[Nov 2013] My Financial Needs

After my recent struggles, after reevaluating things in my life and thinking about what is important and what is not, I changed the way I see my financial situation and my future needs. It is very current after I quitted my job because it is very likely that I won’t have a steady and significant income for some time, so I can only lean on my savings. How long my money is going to last is mostly determined by my needs, so it is essential to set things straight.

I’ve always thought I needed tons of money because I wanted to live and try everything in life. I wanted to buy special experiences for myself and couldn’t say no. I wanted a bigger and more beautiful apartment, a fancier and faster car, more expensive clothes, more and better from everything. I thought this was the healthy way of life, and whoever thought otherwise was weak and lacked ambition.

I remember once that a colleague of mine took me to the car-service to take home my car after some repair. We went into the luxurious BMW exhibition room, we were watching those brand new, beautiful cars, and I tried to convince my colleague that it is not at all expensive to own such a vehicle. He had a wife and two kids, and such a car would have costed at least half his monthly salary. “I have slightly different preferences and priorities,” he said looking at me dumbfounded.

Lately, I was discussing the same matter with another colleague. As I started explaining my same views about financials, he interrupted me with a laugh. “Alright, alright, but we have to draw some lines here. Otherwise, we find ourselves endlessly chasing dreams,” he said. I remember how this sentence hit me for a moment.

I always thought I earn a lot of money, but I wanted more, and I was sure I was going to make more money year by year. Why would I have had any doubts? I am no athlete, whose earning capabilities diminish as in the later stages of his career. I am an intellectual worker who gains more and more experience and knowledge every year, becomes better and more productive, climbs higher on the ladder, and earns ever-increasing money. And this was what I experienced. Everything became better year after year. I had no reason to think it would ever change. That’s why I have always spent all my money, on the best and most expensive stuff. First furnishing and equipping my apartment, then buying a fancy car, and everything else. I never imagined my father getting sick, me having a burn-out and losing my job, being unable to work, having severe mental issues. All this came as a bolt from the blue.

This changed me and made me reevaluate everything. Today I see the whole money issue fundamentally differently, hopefully in a healthier way. In a way that was unimaginable for me only a few years ago. Now I think I not only have everything I need, but I have much more than that. I am ashamed if I think about all the beautiful, expensive, and useless stuff I have bought in the recent years. I have an apartment with much more things than actually needed. I have a car that is much bigger, better, and stronger than necessary. Sometimes I feel that even the car itself is unnecessary. I have clothes and everything else to live my life. I don’t want to keep hoarding useless objects around me. These belongings tie me up and weigh on me. I feel freer without them. Even my own apartment is an unnecessary bond. I would feel more independent without owning it. I think my savings will be enough for a long time. I don’t have to go to fancy parties and expensive restaurants every week. I don’t have to fulfill all the wishes of my girlfriend or anyone else around me. If I can just live and work on my dreams, and do whatever I really want to, then I feel richer than with all the money in the world.

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