Just like the majority of the global population, I grew up feeling uncomfortable when talking about money.
My parents immigrated from Turkey to Austria a few years before I was born. Yet, they quickly adapted themselves to the cultural changes and have been working full-time ever since. And even though they provided everything I, my brother, and my sister ever needed, I started working in temporary jobs when I was 15 years old.
I worked as a waitress, as a private tutor, in a call center, and much more.
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When I was 16, I woke up at 5 am to prepare the breakfast buffet in a luxury hotel.
Now, seven years later, I’m running an online business with my better half and making more money than I ever thought possible. I knew my energy was worth more than the 10€ per hour I made during my first jobs. However, back then, I didn’t know what a massive role mindset plays in order to build financial wealth.
If I could go back in time and teach my 15-year-old self about money and abundance, my teachings would be based on the following lessons I borrowed from some of the greatest minds:
“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” — Henry David Thoreau
Many people grow up with limiting beliefs such as money is the source of all evil. In most cases, these negative associations with money are based on the thoughts and experiences of our parents.
As most people never learn how to properly manage or increase their income, they believe that wealthy people do wrong and harm others.
The truth, however, is that wealth is nothing more than an enabler for opportunities.
Not everything in life is tied to money, but life is certainly more fun with money rather than without.
We all have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. And in most cases, these are bound to financial resources. Money is not everything, but without it, it’s hard to fulfill most of our dreams and make experiences we desire.
“You Can Only Become Truly Accomplished at Something You Love. Don’t Make Money Your Goal. Instead, Pursue the Things You Love Doing, and Then Do Them So Well That People Can’t Take Their Eyes off You.” — Maya Angelou
I’ve been studying happy, wealthy, and successful people for the past three years and I didn’t come across a single person who grew an audience, a fortune, or a significant company without loving what she does.
Success, however you might define it, is always tightly connected to passion.
Money is important. And having money is fun, but if money is your priority, you’ll fail, no matter what you do.
I was more focused on making money when I was making 7–10€ per hour than I am now. Because back then, money was the only reason I was going to work.
Today, I’m waking up doing what I love and what I want to do every single day.
There’s magic in doing what you love, pouring your heart into it, and believing that whatever you do can lead to money. But it doesn’t work the other way around.
If people can’t take their eyes off you, as Maya Angelou described, they’ll love paying you, building partnerships with you, or even recommending you.
“Don’t Build a Glass House If You Are Worried about Saving Money on Heating.” — Philip Johnson
Whenever I’m about to make a significant purchase, I remind myself of this profound lesson.
In fact, this is not only about money, but about every decision we make in life: If you can’t deal with following up on a commitment, don’t get started.
E.g., if you can’t keep up with heating a glasshouse during winter, don’t dream about buying that house at all. If you can barely afford the fuel, insurance, and maintenance of your dream car, you better dream about another car. Or figure out how to increase your financial resources.
Too many people live beyond their means for too long and end up paying back loans for purchases that don’t even make them happier for years. Don’t be one of them.
“If You Can’t Buy It Twice, You Can’t Afford It. “ — Jay Z
Apposite to the quote above, this one of Jay Z is also a rule one should always keep in mind.
This doesn’t apply for significant investments such as buying a flat or apartment, but it certainly does apply to most luxury goods.
If you buy the latest iPhone even though you know you’ll end up with a blank bank account after the purchase, go for a pricier option. If you can’t pay for the vacation twice, you might want to choose a closer destination or cheaper accommodation.
No matter how much you desire the newest gadgets or a luxury experience, being left with an empty bank account is no fun. And in most cases, the leak in your purchase will stay longer than the satisfying feeling of spending money.
If spent it wisely, money can make you healthier, happier, and eve“Money Is Only a Tool. It Will Take You Wherever You Wish, but It Will Not Replace You As the Driver. “ — Ayn Rand
Money is neither the root of all bad nor is it dirty or evil. It’s neutral energy and a tool. How you use that tool is entirely up to you.
If bad people do bad things because they have money, it’s the fault of the people, not the money.
There’s a huge misconception and many people believe that money would change the core of a person’s identity. The reality, however, is that money just reveals who you are. It doesn’t change you.
If you use a knife to kill a person, it’s not the knife’s fault.
It’s you who decided to use that neutral tool to do harm. You could’ve also used it to make yourself a sandwich.
And it’s the same with money: Money is not good or bad. It’s just energy and an enabler for opportunities. How you use that energy is entirely up to you.
“Don’t Tell Me Where Your Priorities Are. Show Me Where You Spend Your Money and I’ll Tell You What They Are.” — James W. Frick
Most people don’t even know where their money flows. They end up with 0$ on their bank account at the end of the month, barely get along with the monthly paycheck, and don’t even think about making a change.
Going out and sipping some margaritas might not sound like a big deal, but if you do it regularly, these expenses can quickly lead to a lack of financial resources at the end of the month.
If you’ve never done it before, you might be surprised once you have a look at your monthly expenses and start analyzing how you spend your money.
I use a simple app called Toshl to track all my expenses. It takes me a second to update purchases and at the end of every month, I have a close look at how I spent my money.
