The following is a guest post. Alden Tan is a rock star blogger who quit his job to follow his dream to be a writer. He blogs about inspiration, and has the uncanny ability to not care about what others think.
You have tons of money, and without a care in the world, you’re always ready to spend a bucket load on your friends.
I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff? Surely you’re making them happy.
Then you feel all high and great about yourself, thinking that you’re the cool, rich friend who’s super generous.
That must be a pretty awesome life right?
No, not really.
I’ve seen it and felt it with my own eyes.
I used to party a lot and hung out with rich folks, who were all too ready to always buy people drinks.
But I got envious. I actually thought it would make me a big man if I did the same.
And with a new credit card, I did just that.
It was a trap.
The idea of being generous with money just because you have it. The enticing lure of wanting to be rich and feeling like you’d be elevated to such financial freedom is a short-lived farce.
Many people typically want to be rich, but having tons of money actually require a certain control in your finances.
Now, people say it’s about making sure you don’t spend too much on yourself…
… I say it’s about making sure you don’t be too generous.
Generosity can mess with your sense of logic
I felt good and “rich” buying drinks for my friends. I justified that it was all good because everyone was happy, drinks in hand anyway.
It didn’t exactly bother me that I had a lot of expensive weekends. I just got used to it. What’s wrong with getting used to fun and being happy with your friends?
It was only when I started feeling the pinch of spending too much, and I talked to a friend about it. And he said something so sensible I just wondered why the hell I didn’t catch it from the start.
He said, “You don’t need a million dollars to be financially free. You like drinks? Just get a few good friends, and split the bill“.
Now think about it: What does financially free mean to you?
And does it necessarily mean you got to be a millionaire to be free?
Let me tell you the answer: No.
Being financially free can come in so many different ways. I say, it’s about knowing the true value of a dollar and not being held by its societal value.
It’s true when they said there are many things in life money cannot buy. So do you want to take part in the paper chase that goes one full circle back to paper?
Or, would you rather be free from the grasp of money, and realize there’s more to life than just money in this world?
My revelation was simple, but it was a profound one that showed me simplicity and making sensible choices can bring you a long way in life.
You think you are giving happiness, when you’re really not
Let me just put it straight and clean: Buying things for people doesn’t automatically mean you’re delivering happiness.
Money can’t buy happiness, that’s the cliché, but it’s true.
Just like how the intoxication from alcohol wears off, so do the “happiness”.
How much respect, trust or rapport can you really build with someone with mere money?
That comes with an obvious answer: Not much.
But because you think you ought to be generous, your sense of judgement may be clouded with your supposed elevation from wanting to be or feel rich.
Think that you did a “good one” by buying everyone drinks? Think again. They’re probably just thinking when the next drink will come.
There’s nothing wrong with being generous
But do it sparingly.
Having a lot of money doesn’t mean you need to buy stuff for people.
Evaluate why you buying something for someone first before you fork out the cash. If it’s just to feel good about yourself, then you ought to reflect upon that.
You worked hard for your own money, so why spend it on others?