Want to Be a Millionaire? Don’t Think Broke
You can’t be a millionaire if you don’t spend money investing in yourself
When it comes to money, my wife and I are on the far ends of the scale.
Growing up in the Philippines, they taught her to save every little thing she had. They told her she must work hard to go to college, where she could hopefully get a government job and be guaranteed income for life. She was to buy everything as cheap as possible and hang onto it until it is completely unusable.
She is frugal, and her way of looking at money has taught me many things about value and needs versus wants.
I also grew up destitute. My family never really tried to improve our lot in life because they believed our existence would only be better after this system of things ended at Armeggedon, and there was a literal paradise on earth.
People like us didn’t go to college or invest. We didn’t save because it was all going to end anyway, and why waste time chasing possessions when the effort could be spent preaching about God?
As a young man, I realized that I didn’t want to live my life that way. It took my whole life to break away from that kind of thinking, but along the way, I learned a few things about money that would shape how I dealt with it.
I learned that you couldn’t get rich working for someone else, so I spent my time trying to find the perfect business. I knew to make money, I had to spend money, so I tried to buy quality things I needed that would last, instead of throwing away money on cheap products that never worked correctly.
I made mistakes along the way, though. I bought things on the spur of the moment that wasn’t right for me and ended up with something that didn’t fit my needs. I ruined my credit, trying to finance a better life for myself and my family.
I let my circumstances and an ever-worsening mental illness destroy any chance of being successful and having enough money to be comfortably happy.
I made mistakes with money because I was ignorant. The schools didn’t teach me anything about finance, taxes, or investing, and I was like many who thought the whole thing boring and worthless and flew through my financial life by the seat of my pants.
Long story short: I am 52 years old and am only now learning about and building a financial foundation that could help me achieve my dream of being financially successful.
Clashing Ideas About What is Right and Wrong
My wife and I are different, so we have contention between us because our ideas about doing things are the opposite.
For instance, about two years ago, I bought a laptop because I needed one. Because I was in the Philippines, my choices were limited, and I picked a computer that didn’t completely meet my needs but was enough to get me working again.
As far as technology goes, it wasn’t expensive, but to my wife, it was unforgivable that I would ever spend that much.
Now, I find because I am getting into things like video and YouTube, the laptop I bought is nowhere near what I need to get my work done, and I have been looking around for alternatives.
I know for me to do the best I can, I need tools to help me get there. Tools cost money, and I am willing to invest in getting what I need to make more money.
My wife still has not gotten over the money I spent on my current laptop two years ago and refused to believe that I need to buy another computer to do my work.
I can’t blame her; she is accustomed to using what is on-hand and making the best of her situation. But that is how I have operated my whole life out of necessity, and now I know if I want to get anywhere with my business, I need to invest in myself and my family’s future.
I know it’s time to do things differently.
It is taking some time for her to understand that we have to stop thinking with a broke person’s mindset if we ever want to get anywhere in life. We have to stop doing what we have been doing our whole lives to get ahead because it hasn’t worked yet.
It is silly to keep it up.
We have to invest in ourselves and our financial education and stop trying to make do with tools that don’t fit our needs or are broken.
We both need to stop thinking that we can’t afford what we need and start thinking about getting it and how.
Where Are You?
I bet there are many of you shaking their heads in agreement at what I have revealed. Many of us were never taught how to handle money and never had the presence of mind to learn what we needed to know.
We went through life overspending on wants and struggling to meet our needs. We ruined our credit on impulse purchases and could never seem to get out of the hole and back on track.
The minority of us have no savings and are one paycheck away from living on the streets, and millions find an unexpected expense of $400 can force us into a difficult financial situation.
Then, the pandemic showed up, and millions lost jobs, homes, and life-savings. Now many of us, from Gen X to Millennials, are scratching our heads and trying to figure how to pull ourselves out of the poorhouse.
Many of us are starting business and side-hustles. We invest time in our financial education and learn about taxes, investing credit, and all the things we ignored for most of our lives.
We realize we need to spend money investing in our futures if we even plan to make any real money or live our dream of being millionaires.
People like me need to learn about frugality and value. Others, like my wife, need to realize that quality and convenience are more important than trying to struggle and keep doing a job with tools that don’t work or are outdated.
And although my wife and I would love to be comfortable financially or even be millionaires, we disagree on how to get there. She wants to save, and I want to invest.
Soon enough, we will figure out the best way.
Remember, you have to spend money to make money, so if you have lived your life avoiding investing in yourself, you may want to change your attitude if you’re going to be rich or even just comfortably happy.
Don’t say you can’t afford it, figure out how you can.
The way we have been doing things hasn’t worked for us yet, so maybe it’s time to change.
This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any significant financial decisions.