I finished Die with Zero in 48 hrs, absolutely loved it. I feel like I was already kind of doing that but wasn’t sure. So it’s more a validation of how I carry my life, rationalize it, and learned new insights from him. My key takeaways:
- Life is about accumulation of experiences, not monetary wealth.
- Memory dividends. Do you feel the same satisfaction and joy when you look back at old pics? that’s memory dividends. When you invest in experiences, you are investing in your future memorable moments too.
- There are three variables to maximize life wealth (not monetary wealth): health, time, money. When we are young, we have health and time, but not money, so we can’t get the experiences we wanted at the time. When we retire, we have money and time, but we don’t have the health/energy to do things we had in our 20-40s. In middle age, assuming we have a stable job, we are likely to be comfortable with money and still good health, but time is limited given the obligations of work/life/kids/parents.
- Prioritize in getting/staying healthy as long as possible as it’s the basis for the other two variables to work.
- Be mindful of timing of the experiences, especially those that require good health and interests of other people involved (kids, parents, friends).
- Pay for others. Abandon the idea that others need to pay for themselves. If you really want someone to be there to share the experience, be willing to pay for it if you know the other person doesn’t have the financial means.
- How much do we really need to save for retirement. He provides a simple way to calculate that amount, depending the life style you think you want for when you retire. He argues that the peak should be way earlier than retirement age.
- Give money to whoever you want to leave inheritance, but now. They could get more and better experiences if they get the money earlier than later.
- When you are not sure about spending x amount of $$ in some experiences that you feel like it’s a lot of money. Ask yourself: would you rather have this now or two of these in 10 years? which is what the compounding interests yield if you save the money.
- Write a bucket lists of things you want to do without concern of the financial and time feasibility. See which ones you need to do soon and which ones you can delay. Some activities you need to do when you are with good health, or your kids want to do it with you. Or when your parents are still alive and with good health.
I already prioritize experiences over material things. With these knowledge, I feel even better to spend on experiences. Before going out crazy, I first review our 2022 finances. I am happy that we spend the money according to our values and our saving rate is still high. So, I went ahead and booked few more trips 🙂 Our schedule is looking busy
Feb: I’ll go solo to Argentina for few days to bring my dad remains back.
March: mom and hubby will go back to Shanghai for a week. I will take the girls to Club Med Bintan as it’s their school break. I’ve been undecided about this for a while. This is the perfect opportunity to do it as I’ll be alone with the kids, so it would be much easier if the resort has organized activities for kids.
April: Bali to meet with their Manila friends. And probably will book another trip to visit Komodo island during school break.
May (TBC): a hiking trip.
June (TBC): China for the summer break.
As I finished the book, I shared the main ideas with hubby and he kept nodding. He comes from a frugal family, his parents still don’t spend a penny. Sometimes we enter into arguments given his propensity to be frugal. But even him, he agrees with these ideas. When I suggest that I take the girls to Club Med while he’s in china, he was super supportive and told me to book already.
Funny thing is that my mom also told me yesterday about not saving money. She’s not aware of me reading this book. We were just on the way back from a facial, and she just told me about her friends who are still saving in their 70s, how crazy is that. She then told me: really, you don’t need to worry about the money nor to be frugal. Life is too short. What a wise woman!!! 😀
What’s your saving style? How do you make financial decisions? Do you have a saving/retirement goal?