According to the Roman Catholic church there are seven deadly sins that form the ground on which many other sins are based. The seven sins are quite obvious and self explanatory. They are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. These sins are basically the excessive versions of our natural desires and behaviours. I'm not a horrible person, but I do have to admit that some of these sins do apply to me. Being a sinner and a non-believer will probably guarantee me I will someday find myself at the closed gates of heaven. If such a place exists.
But I'm not here to debate on the existence of heaven or hell. I do have a certain amount of respect for people with different views and religions, so I'm not here to question of offend anyone. No, I brought up the topic of sins in relation to my journey for financial freedom. The most obvious sins, of course, being greed and gluttony. Both are a sin of desire and will prevent anyone from reaching financial independence. If you have the desire to spend a lot of money on (electronic) gadgets, expensive shoes, watches or other luxurious items you will find yourself further and further from your goal of financial independence with each purchase you make.
Does that mean I'm absolutely NOT allowed to spend any of my hard earned cash on something nice? On something I don't really need to survive. Of course not. I've been reading Your Money Or Your life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. A very cool book about your relationship with money and how you can reach financial independence. One of the many things I learned from this book is how to be more conscious about my spending. When you know how much money you earn each month you can then calculate how much your time is worth (per hour). So, when you buy a €900 laptop, you can then calculate how many hours you need to work to pay back for the laptop. The more hours you have to work the further away you are from reaching financial independence. So, if buying this laptop would mean you will have to work 4 more days before reaching financial independence, you can then consider whether the laptop is worth working the extra hours for. If it is, then buy it. If this laptop brings you so much joy that it is worth working for 4 more days, then, by all means, buy it! On the other hand, if you don't really need this laptop, because your old one is still good enough, but you want it because it's new, fast and shiny, then consider keeping the old laptop and invest the money in ETF's instead. Invest in your freedom.
In 2016 I was thinking about buying a new motorcycle. It was quite an expensive one so I really had to think about the consequences. This bike would mean I could not invest any money for the next two months. And I am able to invest up to 70% of my income so we're talking about a substantial amount here. After some careful thinking I decided that this bike would give a tremendous amount of joy and that it was well worth the money. Up to this day I still have no regrets whatsoever buying my 2016 Ducati Monster 821 (with Termignoni exhausts, loud!). So, even though purchasing my motorcycle set me back a couple of months from reaching my goal, it also gives me the joy that I am looking for in life.
Investing and planning for financial independence is a great thing, but you should not forget to enjoy yourself while you're still alive. Thankfully, there are many other ways to save money without crossing your comfort level barrier. Another thing I like to spend my money on is travelling. I don't stay in the most fancy hotels, but I do seek a certain level of comfort which comes at a price. However, travelling gives me so much joy that it is worth every cent and it is just part of my preferred lifestyle. The next coming two trips for this year are already planned. Ireland and Ecuador. Feeling excited.