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Money VS Freedom VS Good Life (PERSONAL PREFERENCE)

My neighbor owns a penthouse.

It's a beautiful thing.

It has romantic led lights on the balcony, Bluetooth speakers all around the place, huge

BUT...

She's cash strapped.

Until here, nothing's strange.

What leaves me flabbergasted is that she refuses what to me seem easy options for easy money, if that only means a slight decrease in her lifestyle.

I once told her that she had such a big place that she could get a roommate.
Or, even more lucrative, AirBnb her place.

Put someone in my house? Are you crazy?

That was her reaction to my suggestion.
Not that exact words maybe, but that was her attitude.

Of course she also has a car, eats at restaurants, goes to nice places, and does manicures and facials.

If she was happy, all good.

The problem is, she doesn't seem happy at all.
I see lots of tension and fear in her life.

Those who have been around the forum have already seen a few texts of her.
She reaches out to me in her battles with the condominium to keep expenses low. She is forced to battle because she's indebted and can't take any expenses.

When "Good Life" Is High Priority, & Money Is Low Priority

The lady might be more on the extreme end -albeit there is also far more extreme-.

But otherwise, prioritizing "good life" over income and freedom is a very common attitude.

I am the one who's weird here.

I remember asking some flatmates if they wanted to Airbnb their room while not there.
And their answer was almost without fail "are you crazy? All of my things are there".

They were poor and needed the money, but preferred to... I'm not even sure what they were even preferring here.
Keeping their "things" from strangers touching them or going through them? Or maybe the ideal of their room as their private temple?

And my personal internal, unfiltered reaction, often was "yeah, that's why you will stay poor".
And by "poor" I meant it both literally, and in the large sense: in terms of "freedom-poor" and "mindsets-poor" as well.

When Income & Freedom Are Priority

Personally, I've prioritized income and freedom.

The two are interrelated the way I see it: money allows you freedom.

Up to a certain point, at least.
Once you reach a certain threshold, you can buy all or almost all the freedom you want, and more money won't change much.
That's where you can stop chasing income.

But the people in the examples above not only aren't there, but money is costing them their freedom.

Which One Is "Better"?

I'm not yet sure there is any prescription or application here.

I'm still thinking about it.

And I'm thinking whether this could be a mindset to put in Ultimate Power.

Something like: "switch from pursuing things, to pursuing freedom and values" (and you'll be happier, while achieving more).

There is some research showing that spending money for experience leads to more happiness.

But I'm not yet sure about this.
I'm not sure if that isn't just me wanting others to buy my values and mindsets.

So the jury is still out.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share.

Manu Z. has reacted to this post.
Manu Z.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Which One Is "Better"?

Personally, I feel that both are necessary when one is looking for a life of overall satisfaction.

Initially, one might start out making income a higher priority in order to achieve more. Then, once they have enough, they might switch to a mindset that puts the "good life" as a higher priority (which is OK, in my opinion, if that new lifestyle will bring them more happiness).

In that case, it would be less about which mindset is better and more about what would be a better time to use one mindset or the other.

*Note: When I read the "good life" I thought to myself: health, wealth, love, and happiness. Yet, it seems you mean the "good life" in the sense of the "life of luxury" or "comfortable lifestyle" your neighbor enjoys. So, that's how I'll refer to it below.

When a "Life of Luxury" Is > More Income

Money/Life Philosophy: "Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants." --Epictetus

If the desires of an individual are kept within a reasonable, self-controlled limit, that same "life of luxury" could lead to more overall life satisfaction.

Money/Life Philosophy: "Money is usually attracted, not pursued." —Jim Rohn

When one is a high-quality individual and has the traits to acquire more status, allies, and resources, in some cases, they've earned the freedom / "right" to make income a lower priority.

They can work to attain a certain level of financial stability, continue attracting more financial success in their life (e.g. owning real estate / other assets that pay for their expenses so they don't have to Airbnb their place out if they don't want to), and prioritize their (maybe short) list of wants and "life of luxury" over income.

Money/Life Philosophy: “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.” —Edmund Burke

Another way of looking at this is, "If we command our life of luxury, we shall be rich and free. If our life of luxury commands us, we are poor indeed."

More than keeping the desires in one's life of luxury to a minimum, if there's no ability to detach from that lifestyle as circumstances change or life demands it—if one can't "be like water" and adapt—then that life of luxury becomes a prison of one's own design.

Money/Life Philosophy: “If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.” —Benjamin Franklin

Another take on this quote: “If you would be wealthy [in freedom, mindset, happiness, and general life satisfaction], think of saving [prioritizing money] as well as getting [the life of luxury you want].” —Benjamin Franklin

I think that the two—a life of luxury and a solid income—don't have to be mutually exclusive priorities. They can be two sides of the same coin used to achieve a well-balanced overall life.

When Income & Freedom > a "Comfortable" Lifestyle

Money/Life Philosophy: "Money often costs too much." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I would add, "For those who don't know how to command it."

If one's money (comfortable lifestyle) begins to cost them their happiness, it may be time for them to re-evaluate their priorities.

Money/Life Philosophy: “It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” —George Lorimer

Things money can't exactly buy, such as a better mental and emotional health.

I'd say that if one is experiencing tension and fear due to their priorities, once again, it's time to re-evaluate them.

Bringing It Back Around: Which One Is "Better"?

This feels like it ties into the theme of "using darkness to preserve the light".

In this case, "Using money to preserve and/or maximize one's life satisfaction and happiness".

If the money begins to drain the things that bring life satisfaction and happiness (such as freedom), then switch to prioritizing freedom and values.

If one's values starts to become a straight jacket (for example, being unable to buy the things you always dreamt of having as a self-made individual), then it could be time to re-evaluate one's values and start prioritizing a more comfortable lifestyle.

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Yeah, took me a while to digest this, but in the end, I agree with you, Ali.

It's situational.

And about personal preferences.

There is no necessary higher virtue, higher benefit, or higher returns in any of those two approaches, just a personal preference.

There is no clear overall winner here as with an antifragile ego, or a growth mindset, so not worth pursuing it further.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I am on the same page that it's situational.

I think your neighbour went too far in a certain direction, in this case, a lavish lifestyle.

And she couples that with some entitlement mentality, i.e. expecting others to help maintain her lifestyle whether supporting the value of her house or manipulating others.

So I think her lavish lifestyle multiplies the effects of her entitlement mentality.

Personally, if I were her neighbour, I would prefer her to prioritise money so she would stop bothering me. Or my other neighbours if I care about them.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on July 24, 2021, 10:58 am

I am on the same page that it's situational.

I think your neighbour went too far in a certain direction, in this case, a lavish lifestyle.

And she couples that with some entitlement mentality, i.e. expecting others to help maintain her lifestyle whether supporting the value of her house or manipulating others.

Exactly, that's what led me astray in the beginning.

You can also take the "freedom" to the extreme and suffer because you're going hungry and freezing, living under a bridge.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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