6 Things You Can Look Forward to When You Have Money

By David Ning on 5 May 2011 (Updated 3 June 2014) 8 comments

You work hard to make money, create multiple income streams, and live below your means, which allows you to diligently save every month. At a certain point, you will accumulate enough money to be financially free. But then what? What really happens when you finally reach a goal that you've worked years, perhaps even decades for? For those of you close to your goal, or on track enough to start thinking about this, here's what you can look forward to. (See also: Financial Freedom and Using Passion to Budget)

1. You Can Ignore Individual Costs As Long As You Focus on the Big Picture

Finally, you can breathe a little easier, because even if you don't plan to start reducing your nest egg by withdrawing from it, you can at least start using some of your surplus every month.

As a fellow frugal person, I know all too well the difficulty in picking the more luxurious option when you believe that the lowest cost version will do. A trick you can try is to start ignoring the price (yes, this is not a typo!) and actually buying the option that you want once in a while. Don't do this for everything, of course. In order to still be responsible, you should set a monthly limit on these "lifestyle expenses" and remember that as long as you don't go over the set budget every month, it's perfectly okay to live a little.

2. You Can Take Less Risk

Once you feel financially secure, it isn't a bad idea to be more conservative with your investments than most people recommend. Many high-net-worth individuals simply wouldn't put a huge amount of their wealth in the stock market even if they were decades away from retirement because they just don't need the extra performance.

If you can live off the interest from a high-yield online savings account, why would you want to risk your capital and try to get 8% in the long term, but potentially suffer 50% losses? Sure, you can feel even more wealthy, but is the stress really necessary?

3. You Can Look Long-Term

The more money you have, the more you can take advantage of what's best for you long-term. Paying cash (or financing at an extremely low interest rate) can be financially more responsible than leasing a car for instance, but you need to have the cash on hand first. Investing in the stock market is theoretically more advantageous in the long-run, but you better have the luxury of not needing that money in the short-term. And quitting your job to further your education so you can make even more money in the future? That's simply an opportunity only people with the financial means can make, which is now you.

4. You Can Work Less

There is a sizable portion of our population who simply love what they do, but let's face it — the majority of us work simply because we need that paycheck. And even if we love our work, we can probably find enjoyment by working fewer hours every week. When you have the means, you can start planning your way to a much more enjoyable work environment.

5. You Can Be More Generous to Those Around You

When you are generous, you will truly start seeing your quality of life. You can start tipping more at restaurants, be more generous with gifts for your loved ones, and even help your relatives start a business. Even the most ungrateful person will appreciate your generosity to a degree, and if anything, they will be nicer to you too!

6. You Can Donate to Charity

And you can extend this generosity to people you don't directly interact with by giving some money away to charity as well. When you donate, you feel great too. The power of giving is almost magical, but the best way to understand the feeling is to try it yourself.

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Guest's picture

Great post. I know you didn't put these in a particular order, but if I were going to, it would be 5, 6, 4, 1, 3, 2.
I expect everyone would have a different thought as to which would mean the most to them.

Guest's picture
Andy

Financial freedom gives you the luxury of choice. And choice = freedom to do what you want, rather than have to do what you don't. I would love to quit my day job to follow what I love, when I want to and how I want to!

Guest's picture
Jason

Great post, nice to see some discussion about the "end of the rainbow" for a change. Inmthe PF world we focus so much on frugality and budgeting its easy to forget that tere's a reason for all of it. Good work!

Guest's picture

I think the main advantage would be able to do the things you want to do...like travel, work less, spend more time with the family, etc. At the end of the day, we all want to be happy no matter how much money we have. Don't take money for granted...make sure you enjoy yourself.

Guest's picture
AshATL

I would add that you can relax a little! After years of struggling as a student, then a bout of unemployment, I finally have a fairly stable job I love, and my husband does, too. We have no debt other than my student loans, and at the end of the month, there is money left in our account. I enjoy being able to help others and donate my time, but I would also rank finally having a sense of security and stability up there as well. I know that if we had an unexpected expense, a car died, or one of us got sick, we'd be able to weather the storm much better than in the past, and that makes me sleep easier.

Guest's picture

I like that this post isn't focusing on how to save money and what you shouldn't be doing, but rather what there is to look forward to as you continue to save and be financially smarter. I think once I'm more financially secure I will take comfort in the fact that I will be able to be more generous to those around me (especially my big sister who always bore the brunt of buying our family members holiday gifts, definitely going to have to repay her for those!).

Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance's picture

Old conservative habits can sometimes be difficult to break, but splurging a bit more is certainly a good idea to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Guest's picture

The main advantage of having money is that you can get want you want, buy the things you need, etc. That's what you called Financial Freedom. But one thing a person must remember is that money is just money. The important thing is that you are happy and you are also making others to feel the same way.