When I officially kickstarted my financial independence journey into first gear three months ago I thought of setting some ground rules for myself. While you can find plenty of lists online of things you should definitely do to become financially free, I ultimately came up with just one rule.
Is it to save over 50% of my income? Nope!
Do I absolutely have to take an active approach in managing my own money? Helemaal niet!
Can’t I splurge on my beloved video games collection anymore? Eigentlich nicht.
Surely I must stop paying for music streaming services like Google Music All Access? Ça m’est égal.
None of the above. My only rule for financial indepencence is extremely straightforward and might seem ridiculous to some, but really helps me to balance my goals with my daily life. Brace yourselves, because here it is:
Rule #1: Never, ever say no to drinks with friends.
There it is, pretty basic, but it makes all the difference in the world. Some might consider buying a round of beers (Belgian beer, yum!) for friends a waste of money, but all I see is an investment opportunity. Humans are, by their very design, social creatures and strengthening our relationships should be our number one priority. As a result, spending cash on great moments with friends and experiences that bond us together is, to me at least, never a waste.
Should I ever reach financial independence, I want there to be family and friends to cheer me on as I cross the finish line. I want my buddies to know they helped me reach my goals by simply being their awesome selves. I don’t want to sit on an enormous pile of cash and not have anyone to share the happiness that brings me with.
For those of you who grew up with the DuckTales series on TV, I aim to be like Scrooge McDuck. Even though he is the richest inhabitant of Duckburg and it seems like he constantly tries to further his wealth, he spends lavishly on his nephews. Sometimes he even risks his entire money bin to keep Huey, Dewey and Louie out of harm’s way.
From now on I’ll try to be more like Scrooge McDuck, unless my friends turn into raging alcoholics of course. How about you?