Congratulations! I have fantastic news for you. If you are reading this right now, you have been officially invited to be a member of the Future Young Millionaires Club! Being a Future Young Millionaire is all about using your time and money effectively for maximum happiness. We don’t like to waste time or money. We realize that life is all about growth and challenging yourself; an easy or lazy life will quickly lead to a depressive funk. As Future Young Millionaires we don’t have everything figured out, but we are simply on the path to an enlightened life of personal challenge and accomplishment.
I was not always a Future Young Millionaire. In fact, when I first started working full-time after college and it seemed like an endless supply of money was raining from the sky, I actually would say crap like “My time is too valuable to spend fixing a garbage disposal or change my car’s timing belt myself, I will just pay someone to do it for me!”.
I really want to go back and slap some sense into that child!!!
I figured that since I earned more money than I needed to live, I might as well use some of my excess money to simplify life and eliminate a few chores.
That is a dangerous sentence because it sounds like a pretty decent idea, right? Simplify life and keep it easy? That sentence by itself makes sense, but if you pick it apart a bit and actually look at my life, then you will see that sentence is just a subconscious rationalization that would lead me into a depressive, unproductive funk.
Here is how simplifying my life helped me out:
- I did not have to cook, so I could eat Panda Express or Pizza everyday! I saved many hours of shopping for groceries and cooking! I even got to gain 15 pounds of fat. This valuable fat will come in handy if I am ever stranded on a desert island, but it is not so handy at attracting members of the opposite sex.
- I never have to change my own car oil. This saved me about 30 minutes every 3 months. A mechanic was nice enough to even take $30 off my hands to do it for me. Now I don’t have to worry about my wallet or retirement fund getting too large!
- If anything ever broke in my home, I would simply call a handyman to fix it. Now I could spend an hour more playing video games and have someone else fix it for me at a rate of $30-50 per hour.
- I thought I was doing pretty good financially, since I saved a decent 20-30% of my paycheck and put in into a savings account at a bank. The larger this account, the greater need I felt to spend it. I spent it generously buying people drinks and I started to buy nicer food, clothes, gizmos, and electronics. However never invested a penny. I liked my job, but it is hard to predict if I will still enjoy it in my 40’s or 50’s. Saving money only to spend it later would doom me to work forever.
Related: Creating your Money Factory so you never have to work again.
As it turns out, simplifying your life so that you can be more lazy slowly ruins your life and personality. When people are so used to a ‘simplified’ life, they become more irritated with little inconveniences and problems. Future Young Millionaires are problem solvers and realize the only way to grow is to be subjected to a little challenge or friction.
It is like working your muscles. They will never grow larger and more strong unless subjected to a bit of stress–lifting weights. That doesn’t mean you have to always be stressing your muscles to get stronger and bigger, quite the opposite in fact. Muscles require a lot of time to rest in between workouts to get stronger.
The same goes for your life. You shouldn’t be constantly stretched and stressed, but a little challenge every now and then is the recipe for a stronger life–an emotionally wealth as well as fiscally wealth life.
THE RIGHT MINDSET
Once I realized simplifying life was not the answer, I had a new perspective on chores. Doing the dishes became therapeutic. It was strange. I always used to HATE doing the dishes. But now I wash them right after I’m done. I will even wash my roommates or even do dishes at my friends house when they invite me over for dinner. It is the strangest thing, but I feel much better after doing them now.
Working on my car was no longer a chore, but a new way to become a smarter and more useful person. Knowing how to do some novice to intermediate car maintenance is an extremely valuable skillset. Just by learning to do routine maintenance every 30k miles (air, oil, and fuel filters, spark plugs, brake pads, and serpentine belt) you save a LOT of money. I recently replaced all of these myself for around $110. I called a few mechanics and they quoted me $600-$800 for a similar service. I effectively paid myself about $150 per hour doing my own maintenance and learned some valuable skills in the process–double win! Guess where that $500-$700 I saved is going?
Learning to cook is just about the most valuable skill you could ever develop. Even simple meals taste much better than fast food and are much more healthy. In the beginning, all I learned to cook was omelettes, pretzels (my pretzels are 10x as good as Aunt Annie’s), and simple sandwiches. The money I saved and the fat I lost was incredible! I still ate out every now and then, but cooking a few meals at home cut my food bill in half! And since I don’t plan on getting stranded on a desert island, losing the 15 pounds felt pretty darn fantastic. When you eat healthier, the entire world is a brighter place–you have more energy and every activity seems more enjoyable.
Just cutting out soda, energy drinks, and significantly reducing beer consumption saved me ~$150 per month! That is more than most people in their 20’s save for retirement! I used to spend around ~$1,000 per month on food, restaurants, beer, bars, date nights, and soda! Now I have a much healthier diet, a much healthier mind and body, still have date nights, and it only costs me ~$400 per month!
I even started investing the difference in my 401k! Can anyone guess how much I would have after 30 years of investing the difference? Around $739k, or $500k adjusted for inflation, if I returned a reasonable 5% after inflation (2% inflation target, which happens to be the Federal Reserve’s inflation target as well).
If someone offered you $500k and all you had to do for it was to have a more healthy and attractive body, wouldn’t you take?! It seems like a no brainer, but I for one have seen how easy it is to get stuck in this ‘simplified’ life routine! It is pretty difficult to change your entire life overnight, but all you need is to change one or two areas at a time and stay committed.
For me, it started with giving up soda for water. Well, it really started with switching to diet soda, but I kept getting cavities… My dentist informed me that diet soda is just as bad, if not worse, for your teeth as normal soda because it is the acid that is the biggest problem anyways. So trust me and my teeth on this one, just drink water or tea instead! Soda and diet soda is out! You will eliminate fat and save money (from buying the soda and trips to the dentist).
Feel free to outsource cleaning your house or car maintenance provided that you are earning a very high income and working 60-70+ hours per week or you are already Financially Free and want to free up some time to that you can be challenged and grow in other areas. If you just want a house cleaner so you can watch an hour more of TV per week, you need to re-evaluate your mindset!
THE BOTTOM LINE
A little bit of effort goes a long way in improving your health and finances. ‘Simplifying’ your life so that you can be lazy is a recipe for disaster. Instead, take on the Future Young Millionaire mindset and enjoy a little challenge and growth. It works just like your muscles, if you ever want to improve and get better at something, you are going to need a little challenge. Next time a button on your pants breaks, learn to sew instead of buying new pants. Next time your car needs some maintenance, reach out to a friend who knows about cars or look it up online and learn how to do it yourself. And for the love of all that is Holy, learn to cook and stop going to fast food so much, it is the greatest thing you will ever do for your finances and your body!