Bill Gates is a tightarse.
For years he flew economy even though he could obviously afford first class. When asked why, he explained that first class was a tiny bit better but not worth the huge extra cost.
Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph drives a Volvo station wagon (dad mobile). He could afford a bright green Lambo if he wanted but he doesn’t see the point. The difference between the driving experience of a Volvo and a Lambo is subtle. They feel the same.
I say this about the BMW I used to own. It cost a lot but didn’t feel much better than a Hyundai Excel. After 2 weeks the joy disappeared. It felt like every other car.
The point here is paying loads of extra money for a marginal extra benefit is a fast way to become depressed and regret your purchase. And to spend the precious hours of your life trying to pay off the debt.
Financial pain is self-inflicted. There are some money anti-depressants you can take to ease the financial pain. Here are the best ones.
An experimental income stream
One income stream is a nightmare.
You’re smart and know that already. Quitting your job for entrepreneurship can be stupid too. So what’s the answer?
I’ve found it’s having one reliable income stream and at least one experimental income stream. That is, a small bet that might pay off. For me that was writing online.
I never knew if it would make any money, but I experimented for 5+ years without depending on it to pay my bills. Everyone needs this level of experimentation to discover new ways to make money.
Because experimental income streams let you:
- Make more money.
- Spread your risk across more than one income source. That way if you get laid off or the business you started goes bankrupt, you’re protected.
One of my favorite experimental income streams is anything that lets you make recurring revenue. For me, that’s a paid newsletter. For you, it might be selling a subscription or launching a SaaS product.
Take this anti-depressant pill if you haven’t already.
A basic overview of the current global economy
This one seems odd. Let me explain.
The news and the economy can be depressing as hell. There’s often not a lot of good news (by design). But once you understand how the global economy works in some basic detail, it makes everything easier.
For example, there’s a 4-year business cycle that has always played out throughout history. If you know when the cycle starts and finishes, you can take advantage of the bull market tailwinds and avoid the headwinds of recessions.
If you don’t know how the economy works, it’s easy to think things are always getting worse and AI will destroy us.
Financial data can tell us so much. It can act like a compass. It can tell us when to be fearful or greedy.
Learn about the economy and study the data so you can be less depressed about our future and, instead, make money from it.
A personal profit/loss
My friend Andrew jammed this one down my throat.
He says if you don’t know how much money is coming in and out of your personal bank accounts, your money will slowly disappear and you won’t even know where it went.
A profit and loss statement is common in business. I rarely see people implement one in their personal finances. So they’re blind to their own impulses, sloppy spending, and unused subscriptions.
Track your income and expenses. Don’t obsess over them, but be aware of them, so they don’t rob you blind and leave you butt-naked in the street holding a yellow rubber ducky screaming “h-e-e-e-e-e-l-p!”
A simple portfolio of diversified assets
If you want to get depressed then lose a million dollars.
That’s what happened to me, thanks to crypto and getting hacked. $1.2M down the toilet. Gone forever. All those hours of my time traded for…nothing. What a waste.
I shouldn’t admit this but I invested too much of my money into crypto. It left me vulnerable. When I got hacked and markets went down I was left overexposed. Never again.
The simple way to avoid this depressing financial reality is to invest money across a portfolio of assets — stocks, bonds, crypto, real estate, gold/silver.
That way, if one type of asset goes through a financial winter, you’re not left out in the cold with erect nipples, wondering what to do next.
A financially savvy significant other
One of the biggest factors that determines your financial future is who you marry. No one talks about this.
My wife doesn’t know this, so don’t tell her, but when we met I ran several financial tests on her to see how she handled money. Last thing I wanted was some financially out of control crazy lady blowing every dollar on Gucci handbags and strip poker games.
I’m proud to say she passed the test. Nice job, honey. (She still thinks side hustles are bullsh*t, though, so some brainwashing is needed there.)
Pay attention to how your life partner(s) handle money. Their bad behaviors can subconsciously influence yours. Then it doesn’t matter how much money you make because they’ll blow it just as fast.
A well-spoken person to outsource B.S. tasks to
A quick way to get depressed is to overwork.
It’s how you miss out on life. It’s how you become stranger danger to your family. It’s how you end up exhausted.
We’re not supposed to do everything. Read that again.
Thanks to the virtual assistant revolution, you can outsource parts of your life to a well-spoken human in another country and have them do your version of donkey work.
I’m about to hire my 3rd virtual assistant because this strategy has been so successful.
Stop doing depressing work.
Give it to someone else who finds joy in it. Oh, and it doesn’t cost as much as you think. I’ve seen people do it for $200 a month.
6 months of dead-end savings
When hard times hit (and they will) it’s your cash savings that save the day.
Savings relax the mind and are a form of financial meditation. But a savings account is also a dead-end. It’s even dangerous. Why? Because cash is trash thanks to inflation.
If you don’t outperform inflation, your purchasing power decreases and you end up poorer through no fault of your own. Just ask middle-class America about this phenomenon.
6 months of savings is different. It’s enough money to get you through hard times, but not too much money that you destroy your financial future.
Savings help you sleep at night, and that’s true wealth.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.