One of the biggest traps we’re lured into maxes out our living expenses so that there’s no room for anything else.
And while your house and car can be assets – they can also be massive expenses that are maxing out your budget and keeping you trapped.
These two necessities make it seem like there is no other option.
In reality, you have more solutions than you realize.
1.Change your mindset.
In my money courses, I always start with mindset.
Because people that have control over their money have a different mindset about it.
It’s counter culture to value “less is more” philosophy but when you do, it widens the lens of your life so you can see and work towards a future that holds true freedom.
Not just with your finances, but with everything.
The problem is that our culture is ingrained with messages of bigger is better.
You’ve been saturated with this message from an early age – we all have.
And so the measure of success has often been about the house you own and the car you drive.
So while our houses are bigger than ever, our families are smaller than ever.
And so is the closeness we have with one another.
Meanwhile, car payments are lengthened and reduced to make owning the newest vehicle seem affordable.
It’s marketed to us through every media channel we’re exposed to on brainwashing repeat.
It’s designed to make the banks a lot of money, and keep you beholden to them.
Like a codependent relationship where you can’t break free.
You’re given the reward of instant gratification and the emotional high that goes with it.
You feel accomplished and satisfied (temporarily, and you look the part that you have been told you’re supposed to play in the American dream).
But you’re never told about the kicker.
That those two purchases alone expenses that chew up most of your living budget.
When you categorize your expenses into living expenses and luxury expenses, the living expenses are ideally kept low so you can add thoughtfully to luxury expenses that hold meaning for you.
Watch this video to learn how to make choices with your living and luxury expenses and why maxing out your mortgage and car payments keep you trapped.
But if your living expenses are too high – there’s nothing left for luxury and it’s an easy path into debt.
And this is where most budgets feel constrictive and most money advice fails.
Because you’re now locked into payments that create a sense of being trapped and immobilized in the rest of your life.
Old money systems will give advice to create a rigid budget, eliminating all luxury expenses, while you try and reduce and pay down your accumulated living expenses.
This approach takes a long time, does not create future wealth building potential, and feels awful.
The reward is too far off and the process is too painful.
Being house poor takes away from any value your home can have for you as an asset.
Paying hundreds a month in revolving car payments reduces your ability to funnel that money into investments that can pay you back one day.
Both restrict your freedom in multiple ways for a very long time.
2. Stop letting your emotions control your money.
It’s time to get clear on money and who’s controlling who.
Adopting a stoic approach to your money is key and supports your mindset shift about what matters and what doesn’t.
Do you want a big house you can’t afford, or do you want a life of abundance that feeds back to you – not just financially but in every way?
Do you want freedom… or do you want stuff?
Short term gratification, or long term fulfillment?
You get to choose, but you have to start making decisions from a less reactive place.
Don’t make money decisions so emotional.
Money is a tool. It doesn’t define who you are and it shouldn’t be allowed to control you.
Don’t let it have power over you – you take power over it.
You work hard for what you earn – you owe it to yourself to be financially literate so you can be financially liberated.
Like running a business, you set goals and reverse engineer your life to match so you can reach them.
Strategic, not reactive.
Save room for being emotionally driven for other areas of your life – the parts that are about people – your relationships, friendships, family, and partner.
But don’t make your relationship with money over emotional.
I want you to be able to enjoy your life and feel satisfied and fulfilled and part of that is to show you how to make your money work for you and regain control.
It doesn’t mean suffering and stifling.
But indulgence in the bigger, better, best, right now mentality will create longer term suffering than should be unacceptable for your future – because what you’re spending on now is robbing your future self.
You deserve to have enjoyment now. But not at the expense of the rest of your life.
Be practical and know that as you adopt this mindset you will have the room to enjoy the abundance you deserve.
3.Make it meaningful.
Buying stuff. For the sake of buying stuff.
It satisfies for a moment but adds clutter and no value to your life.
It creates an environment where there is no space (sometimes literally) to start building real wealth.
I always recommend people start to adopt approaches in line with minimalism and essentialism – which basically means – less is more, and spend money where it has real value and meaning to you.
Minimalism doesn’t mean you go without what matters to you – it means you change your perspective on what has meaning for you.
Downsizing is liberating.
Removing the emotional attachments to property and things is a mature approach to money.
You can be happier with less, for better.
(Check out Greg McKeown’s YouTube video on Essentialism here)
In fact, the ripple effect of prioritizing only what you really need and living clutter-free in your environment moves through your entire life.
The result is that you feel empowered and clear.
Learning the secrets about money from people who have mastered it and built wealth will protect you against feeling isolated as you swim upstream.
But instead of feeling deprived in your life by reducing the importance of and the accumulation of stuff – feel proud of swimming upstream on this one.
Your payoff will come from a debt-free, financially abundant life where you feel in control of your finances and your future.
In other words… learn to find happiness in other ways. Stop buying shit you don’t need. Stop buying shit to avoid dealing with emotions. Stop buying shit to impress people. Stop sabotaging your future.
You can be in control of your mind and your emotions when it comes to money.
You can decide to immerse yourself in a positive mindset and change your relationship with money.
You can decide to be in control and change your future… right now.
Start by only buying a house you can truly afford – downsizing where possible.
Stop using your house like a bank and don’t borrow off your mortgage.
Pay off your car and use that car payment amount to fill up a maintenance bucket so you can still have a reliable vehicle, cash to pay for repairs, and money leftover to invest where you’ll actually get a return.
Don’t buy a new car that you have to finance again once you pay off your car, (no matter how good a “deal” the dealership offers you)!
The car will never give back to you – not in real terms.
Those payments are money down the drain that over your adult life could have been invested and made you a millionaire.
But it’s not too late.
I can show you how to move your money flow through my bucketing system so you can start paying cash for what you need and stop feeling under the bank’s thumb.
You can start by taking a hard look at the 2 big expenses that are breaking your budget – your house and your car.
Adopt a new mindset and decide to take control.
Want more? I offer step by step training on how to do just that in my Mindful Money course.
Do you do better learning in person? Come to my next WealthyWellthy Live event and I’ll teach you the modern money system that will give you the financial liberation you seek. Tickets available here.