“The Only Way to Learn on a $0 Budget Is to Talk to People.” — Drew Houston
I don’t entirely agree with this lesson as you can find millions of free resources to educate yourself on almost any topic on the web.
Yet, the message of Drew Houston’s quote is powerful: Talking to people is the most effective but also the cheapest way to expand your horizon and grow. If approached correctly, many successful people are happy to share their experiences.
Houston (founder of Dropbox) attributes his success to listening and learning from more experienced people. It costs nothing, yet is priceless.
“Beware of Little Expenses. A Small Leak Will Sink a Great Ship.” — Benjamin Franklin
As someone who started life with nothing, Benjamin Franklin is a great inspiration. While he taught to minimize little expenses more than 200 years ago, this lesson is now more critical than ever before.
Through the rise of subscription-based services and products, many people lose track of their finances. The result is not only an empty pocket but a dangerous paycheck-to-paycheck mentality.
Once you start tracking your money and analyzing your monthly purchases, you’ll realize how much you spend on stuff you don’t need or even want.
At first, minimizing small expenses might not sound like a big deal, but if you avoid the daily cup of coffee for $5 during workdays, you’ll save $1,300.
Spend $30 to buy a nice to-go cup, prepare your coffee at home and spend the extra $1,000 on experiences that light up your heart or on investments that will pay off years later.
“A Wise Person Should Have Money in Their Head, but Not in Their Heart. “ — Jonathan Swift
If you claim not to care about money, you’ll lack it.
Money is nothing more than energy, and just like any other form of energy, it needs to be managed. If you don’t care about it, you’ll lose it and lack financial resources.
Yet, there’s a thin line between being money-conscious, properly managing your finances, and letting it get into your heart.
Contrary to common belief, money can indeed buy happiness because money can enable experiences and enrich relationships. We all like going on a nice vacation with our loved ones or enjoying a beautiful dinner outside, right?
By managing your money logically, and using it to experience richness in your heart, you can use its power to live a life full of beautiful experiences and relationships.
“Save Money and Money Will Save You.” — Jamaican Proverb
No matter how you save or invest your money, the core idea of this folk wisdom is simple: Put money aside when times are good so that it can help you to live a more relaxed life when times are tough.
As Will Rogers once said:
“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.”
By using this proverb as a rule during your money-management journey, you’ll ensure to be forearmed when hard times arise.
“Do Not Save What Is Left After Spending, but Spend What Is Left After Saving.” — Warren Buffett
You’ve probably read that lesson dozens of times, yet, it’s worth mentioning one more time because it’s the core of a financially carefree life.
There’s hardly anything easier than spending money.
Endless useless possibilities to waste money arise every single day and swiping your credit card has never been easier. That’s why creating a budget and sticking to it is a must-have in order to save money and build wealth.
There’s no shame in spending money on nice things or experiences or even on dumb stuff if it makes you happy, given you first put a certain amount aside.
Creating a monthly budget will help you to be aware of all your fixed costs and to manage your variable expenses better.
Additionally, sticking to a predetermined budget will teach you how to be more disciplined. As Epictetus said more than two thousand years ago, wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants.
“If Money Is Your Hope for Independence You Will Never Have It. The Only Real Security That a Man Will Have in This World Is a Reserve of Knowledge, Experience, and Ability.” — Henry Ford
Most people live their lives as servants because they chase money, hoping that an increase on their bank account would lead to more freedom. The reality, however, is that freedom, or security as Henry Ford put it, starts in your head.
Money can flow into your life through many sources, but it can also be gone in the blink of an eye if you make wrong decisions. If you rely on money to be the core of a secure, independent life, you’ll be disappointed rather sooner than later.
By making well-thought-out decisions, you might be able to minimize the risks of losing money, but what’s truly precious is the power of your mind. Lots of reasons can lead to a financial burden. But nobody and nothing can take away your knowledge, experience, and ability.
That’s why investing in education, as Benjamin Franklin once said, is the best investment one can do.
“It’s Good to Have Money and the Things That Money Can Buy, but It’s Good, Too, to Check Up Once in a While and Make Sure That You Haven’t Lost the Things That Money Can’t Buy.” — George Lorimer
While money is a tool and a form of energy that can lead to priceless experiences and a beautiful life, there’s indeed a lot that can’t be improved through its presence.
Yes, money can enable you to have a great time with your loved ones, but there’s nothing more precious than the time you actually spend with people you love.
If you have lots of money on your bank account, but can’t take time for the people and experiences that truly matter to you, what’s the point of your wealth?
It’s the same with your health: What’s the point in having more money if you harm your body by working long hours every single day?
I like money.
And I don’t believe anyone who claims the contrary. If you say I don’t care about money, you either have lots of it, or you’re lying.
We all spend a huge part of our lives working for money for decades. There’s no point in denying its importance.
n more prosperous.
Money is power and every single day you can decide how you use that power.
You decide whether you spend it on high-priced luxury goods, on education, on experiences, or on doing good for those who are less fortunate.
However, to help others in need, you first need to tackle your own thoughts and be comfortable when talking about and making money.
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