An idea: as you get richer, lower your standard of living?
For example: as I’ve become richer, I’m less dazzled by the hype of expensive stuff. I think I can gauge my own sincerity more truly now:
I prefer “bang for the buck” value over how fancy something is.
For example, I’ve become more simple in my food (and coffee) preferences. I don’t care to eat fancy food (I’ve already eaten all the best foods). Similarly with coffee, even though I know what really good coffee is, a simple drip coffee now suffices me. For example if I had the option to have a phenomenal $4 espresso (single origin), or a free (average) drip coffee, I’d take the free drip coffee (especially if I can have as many cups as I want).
Furthermore, as I’ve gotten richer, I’ve simplified a lot of my life:
- No more Amazon prime subscription for me, which means I buy less stuff. The stuff I really need I’ll buy it at the store.
- I don’t buy books anymore; I only read ancient Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and tragedy-plays via “epub” format (typically Project Gutenberg). Or reading Nietzsche.
- Preferring to live in a small apartment: Lots of money saving on rent. Also no desire to buy a house (one less thing to worry about).
- No need to buy new clothes: I already got all the Merino wool clothing I need, and I only prefer to have “one of everything”, which prevents me from accumulating superfluous stuff.
- Not owning a car: No expenses for gas, parking, insurance, repairs, etc. Living without a car has made life 10x easier and better. Now I walk a lot more (increases my happiness and mood), and just Uber or public transit everywhere. I still admire automotive design from a sculpture and innovation perspective; I no longer desire to actually “own” it.
I’m never going to go broke
Dr. Dre calls it “fuck off” money: having your money arranged in such a way that you can go “fuck off” (no longer work for money for a long time), and never go broke.
My biggest epiphany was when living in Vietnam in 2017:
I can maintain my simple lifestyle and earn money faster than I can spend it.
This really changes how you think about life:
Only doing what you want to do, not doing anything you don’t want to do.
I feel this allows you to gain more economy over your life; not wasting any of your previous human metabolism on bullshit or “fake work” / “busy work”.
Increase your income, lower your expenses
This is the simple formula for indefinite wealth. You’ll never go broke. And your savings will only ever go up; never go down. Money which defies the rules of gravity.
And the truth is this: you don’t need a high income. You must simply have less expenses than your income.
For example if you’re earning a billion dollars a year yet your expenses are a billion and one dollars a year, you’re in the negative.
If you earn 20,000 a year but you only spend 10,000 a year in expenses, you’re in the positive.
Pursuing and living a more ascetic, simple, and minimal lifestyle seems the best thing you can do for your personal freedom, happiness, and thriving!