You Can Afford Anything … But Not Everything.
Every time you buy an item – a sweater, a smartphone, a tub of ice cream – you’re making a tradeoff.
You’re stating that you’d rather have this sweater or smartphone instead of something else.
Sometimes these choices are easy.
We need electricity and running water.
These take priority over everything else.
But as we delve into discretionary spending, our choices get hazy.
Here’s a little story narrated by PAULA PANT:
HI! I’M PAULA PANT, When I graduated from college in 2005, I landed a full-time job with a $21,000 annual salary.
Despite my low income, I decided to spend two years traveling the world.
I knew that this would demand serious tradeoffs.
For the next three years, I wore clothes from thrift stores.
I rode a bicycle and buses instead of owning a car.
I lived in a cramped apartment.
I never dyed or highlighted my hair.
I didn’t have a television, home internet, or a washing machine.
I slept on a free mattress I received as a hand-me-down.
In addition, I worked a “side hustle” during my evenings and weekends, writing freelance articles for 50 cents per word.
I saved every penny of this side income.
It paid off.
In 2008, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Egypt, and spent more than two years traveling across North Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Many of my friends said, “I would love to do that, but I can’t afford it.”
But their hair is highlighted and their toenails are pedicured.
Their clothes and furniture are new, and they’re trying the newest sushi hotspot tonight.
Please don’t misunderstand me – clothes and furniture are great things to spend money on, if that’s what you truly want.
But some people are unaware that every purchase they make is a tradeoff against something else.
Every $1 you spend at a restaurant is $1 you can no longer spend traveling around the world, building a real estate portfolio or investing in your business.
The key to “affording anything” is spending money in a way that reflects your priorities.
If your life goals point in a different direction – if you want to:
- Buy your first rental property
- Quit your job
- Create streams of passive income
- Retire early
- Enjoy more freedom and flexibility
…. then ask yourself what trade-offs you’ll make in order to afford it.
You can afford anything.
You just can’t afford everything.
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