How to Use Money as a Tool for Happiness and Fulfillment
I’ve always tried to look at money as a tool, not an end. Since late 2021, I’ve probably spent more on travel than in the 5 years before 2020.
Part of it is because I didn’t travel due to covid. But I also was not traveling much before that anyway. I’ve been really focused on writing and creating courses since 2016.
So I traveled just once a year for a vacation. But in the past 18 months, I’ve probably spent six months abroad.
The other day I was calculating how much money I spent and thought, “Wow, I could’ve invested all that money and have more wealth later.”
This is the mind of an analytic person. Because I have that awareness, I stopped myself and remembered that accumulating money for the sake of having more is not my goal.
I consider myself a financially responsible person. I think 5 times before I spend. I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle. I enjoy small things. And I think it’s a virtue to spend wisely.
But sometimes I take it too far. So I always remind myself: Money is a tool, not an end.
How are you using money?
Using money to maximize happiness & fulfillment
I need to preface this by saying my definition of happiness is inner tranquility, something I’ve adopted from the Stoics.
Happiness is not the same as pleasure. I feel happy when my mind is calm and I’m comfortable with being myself.
So how can I maximize that feeling and also feel fulfilled?
The magic word is tradeoffs.
- Because I prioritize inner tranquility over everything, I need as little liabilities as possible. No debt. I need multiple streams of income. I need to keep improving myself so I can be valuable in society. The goal is to be independent.
- That means I always need to save as much as I can. My cost of living needs to be low. I need to save the majority of my income. If I spend more for a while I need to take a step back and save more.