Do you optimise your actions for more money or more life experiences?
I have a friend who leans towards the former.
To make this happen, he works gruelling hours at the office, often over 12 hours daily.
And when he's home on the weekends, he's primarily working.
In an attempt to juice more money out of his time, I've seen him take up freelancing projects from time to time.
This "always in work mode" attitude draws a significant toll on him.
It leaves him with little time and energy left to unwind, spend time with his family and do things outside of office work.
Should you find yourself at this juncture, here's an important question to ask yourself:
What's the point of all this money if I can't enjoy my life?
This pursuit of more money is endless.
We think that we would be happy once we get to an annual income of $100,000.
Then, once we get to $100,000, we aim for $200,000.
And this keeps on going.
Earning more money becomes an unwinnable game rather than a means to a comfortable life.
Another end of this spectrum is saving too much money to enjoy the finer things in life.
Saving money is crucial to living a stressless life.
When that habit becomes an addiction, you see every little delicacy as a waste of your money.
The goal is not to die with a million dollars in the bank.
But to die with a near-zero bank balance and a million dollars worth of life experiences.
How do we get there?
Calculate how much money you need per year to live a comfortable life and have a 12–24 month emergency fund.
That’s your stationary financial goalpost.
Depending on the part of the world you live in, that can range from $20,000/year to $100,000/year.
Once you get there, stop utilising any more of your free time and energy, optimising your bank balance.
Instead, use that time and energy to do meaningful work or enjoy life doing things you like.
If you're at a high-income long-hours job, you can take on a less demanding role that leaves you with time for yourself.
Spend a day exploring the beautiful landscapes near you rather than clocking extra hours at the office.
Finally, meet with that old friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with.
Maybe start taking those cooking classes you’ve always been dreaming about.
Start your small business.
Pursuing things that bring you joy.
Once you've got your basic needs sorted out plus a little extra for the occasional fancy stuff, money doesn't do much to increase life happiness.
Instead, it can make your life more stressful where you're living inside your bank account rather than in the world outside.
Be careful which game you want to play.
A game of life or a game of money?