Why I stopped caring about becoming a millionaire
When I started in the workforce, I thought I was on my way to making my first million dollars. My plan was simple, I’d start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and with a thrifty outlook and hard work I’d rise to the top like cream in milk. My first financial goal was to be worth $100K by the time I was thirty and then I’d hit the afterburners and rapidly accelerate from there. So what happened?
On paper I think I was almost at that magical $100K mark and was quite pleased with my efforts, which weren’t extraordinary and certainly didn’t impact my life in anyway. I had left home at age eighteen when I decided paying board wasn’t too much different from paying rent and financially I was really just making ends meet. As I worked through my apprenticeship, earning a measly $12K a year whilst paying taxes and living expenses, getting to $100k wasn’t even on my radar.
It was a few years later in life when I realised moving between jobs was actually a quicker way to get pay rises than actually banging away in the same job for a number of years. With the exception of one job where I received three pay rises in a year. Generally more jobs meant more experience which usually lead to more money. It was obvious that this was subconsciously my strategy to financial freedom and at the same time was my grounding in the wheel. For me to succeed I believed I’d need to keep at this corporate wheel for thirty to forty years or at least until I reached early retirement. Of course I still believed this until a few years ago.
Over time, I continued to invest in property, shares and eventually a marriage and children before realising I had lost my way on the road to a million dollars net worth. In the meantime property prices had continued to climb and I started to discover that people who focussed in the same inner city locations for the last 15 years were now selling their properties close to the $1,000,000 mark. What was a million dollars worth now anyway?
It just doesn’t have the same appeal as it did when I first started on my financial freedom journey. For those just starting out in the wheel, lets pretend I’m you travelling from the future to give you one important message. What do you want to hear? Perhaps congratulations on making your first million and to stay on your path or maybe you just need those next weeks lotto numbers to get you out of future poverty.
No, if I was travelling from the future I’d already realise none of those things are going to matter on your death bed. The only message worth bringing back is to start enjoying your life sooner and not when you think you have enough money to do so, because you will never have enough.
Happiness is usually the top response people give to the question, “What do you really want out of life?”, unfortunately they don’t realise that money distracts you from really discovering what makes you happy.