“They must be drug dealers. How else could they possibly afford to live the way they do?”
On the outside, my life might seem glamorous, the life of a drug dealer, full of money and expensive trips around the world. In the last year I spent a week in the Las Vegas area, went on a month-long road trip on the west coast and returned to California a month later to camp in Yosemite, went cruising around the Caribbean and last week was spent visiting a friend in Germany. In two months I’ll be visiting Iceland and a month later I’ll spend two weeks in Kauai, Hawaii.
Most people only ever dream of traveling to the extent that I’m able and some speculate that such a lifestyle can only be attained through illegal means, such as dealing drugs. What many people ignore are the sacrifices I make in my daily life in order to afford to live the way I do. If you want to live like a drug dealer, I can show you exactly how I am able to do it, no drugs necessary.
Rule 1) You Can Have Anything but You Can’t Have Everything. When we are kids our parents tell us that we can grow up to be anything we want to be. It’s true. With enough hard work, we can become anything we want to be but we can’t become everything we want to be. You can have anything you want in life, for me this is travel, but you can’t have everything. You have to make a choice. Do you want to travel or do you want to drive a sexy sports car?
Rule 2) Stop Paying Attention to Others. We only see what other people want us to see. People do not want us to know that they can’t really afford exotic vacations, expensive designer clothes, luxury automobiles, dinner at exclusive restaurants and drinks after work. Our society believes that being rich means looking rich. We spend our money trying to keep up appearances, all the while completely undermining our financial stability. Being rich and having money has nothing to do with what you drive or the clothes you wear. Ignore other people and focus on your own financial situation and on your own dreams.
Rule 3) Stay Out of Debt. If you’re in debt, get out. When you’re always paying for the past, you’re unable to focus on today or the future. Since beginning this website I’ve eliminated my credit card debt and paid off my car loan. Now I’m able to apply that money towards doing other things in my life, such as travel. Debt holds you hostage. You become a slave to your lenders and you spend your days working for the banks and credit card companies. The money you earn doesn’t belong to you and until you eliminate your debt, you’re not in control of your life.
Rule 4) Stop Buying Shit You Don’t Need. Really. If you want to live like a drug dealer, you can’t spend all of your money on stupid shit that brings no value to your life. My money is spent on plane tickets and hotel rooms, the things that I value and that bring enjoyment to my life. I don’t spend money on media, cigarettes, alcohol, clothing, etc. I live minimally and only try to spend my money on the things that I need. Stop buying shit you don’t need and you’ll have money to spend on the things that you want to do in your life.
Rule 5) Make Life a Priority. Stop thinking about all of the things you want to do in life and make them happen. It took me a long time to stop making excuses. There is always a reason not to do something and so long as you continue to use these excuses as justification for not pursuing your desires, your life will never change or improve. If you want something in life, you can’t expect for it to happen to you, you must make it happen. You have to be aggressive and punch life in the face!
The rules of living like a drug dealer are simple, totally legal and can work for anyone. You don’t need to earn a lot of money to live a great life. You just need to be smart with the money you earn and prioritize the things that are important to you. Once you begin to follow these simple rules and apply them to your life, you can be certain that your life will begin to take shape in exactly the way you have envisioned in your mind.
It’s great you have accomplished so many of your goals by not wasting time and energy on things you don’t care about. =) Those are simple rules but not always easy to follow through on. I’ve been thinking… perhaps to some people, having that spectacular bag is their goal… I don’t know but it certainly seems so. I’m not into fashion so I can’t understand it.
I think you are right. Different people pursue different desires, some desire bags or boats or cars or spending time in the backyard with their children. No one goal is better than another and no one lifestyle is superior to the next. Goals are very individual but the way to accomplish your goals, no matter what they are, remain the same. If it is designer purses that you value, by all means, fill your closet with purses, I am not in the position to decide what is right in anyone else’s life. The problem is that, as a society, we believe that we can have it all, the we deserve it all, and we spend our money to create an image, in the process totally undermining our financial stability and weakening our ability to pursue those things which we really value in life.
This post was spawned as a result of a comment which someone said about myself and my girlfriend, and it reminded me of the way our society functions, always in competition with the neighbors, only seeing the glamour of people’s lives and not realizing the sacrifices that need to be made in order to do the things I do in my life. Most importantly, I want people to understand that a person does not need to go into debt to accomplish their goals and can actually live the lifestyle they desire while really managing their finances. It does not require a big paycheck, or an illegal source of income but simple financial principles. That is the premise of this website, to accomplish your goals while managing your finances. It can be done, I am doing it and I want to help other people realize their dreams while keeping as much money in their pockets as possible.
With the five “rules” I outlined above, I really believe that people can begin changing their lives. It isn’t an overnight transformation but change does happen and depending on how hard you work at implementing these rules, the faster the results will happen.
Good post. I recently wrote a post “It Must Be Nice” that covered some of the same idea. People are envious of the time I can take off but ignore the things I do to be able to take the time off.
Absolutely! It all boils down to people seeing what they want to see (kind of the other end of people only showing you what they want to see). They will blindly ignore the fact that you drive a paid off car, carry no credit card debt and live as frugally as possible in order to make those things which they envy possible in our lives. It is all about priorities. I think the biggest challenge is recognizing that if you want your life to be a certain way, you must make it a priority, then ignore everything else (within reason, of course). It is really hard to be debt-free, driving a brand new sports car and jet setting around the globe. Pick one that brings you the most joy and push as hard as you can.
Rule #1 is something my dad has repeated over and over to me. Good reminder!
I really like how you explained Rule 4) Stop Buying Shit You Don’t Need. Some people dont realize they are spending their money on things that they only kinda like or things that are harmful to them.
Often — too often — stuff is a salve for underlying unhappiness with the path we’re on. I dream my dream everyday. Because I am a little stupid, I’ve slowly arrived at the “epiphany” that in order to LIVE that dream, sacrifice is necessary. That when I have a bad day, week, or month at work, “stuff” doesn’t fix it. Not even the stuff that reminds me of my dream (Yes, my work, as menial as it is, factors way too high on my totem pole of life.)
I wouldn’t judge us stuff buyers too harshly, though. Many of us don’t even realize that we’re unhappy or realize that we are allowing ourselves to be victims of a constant barrage of consumerist thinking — our society. That at the heart of that barrage to buy, buy, buy is a subliminal message of fear that we’ll be left behind if we don’t participate.
Today, I begin following your posts. I need to figure out how to divest. You will serve as my inspiration. So, don’t slack!