Investing And Financial Freedom Does Not Involve Sacrifice

Of course investing and pursuing financial freedom involves sacrifice. Right? Personally I think that mindset is counter-productive. For one, it's focusing on the wrong thing, but - primarily -  also because it's not true.
Well, that's just stupid isn't it? Of course investing and pursuing financial freedom involves sacrifice!

You're skipping that grande mocha frap to save money. You're not buying that latest smartphone model so you can buy more stocks. Eating out at restaurants has become a rare occurrence, replaced instead by DVD marathons at home. You carefully make a list and buy in bulk, excluding most if not all guilty pleasures. All in an effort to lower your expenses so you can allot more for the mutual fund you're building up as a retirement fund.

How can that not be sacrificing?

Well, if you've ever read Richest Man in Babylon, then - in the back of your mind, at least - you already know why.

"Each of you, together with your good families, have more desires than your earnings can gratify. Therefore are thy earnings spent to gratify these desires insofar as they will go. Still thou retainest many ungratified desires. All men are burdened with more desires than they can gratify."
                                             - Arkad, Richest Man In Babylon

This was meant to explain why paying yourself will work for anyone, regardless of income. (And partly as an assurance that it will.)

But let's hold that thought for a moment and consider another thing we know about wealth: it's not about accumulation (i.e. amassing more money than we know what to do with). Instead - like most things in life - it's about achieving goals.

For most people, those goals are pretty simple - your own house, your own car, money to support your family, time and money to support your passion or hobby, and other such life-goals. After that, it typically becomes a list of gadgets, trinkets, ornaments, and various other status symbols.

What's important to point out is that those life-goals, if we get really technical in our definition aren't "needs" - you don't "need" your own house because you can always rent. In almost all cases a car is not a necessity due to the availability of public transport. You'll need money to support your family, but you don't need financial freedom for that. And of course a hobby is just a hobby.

Those arguments are, arguably, a matter of semantics. But there is no denying that we want those things.

Now, think about it: You'll always have wants that you'll never get.*

So if you want that dream house and you want that brand new tablet, you're just choosing between wants.

Saving the money to buy that house is not a sacrifice - it's just buying your dreams on installment.

That's what saving, investing, and financial freedom is all about - being smart about your choices. You'll never get all of your wants anyway, so why not choose the ones you want the most, right?


*It's true for everyone, unless  they were born a billionaire - in which case, time and knowledge are the only significant limits you'll have.


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photo credit: natalia love via photopin cc

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