1. Think of the richest person you know personally, close your eyes, take a moment… Chances are they work full-time. Chances are they work overtime. Are they happy? Do they keep fit and see their friends and family? I’ve generally found that the pursuit of money and status comes at the detriment of other currencies in life: health, time, freedom, love, passion.
2. Only half of UK employees take all of their annual leave allowance. Our culture paints those who work hard as virtuous, but what are we contributing if we’re stressed, overworked and unhappy?
3. Health, time, freedom, love and passion are things we don’t even think of as currency. In fact they are things we often try and buy with money. We’ll pay for a massage after a long day at work, order a Deliveroo because we don’t have time to cook or buy our kids presents because we’re never around. The time and energy it takes to earn money creates holes in our life that we have to fix with money. We all have to work, but sometimes work takes over, so that what we’re working for – a better life – becomes harder to achieve.
4. When you go to buy something or feel a ‘want’, rather than buying it straight away, add it to a list. I bet within a week or two there are things on that list that you no longer want and things that you would like but have realised you (evidently) can live without. Try this technique, please. It’s such a simple way to not fill your house up with crap. You’ll be surprised by how persuasive that initial impulse to buy something is, and how differently you can feel even 5 minutes later.
5. The most financially healthy person is the person who has the ability to connect the money they have with things that make them happy. There are multi-billion-dollar industries whose sole aim is to make us spend money we don’t have on things we don’t want. It takes perseverance, strategy and will power to beat the consuming machine and only bring into our lives the things we truly want and have the time and space to appreciate.
About Alex Holder
Alex Holder has written a book on the importance of talking about money. Her projects have been featured everywhere from the BBC to the New Yorker, while her campaign highlighting the gender pay gap went viral and helped change an actual law. Her work has been taught in schools and debated in parliament. Her book ‘Open Up – The Power of Talking About Money’ is published by Serpents Tail and out now.