Jim Cramer is perhaps one of the best known financial gurus on television. As host of Mad Money, he has counseled millions on how to get the most out of the stock market.
Yet, even this television star and millionaire understands that if you want to build a financial fortress, you can’t have it all, all the time. Cramer admits that he spends lavishly on just two indulgences that are important to him, but otherwise lives frugally.
The new year, however, provides the perfect opportunity to sit back and think about what truly makes you happy and creates joy in your life.
We’ve all been seduced into pursuing a vision of success carefully constructed by advertisers. They tell us we can have everything – the late model car, fabulous vacations, large home in the suburbs, and designer fashions.
But our pursuit of this fantasy has left too many of us drowning in debt and living paycheck to paycheck in order to afford the dream life carefully constructed by Madison Avenue.
Instead of letting advertisers and the media define what we should desire, perhaps we should take the time to find out what truly brings us satisfaction.
As Jim Cramer argues, determine what you really like. Spend money on what makes you happy, while cutting back feverishly on those things that add little value to your life. This is the path to financial success.
If you find bliss in taking extravagant vacations, then give up on the idea of purchasing a new car every four years, eat at home more often, and cut the cable TV. Make sacrifices in areas that are not important in order to enjoy those things that bring you the most gratification.
Unfortunately, we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we fail to take time to reflect on what truly brings us the most enjoyment in life. The new year, however, provides the perfect opportunity to sit back and think about what truly makes you happy and creates joy in your life.
Find a quiet location and look back at your spending for the past year. Use your credit card statements, for instance, to help identify those purchases that truly stood out. Maybe it was the soft touch of a new handbag or silky feel of a new dress.
Perhaps memories of fine dining or the latest electronic gear brought a smile to your face. Whatever it is, identify the one or two indulgences that truly lifted your soul. Then make plans to ruthlessly cut back on all your other expenses.
Keep in mind that research indicates that we often obtain more satisfaction from spending money on experiences than on things. A family vacation to the Bahamas, for instance, would probably bring more contentment to our life than a new iPad.
Refuse the urge to mindlessly purchase everything advertisers brainwash us into thinking we need to be happy. By identifying and spending money on those few things that bring you the greatest joy, while cutting back on everything else, you’ll end up happier and wealthier.
BMWK, what purchases bring you the greatest joy?