I used to be frugal. There I said it. At least with certain things.
For example, when I first arrived in London (literally all alone) I decided that instead of paying for a taxi to take me to my new flat, I’d carry my 200 pounds worth of suitcases across town (making three trips and up four flights of stairs) to save a bit of money. (I was also the Queen of doing it myself and not asking for help.)
And I carried that mindset into my own life even when I got to the place where I could afford to take a taxi every once and awhile.
I’d rush from the bus to the train and run down the street, and when I finally arrived at my destination, I’d be frazzled, in a bad mood, and not looking so hot when I could have just paid for that £10 cab ride and made my day much happier and more memorable in a good way.
But I still remember the day when my husband and I started car shopping in London which was the start of us no longer being frugal. My business was about a year old, and although you actually don’t need a car in London because the transportation is so great, both of us had become aware of how much we missed driving over the past few years…but convinced ourselves that it wasn’t the practical thing to do and not worth spending the money.
However, at one point, we realized how much more enjoyable our life could be with a car, even if it wasn’t the most practical thing in the world.
We allowed ourselves to make a list of all of the positives…
For example, we could take trips outside of the city, visit friends and family more regularly, drive to dinner on date night instead of taking crowded public transportation (which would mean not having to deal with the forces of nature when standing at the train platform or waiting for the bus. Every woman in London knows that there’s nothing worse than spending an hour getting ready only to have the London Underground tube train pull up to your stop and blow what feels like 100mph winds in your face or to arrive in a pool of sweat because it’s been a mission to get to a party on the other side of town and for some reason they don’t regulate the temperature on the trains. You get the idea.)
And it wasn’t just a matter of making ourselves happier, there were ways having a car would benefit our success as well.
In fact, my husband realized a few things about how driving a car to work instead of taking the train or cycling would benefit him at his job (this was before he quit to join me in my business):
- He will be less stressed from the crowded train journey and in a more positive mindset when he gets into work.
- His clothes won’t be all wrinkled from being in a backpack when he cycles to work – thus he will look more put together for his bosses thus increasing the chance for him to be promoted because he will look like he really cares about his job and looking professional. (Which he does!)
- He’ll feel more like a successful adult owning a car since in his mind, he that’s one of things he equates with success (your definition may be different) which will feed into everything he does.
Personally, I got to the point where I was so over being practical in my life and instead, I was ready to do what made me happy and set me up for success.
So is there an aspect of your life that you’re making much more difficult than it needs to be? Are you setting yourself up to be challenged, stretched, and stressed out when there’s actually a much easier route?
After all, these decisions affect more than just one day; they feed into our overall health, productivity, relationships, mindset, and success level as well.
I bet you never thought about how a decision to save a bit of money by taking the crowded, late bus could be costing you your dreams without you even realizing it. I know I didn’t.
And I know what you’re thinking: You don’t have the money to make these changes (or take the taxi).
I hear you. I’m not saying to go out and get yourself in debt, but consider where can you spend money on yourself in a way that will increase your chances and your ability to have the life you’re longing for in terms of happiness and success.
Or better yet where are spending “pointless” money?
Are you spending far too much on Starbucks and not enough on your appearance at work? Are you spending too much on digital television when that money could be going to a course you’ve always wanted to take but have pushed to the side? Or are you the girl who is spending far too much on drinks out with acquaintances and not enough on investing in a proper website for your dream business?
Which alternative is truly going to enhance your life?
I’m all about taking a stand for the “and” (which means having Starbucks and the clothes), but if you temporarily need to make a shift in terms of where you spend your money, then do that if it helps you get out of practicality and into your dream life.
Here are a few other examples that may resonate with you:
- Would hiring a virtual assistant for an hour a week increase your productivity so you can work on things in your business that actually bring in the money and excite you?
- Would hiring someone to clean your house once a month improve your marriage and your career dramatically? (It enhanced mine!)
- Would taking your dream vacation increase your happiness level and thus affect everything else in your life as well?
- Would buying those leather pants that you’ve wanted for four years and signing up for your favorite yoga classes (despite their price) make you feel sexier and more confident and in turn, help you attract the man of your dreams?
- Would booking that birthday trip to Las Vegas for your boyfriend increase the level of fun in your relationship?
- Would painting your temporary apartment increase your level of happiness and pride in your home even if you’re just going to be there for another year? (That’s another year of your incredible life!)
- Would getting that professional to help you with your website drive your sales and make it so you no longer have website shame and promote your biz instead?
- Would moving out of your parents’ house and into your own apartment finally make you feel like an adult and like the sky is the limit in your life?
- Would ordering your groceries online give you more time to spend on your career and relationships and much less in a stressful grocery store line (it did for me!).
- Would getting that weekly massage make you much more available to your clients and able to handle your workload with ease and grace?
So this week, I’d love for you to think of ways you can move past practical and into happiness in your own life. After all, this is your life now, so it’s time to live it authentically. We only get one chance!
And as always, I’d love to hear what you come up with!
P.S. Living in a practical way can actually block money from coming into your life and career (yes, you heard me!). As my VIP coaching client, you’ll learn everything you need to know about shifting your money mindset and building the wealth you desire. Learn more about working together here.