While vacationing in Seattle, I had the priviledge to be with some amazing people who happened to be, very wealthy. While my goal in life isn’t to become a millionaire, it was interesting to hear how they came into wealth. Most of them hadn't gone to college and a few only got as far as 8th grade - they were just hard working entrepreneurs who made millions at 30 and loved what they did so they kept at it.
Even though they are the wealthiest people I know, they are also some of the most down-to earth people I’ve ever met; except for the fact that they’re constantly holding a $30 glass of wine (hereafter: purple gold) in true millionaire style.
The Million-Dollar Conversation:
At one graduation party, the Hubs and I were chatting with one said wealthy man about our squeeze of a lifestyle and how we’re stressed about money especially with a baby on the way.
He looked at us, smiled and said, “You guys are so blessed.”
I was like...say whaaaat?! Maybe I misspoke or added an extra zero to our collective income. He didn’t wait for me to explain my silence.
“The secret to money,” he said, “is to learn to be happy with what you’ve got. Trust me, the green just gets greener and the hills just get steeper.”
A bitter chuckle escaped from my mouth and I said, “So you mean it never gets better?”
“Trust me, if you can be learn to be happy with nothing you’ll be able to conquer any financial obstacle, especially wealth.” He sipped some more purple gold.
I glanced at Hubs. “So when you become a millionaire, you still worry about money?” I asked.
“More than you know - that’s the millionaire’s secret; more money is just more headache, more to manage” he said.
The Millionaire's Secret:
He went on to talk about ways that his family tries to save money, buying his new Mercedes factory direct in Germany, and how thankful they were that their kids received academic scholarships because “College is just sooo expensive.”
He talked about how his family only goes to museums on the free days and that their favorite family activity is not sunning on the yacht but fishing off the skiff (do you believe this guy?!).
Why The Millionaire Had More Clout Than Ghandi:
"Instead of Gandhi saying, 'Being thankful for what you have,' and me thinking ok that’s easy for you Gandhi but I’m a REAL person, this man was a real, really wealthy person and he knew that money wasn’t all that mattered.
For the rest of vacation instead of looking at our bank account with anxiety and anger, I just saw a boundary, a line I couldn’t cross. Even now as I look to our runway to the end of the month, I’m not plagued with if-only’s, instead I feel energized to just make it work.
Attitudes And Actions Are Habit-Forming:
Our conversation also left me with the haunting reality that also reminded me that our relationship to money is habit forming. That means that I’m establishing patterns now that will shape the way I think about money for, well, the rest of my life.
And that scares me because...well changing our habits is hard. How many times have we PROMISED we’d go to the gym only to spend the first two weeks there? How many times do we swear off desserts only to pig-out the next night? Now just think about how many times we’ve stressed about money and what habit that’s created.
Understanding that our actions and attitudes are habit-forming is one of the reasons ImpulseSave actually works. Instead of a budget which gets our minds in the habit of taking steps for budgeting, ImpulseSave gets our lives in the habit of saving. It’s also why we take a minute to encourage you, to say, “Great job!” Even that small reinforcement goes a long way towards creating a good attitude about money.
The real secret to ImpulseSave is after a while, you’ve created a habit of saving, not in some lame self-denial frustration ridden angst filled determination that further perpetuates money stress, but in an encouraging and easy part of your every day life that feels as natural as purchasing that pack of gum.
How To Stop Worrying About Money:
So the next time you’re stressed about money, stop. Don’t stop because I’m telling you, stop because if you worry now, you’re going to worry for the rest of your life no matter the success or failures that come your way.
If you feel that you’ve already established a culture of money stress in your life, the good thing is small steps are the answer to breaking habits, not grand declarations. For the rest of us who are just beginning to form these habits, why not take action and make an impulsesave. Who knows what that small save will mean in 30 years.
More on how to stop worrying about money:
How To Stop Worrying About Money by Money Under 30
How To Stop Worrying About Money by Money Crashers
Reader Story: How I Learned To Stop Worrying by Get Rich Slowly
How do you stop worrying about money, or deal with money stress? Do you believe the millionaire’s secrets? Share your thoughts!