For me, and many people I know, once they started making real money, they quit caring about buying expensive things. Having the option to buy something makes me happy, actually buying it doesn’t excite me; status symbols are for people with our real status.
Develop good habits- Show up to work on time, work hard, be nice, save money. If you can do this, you have nothing to worry about.