There are many paths to financial success and there is one golden rule that holds for all, to be successful you have to spending less than you earn. I have written a lot about this and have given many tips and strategies to help people incorporate these rules in daily lives. Today the focus is not about adhering to the rules. “He who dies with the most money does not win” I don’t recall where I heard this saying, but is one that has stayed with me because it is true. The goal is not to hoard money. No one wins by having lots of money and being miserable. We all want to be financially successful for both the security and the freedom that it allows for us to have a satisfying life doing and having the things that we value. Being both happy and financially successful is an art not a science. We have the strike the right balance between being strict and splurging. Sometimes we have to put aside our practical, logical reasoning and trust in something that is greater than what we can intellectually understand. There are some things that we are not able to express in words or numbers for that matter, but something we understand so clearly that it speaks volumes to us without needing to say a word. In such a case we have to follow our instinct and go for it not matter the cost!
There are three scenarios where it is always a good idea to break the rules. The first instance when relaxing the rules is paramount is when the non-monetary return more than outweighs the monetary cost. If for example you have the desire to go on a particular trip, or see a particular band perform or attend a specific conference. If your desire is both strong and you place a high value on the experience, event, and it is time sensitive then you should go after it. If this the event, experience or thing is presenting itself to you at the moment when your finances are not in the best then you have to find a way to make it work. If you know that this is the last opportunity or the best opportunity for you to do or have the thing that you always wanted, then , cash in the savings, borrow from a friend ( not a normally recommended course of action, except in this case) anything that would allow you to realize your desire. You will be happier, perhaps even inspired and who knows where that can take you!
The second instance where its okay for us to break the rules is when humanity has to precede finances. Helping a friend or a family member out of a hardship or struggle will have its own rewards. Now I am not saying that you have to help everyone who asks. I am saying that sometimes people really need our help and it can have a dramatic impact on their lives and in turn ours. Sometimes it is not just about the money, but doing what is right. For instance, take your parents on that European vacation they always dreamed off. It may mean you that your savings will take a large hit, but you can start again. Helping or showing gratitude to someone who really deserves it is worth breaking the rules just once!
The final instance where it’s okay to break the rules is when you believe in yourself and know that you can accomplish great things, don’t let finance stop you from reaching your goal. If you want that education or you want to start a business, don’t let those dreams die because of money. Maybe you need to put off retirement or buying that house for a couple of years so that you can accomplish an even bigger dream. It is better to have tried and fail than to live with regret or worst wondering what if.
These are the extreme circumstances where I would recommend that we break some of those fiscal rules. This is not your average splurge to keep you fresh, these are all hell break lose splurge where the non-monetary return by far outweighs the monetary costs. A very strong world of caution: This is a onetime deal. You can’t be breaking the rules every week or month or even every year because then you would not be doing yourself any favors. It is my belief that the purpose of our life is to be happy. The way our world is structured at the moment requires us to have at least a modicum of money to achieve this. It is imperative for us to manage our finances consciously and on purpose and on our own terms for us not just to survive but also for us to thrive.
June 15th is approaching and until then my posts will be a reminder of the need to be more conscious in our day to day financial life.