50 Valuable Lessons from the Rich and the Poor About Money and Happiness

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When it comes to money and happiness everyone has different points of view based on what they’ve experienced. It’s safe to say that most of us struggle with money and more often than not, make poor financial decisions. We also fail at striking a balance between how much we have and how much is enough. It gets even more complicated when money becomes an obsession that replaces other priorities essential to our happiness.

Money is not an evil thing. It’s the mind behind it that might be loaded with evil intentions. In the Enchumbao household, we use money as a vehicle to help us on our journey to acquire financial freedom. We want the freedom to do what we want with our time. For us, it’s a means to an end.

money

We both came from very humble financial backgrounds. We worked hard, went to college and looked for opportunities to improve our own economies at first, but once we got on the FI path, our relationship with money had transformed. We could easily see beyond what the average person perceives money to be. We had defined how much is enough. Along the way we also realized that even “enough” was already too much, as the journey to FI showed us that we could do more with less and be much happier sooner.

The 50 valuable lessons that inspired this post come from just one story I read. This one article provided enough lessons to make anyone happier and wealthier for a lifetime! It was recently published by the Esquire Magazine in their lifestyle section and it’s titled: 4 Men with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford. In the article they asked four ‘typical’ men about the kind of lives they can afford based on their annual income. It was interesting to read it and see how differently these four gentlemen think about money and happiness. Without going into too many details about their lives, let’s just dig into their income levels and move on to our precious list of lessons.

How much in income do these individuals make?
  1. The first individual is a 35-year-old CEO who makes $1,000,000/yr.
  2. The second individual is a Real Estate Agent who makes $250,000/yr.
  3. The third individual is a Concierge for a property management group who makes $53,000/yr.
  4. And the fourth individual is a Bar-back at a lounge who makes $7/hr.

I encourage you to read the article to be able to make the connection with this post. After I read it, I was surprised from some of the findings and was amazed at all the valuable lessons I was able to pick up about how different mindsets think about money and happiness. So, let me share these valuable lessons with you!

50 money lessons for living a happier life:

  1. Tracking your expenses is essential to getting a good handle of your money.
  2. To acquire wealth you should keep a budget. Not budgeting can lead to financial disaster.
  3. Paying off your mortgage is a milestone worth accomplishing. Own your own roof!
  4. Eating at home saves you money.
  5. Being married or in a relationship can be beneficial to your finances.
  6. Don’t have more kids than you can afford and avoid parenthood until you’re able to.
  7. Help others in need.
  8. Do a periodic checkup on your finances.
  9. Only buy things you can really afford.
  10. Eat healthy.
  11. Take care of your parents.
  12. Have long-term financial goals.
  13. Pay off your credit card balance every month.
  14. Save for retirement.
  15. Don’t retire your brain.
  16. Hold your kids accountable for their college performance.
  17. Don’t spoil your children.
  18. Show your children the value of work.
  19. Have rules to reinforce good behavior with your kids.
  20. Prioritize family time over extra work.
  21. Have clear and defined financial goals.
  22. Money can be just a game after you have essential needs covered. More money doesn’t equate to more happiness.
  23. Prioritize your spending.
  24. Plan your travels.
  25. Make your money work for you by creating streams of passive income.
  26. Define by when you want to achieve financial freedom.
  27. Make of college a sound investment.
  28. Have sound and meaningful financial goals for your money.
  29. Don’t worry about money so much that you forget to live.
  30. Buy in bulk.
  31. Don’t confuse needs with wants.
  32. Don’t buy more housing than you need.
  33. Live in an affordable area.
  34. Confront reality with action.
  35. A car is just a car.
  36. Rich people buy assets, poor people buy stuff.
  37. Finance charges will keep you from getting ahead.
  38. Keep a limit on your credit card charges based on your budget.
  39. Keep track of your retirement savings.
  40. Learn how to do more with less.
  41. You get in life what you are willing to work for.
  42. Stay away from salespeople aka TV commercials.
  43. Don’t ignore bills and fines.
  44. Invest in yourself.
  45. Become a victor, not a victim of taxes.
  46. No one likes to pay taxes.
  47. Take care of what keeps you up at night.
  48. Pay off ALL debt ASAP.
  49. Think BIG.
  50. Happiness is all relative.

And there you have it! Did you pick any other tips from the article? These takeaways are based on just four different lifestyles, but they resonate so much with what we’ve been learning and putting into practice throughout the years. It’s all part of what encompasses an Enchumbao lifestyle. We can learn good and bad habits from people of all income levels. We just need to be wise enough to know the difference.

Which of these tips do you follow on your path to happiness? Do you agree or disagree with it? What has been working for you?

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Mr. Enchumbao

I work for a large investment management company helping people save for traditional retirement. During my spare time, I write about our FIRE journey here, at Enchumbao. My journey to FI began in 2012. I was in a lot of debt back then, but I turned things around and became debt free a few years later. My wife and I reached financial independence in 2017 and are preparing to retire soon.

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2 Responses

  1. Hycen tanda says:

    l am satisfy with the wisdom it this article and will like to benefit from future post

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