I haven't been stressed about money per se, but I've been concerned over my spending habits and have wondering if I'm living beyond my means. The idea of living paycheck to paycheck frightens me, but luckily, I've been able to save up over the years so that my fear over spending money has no real solid ground. But still, I must keep myself in check.
I read the above quote today on Austin Kleon's blog post "Keep your overhead low" and it piqued my interest. Especially the equation he provided:
Low overhead + “do what you love” = a good life.
“I deserve nice things” + “do what you love” = a time bomb.
Seeing the word 'overhead' automatically has an association with business plans, but really can be applied to our lives as well. Too often do I see people living beyond their means only to fall back and suddenly realize that they really shouldn't have spent that money. Then I turn that lens on myself and see the same thing. We live in a world that thrives on consumerism and shuns those around us that don't have the latest iPhone, but when it comes down to it, does owning high end 'status symbols' change who you really are? I would argue no, you are still who you are, just more in debt.
Live frugally so you can do the work you want to do. Save up some “screw you” money, so you can quit a job you hate to take a job you like better. Turn away venture capital money and bootstrap so you can keep control over your business.
Remember, you define you, not your stuff. Create more, spend less.