Why It’s Stupid to Stress Over Money

It’s a weird quote, but it totally makes sense. I read this many years ago when I was reading the Rich Dad, Poor Dad set of books by Robert Kiyosaki:

“The lazier I think, the more money I make.”

The times when I have made the most money have no doubt been the times I have done the least amount of work. With my online business, it seems like I have to work really hard (and even harder now with all the Google changes) to keep things moving along and the sales continuing to come in.

The same applies for saving money. I don’t have the energy or the desire to ever clip coupons. Believe me, I’ve tried to be that guy. I’ve heard about Sam Walmart saving his way to becoming a millionaire. But that’s not me, not at all. I would much rather pay an extra 10 bucks at the grocery store than to spend 15 minutes compiling coupons, online or from those annoying Valpacks.

Fun times?

And this theory works really well for me. I don’t like complications and making things difficult. I like life to be easy. In fact, much of what I work towards is to create less stress and make life easier.

When I worked a “real job” in the corporate world, I was never very motivated. I was never very interested in the product or service the company provided, and even in the times when I was somewhat interested, I knew I was just a cog in the wheel, and playing office politics to get ahead just wasn’t in my future.

So when I read about this “lazy thinking” it resonated with me. It’s tough, because the whole world and especially here in the US is all about hard work, and how everything should be a struggle, and this ridiculous idea that you work your butt off all your life, then you retire and play golf and relax until you slip into the grave.

That even felt gross to write!

So this idea of stressing about money…it’s happened to most people. (although I watched a really interesting documentary called “Born Rich” recently that tracked various kids who were born into huge sums of money that would set them and their kids up for life).

It’s only money!

But the reality is, there’s no really good, logical reason to be stressed out when it comes to money. The more stressed I have become about money in the past, the more of a struggle it is to get it, and the more difficult my life becomes and the LESS money I have! It’s a vicious cycle.

Right before I left for Southeast Asia, I started thinking I could use some more money before being gone for 2+ months. I was kind of stressing about making a bunch of things happen with my online businesses really fast. Then, I had an opportunity to refer two people to this event on the East Coast where I would make a $1300 commission. I simply sent one email, about 3 sentences, with a link…and they bought and I earned $1300. For something that took about 60 seconds.

A few weeks ago I found out that apartments here in downtown San Diego were going for a premium during the week of the Comic Con. I was already planning to visit a friend in Washington for a few days in July. So, rather than have that trip be an expense, I decided to get it paid for and much more! I put an ad on Craigslist to sub-let my apartment for the exact dates I would be gone. I went through a few people who had different ideas, but within a week I had someone that agreed to pay me $875 for 5 nights at my place! Everything went perfectly and he left the place cleaner than it was when he arrived. (and he even left me a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake!)

My plane ticket to Seattle cost $256, and other than 1 expensive dinner out, I hardly spent any money there so my net gain for taking the trip to Seattle was around $600.

Hood canal, right by where I stayed in Silverdale, WA

So I’m a lazy thinker some of the time, and it pays!

How about when it comes to saving?

Since it’s too much work to collect coupons, I find other ways to be lazy and save. When I got back from my SE Asia adventure, I simply didn’t feel like dealing with buying a car, or even having the hassle of owning a car. So I looked into other possible options, like a long term rental car (bzzzt…even the cheap ones are way too much), leasing from someone on craigslist, borrowing, getting rides from people…then I found Car2Go. So far that has solved the issue of needing a car. I’m heading off to Irvine tomorrow on the train and can’t wait for the 90 minutes of downtime I’ll get both on the way there and the way back!

I’ve got below average rent for my apartment because I was willing to live with a little less space and a temporary place instead of feeling the need for “permanency”. I also had no desire to move a bunch of furniture (there’s that lazy thing again), so I was forced to get a furnished place…and it’s costing me less than a new empty apartment of the same size in this area.

When it comes to saving money, I find it much easier to focus on the big things than the little things. But, sometimes I slip. I’ll never forget the time last winter when I needed a charger for my computer. I searched online for the best deal, and to save 20 bucks I drove 25 minutes to a computer parts store in East County. Then the damn thing didn’t work when I got it back home! I drove back to return it, like on a weekday, and the place was closed! So I spent a total of two and a half hours driving and I still had to go buy a new one from the Apple store after all that!

If I would have been a lazy thinker there, I would have had the charger the first day and paid the “extra” $20.

Lesson learned…but what about the idea of not getting what you want in life and getting stressed out about that? I see no point to this. Let’s say you want to earn 1 million dollars in 1 year in your business, because…that’s the number society throws around. And, let’s say in that year you “only” made $100,000. Wow, huge shortfall of your goal! Time to double down on your efforts, hire consultants, and spend 14 hours a day on your business instead of 10?

Hell no! You just need to readjust. What is it about a million dollars that appeals to you? What can you get that makes you happy for a $100,000 a year? Boil it down, and figure out your priorities. Maybe you can be a 9 out of 10 on the happiness scale with 100k. Maybe getting to 10 only requires another 50k. Why put all the stress on yourself to make another $900K if your happiness quotient doesn’t rise 10 fold with it?

So in summary:

Think lazy, have more time, make more money, and most importantly- make your life less complicated and be more happy! Shortcuts are your friend. Stressing about money will lead to having less money, and a lot of wasted time. Figure out what you really need. Maybe it’s a Ferrari. Or a dog. Or a trip around the world. Whatever it is, it won’t make you happy if stress is going to go along with it.

Maybe you just need a dog in a stuffed Ferrari to make you happy?