What I See For My Financial Future
Do I ever wish I had more money? Sure. I work hard, and it’s natural to want to see just reward for the work that you do. But the truth is that I believe this bootstrapping phase of my current job will only make it more rewarding when things work out for us—I thrive on the excitement and challenges you face in the startup world.
Of course, there have been times when managing my financial situation has been difficult. One day in Argentina, I remember walking by an empanada shop—the cheapest food you can get—and realizing that, with the change in my pocket, I couldn’t even afford one. I had to ask myself: Was I really living how I wanted to?
And even now that my $1,000 paycheck is totally sufficient, I occasionally wonder what it would be like to have more money. It scares me that I haven’t made any contributions to my future retirement. And I’d love to be able to buy more luxuries, like a good stereo system, and better Christmas gifts for family and friends.
Even when I start a family, I know that my attitude toward money won’t change. Unlike my dad, it’s not my goal to give my kids the fanciest education.
But I don’t want the material items enough to make money more of a priority in my life. For me, money signifies the beginning of attachment—and attachments are what would stop me from living the lifestyle I love. I’m afraid these things might prevent me from leaving Berlin when my next adventure calls. It might seem illogical, but there’s something about the challenge of a shoestring budget that captivates me.
When things have gotten really tough, my dad—who’s been really supportive of my commitment to this lifestyle—has helped me out by sending $100 here and there, for which I’m incredibly grateful, especially since it’s always been my choice to live how I do.
I actually think my choices have positively influenced my dad’s own outlook on life. He’s started to slow down, choosing to work less and spend more time with his grandchildren.
Is this life sustainable?
I think so. Even when I start a family one day, I know that my attitude toward money won’t change, especially since my girlfriend feels the same way that I do. Unlike my dad, it’s not my goal to give my (future) kids the fanciest education. I want to travel with them, and give them a decent, comfortable upbringing, just like I had.
But, most of all, I’d like to teach them what I learned in Sri Lanka: If you appreciate what you’ve got, then you have everything you need.