I'm sure there are lots of studies out there about how struggling will actually benefit you in the long run - make you stronger, more determined, ect. I'm slightly too lazy to do the research though...
Since it's Thanksgiving week, I thought I'd join the festivities of public thankfulness (let's be real though, I'm always grateful. Not just on Thanksgiving). I am so thankful for my money struggle. That may sound odd - like "why are you thankful to be struggling?" but stay with me here.
I'm so thankful I drive a 2008 Honda Civic with a missing sun visor and a middle console door that won't stay close - that bangs shut when I go over a bump and then slightly opens again so I hit my funny bone on the hard plastic side. I'm thankful for the faded paint and the slight rattle that happens when I'm maybe driving a little too fast (that keeps me humble & slows me down). Look, all of these things DO bother me, BUT I'm thankful because it's paid off.
Having a paid off (and running) car so outweighs everything else. Could I go out and get a brand new car right now? Absolutely. I have great credit and make decent money for my age. For sure, I would get approved for some beautiful new cars. But to me, it's not worth it. I'm thankful to have an extra $300-$500 a month to invest, save, or help pay off other debts.
I struggle every day with my car and have thoughts of "my life would be so much better and easier if I had a nice new car." I get it. I really do. But the car thing is a topic for another day because right now, all I'm trying to say is, I'm super grateful to have a running car in good condition that's paid off.
I'm also thankful that I don't get my nails done two to three times a month. But let me tell you, I used to! & honestly, I would still love to. I struggle seeing my short lil' baby nails next to someone with long beautiful fake ones. But the thought of spending and tying up $120 of my money each month isn't worth it to me right now.
I do these things - I cut back and "struggle" in certain areas of my life because I know it will be worth it. I know in 20-25 years when I want to send my kids to college, I'll be able to. It's worth it because in 30-40 years when I want to retire, I'll be able to. AND I won't have to give up my standard of living. I'll have enough money to pay for vacations and massages and Whole Food groceries.
Now don't get me wrong here, I don't live like one of Dave Ramsey's little minions where literally all my money is going towards debt or investing right now. To take one from Kelsey's (On My Way to Happiness) playbook, I splurge on things that I've found bring me happiness. You have to pick and choose what you spend on. For me, it's a massage once a month. It's getting coffee on the way to work 2-3 times a week. BUT I've PLANNED those in. So I don't feel guilty about it.
**Learn how to create a spending plan you'll actually like HERE.
We need to wake up. We need to stop SUBCONSCIOUSLY doing things because it's "what everyone else is doing." We need to do and buy things that actually make us happy AND allow us to have an amazing future. We have to learn to sometimes give up things we want now in order to build and create an AMAZING future. YOUR future. The one where you DON'T struggle, you DON'T stress about money, and you still get to do the things you want that light you up.
Some people will struggle for their ENTIRE lives. They'll just go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing. Racking up debt subconsciously only to wake up one day and everything falls apart.
It is SO SO easy to be thankful for my money struggles NOW, knowing that it will pay off. Even with some "struggles," I've still been able to create a life I love by getting intentional. My mindset has shifted so much over the past few months and years that I actually get more enjoyment seeing my net worth grow than I do seeing long beautiful nails on my hands.
I'm so thankful.
P.S. My 1:1 Money Coaching Program is currently LIVE!