Life Money is What?

An easier, more exciting way to think about money is life money, flex money and survival money.

Most of the normal ways people define, categorize and set up their finances is boring or stupid or so complex you can't do it anyway.

That is why I have boiled down my finances into 3 main categories.

Survival Money

The first category is survival money. This is what you need to survive. You have enough of that otherwise you wouldn't be surviving. You may want to have a lot more so that you can survive better. But at least you are surviving. Simple living takes on the most importance the less survival money you have.

Survival money includes your rent or mortgage, utilities, debt payments, insurance, food and things you need to survive. This would probably include the money you save and invest for your future survival.

This is where most people spend the bulk of their money. This is where the budgets and planning and ways to save is discussed to no end.

When the amount of money you need to survive takes the majority of what you make, your life will suck. You think you will need to stay in jobs you hate to pay the bills. You think you need to stay in a bad marriage because you need all your money to survive. You either depend on your wife's income to maintain your standard of living or she depends on yours. Either way you think you are trapped.

This survival is what the vast majority of people worry about and dwell on.

The key is to make this the type of money you spend the least amount of time obtaining and worrying about. This is why it is critical to decrease your normal living expenses to well below what you earn. You do not want to stretch to buy expensive cars or homes. You want to make your vehicle expenses and living expenses a small portion of what you make.

Most people do the opposite. They take on as large of a mortgage and car payment as possible. It is impossible to keep this up. You have no excess money with this type of arrangement. This is why so many people struggle and suffer.

I had a massive mortgage payment when I was married. I got caught up in the idea of buying as much house as I could get a loan for. Making that huge payment every month was a constant struggle. I worked as many hours of overtime as I could and had to skimp and save on everything else.

After I left my wife she stayed in the house for awhile until she could no longer make the payments and it has been foreclosed.

I live in a modest apartment with an affordable rent now and am building my finances back up.

Flex Money

The next category is the extra money I like to call flex money. This is the money you have available that is flexible. This is the money that makes your life free of stress and worry. The more of this flex money you have, the less stress you will face.

Flex money is not allocated for normal monthly bills and normal expenses such as food and gas. It is not for investing for retirement, or your kid’s college or other large future expenditure. It is not even for fun. It is for whatever is needed at the time. It is money over and above survival money. It is money that you would not really need to spend if you really don't have it.

It may be that at that moment your flex money is needed to pay a bill, to increase your debt repayment plan or for some inexpensive fun.

The important thing is that you keep some of this flex money available and then when you use it, you replenish it as soon as possible.

Here is an example of the type of situation a lot of men will face.

One time my ex-wife called saying that she needed 2 checks written out for the kids and she was out of money. The first check was for $10 for my daughter’s upcoming field trip.

The second check was for $40 for the kid’s school lunches. I had enough money in my checking account to just write them out and give to her.

She is really supposed to be paying for those types of things with all the child support she is getting from me, but what can you do? The field trip is important to my daughter and the kids need to eat.

My daughter also needed some school supplies. We went to the office supply store nearby and I bought what she needed. It totaled about $20. Again, this should be a child support expense. I also bought some things that I needed for winter. I bought some ice melt salt and a snow shovel.

My idea of a stress free life does not involve arguing with my ex-wife about $50. I like to be in a position to just have this extra flex money available when it is needed. The money was going to the kids anyway. It is annoying because I would have just as soon of spent this money on things I wanted.

Obviously, the biggest thing to have plenty of flex money is to make plenty of money and not spend it all. Keep a bunch of extra cash in your wallet and keep a few hundred dollars in your check book. Simple, stress-free, low anxiety living requires that you keep some money flexible.

Without having flex money available you will always be in a position of lack. You will have to guard all your money and be super tight with it. You will not feel abundant or prosperous because the least thing that comes up will put you in a defensive position of worrying about how you will pay for it.

You never seem to get ahead because just when you have a few hundred dollars to invest something comes up that demands this money.

What I am saying is to have flex money available for when something comes up. It always does. You will never get ahead if you deny this fact.

Life Money

The last and best category of money is life money.

This should be the category where you spend most of your money. You should be spending most of your money on things and experiences to enhance your life rather than on just survival.

A rich person does that. They don't spend 95 % of their money on survival, they only use a small portion on that. How else would they be able to enjoy all the things they enjoy?

Some people will claim that you don’t need much money to live, that you should be happy with what you have, that others have it worse, that the best things in life are free and on and on.

Some people will even say that they don't mind paying taxes because if they kept their own money they would just spend it. They think it is proper for governments to take a big chunk of their money to dole out in the way they see fit.

It is hard to talk to idiots like that. So I don't.

These people are just kidding themselves. There really isn’t any situation where a person having extra or excess money is a problem. Everything good in the world is a result of people having extra money that they can spend as they see fit.

I know that I feel really good about myself whenever I have extra money. I feel powerful, energetic, friendlier and more generous.

I spend my money freely on goods and services that I most want at the time.

In the process of my spending money, people are receiving money from me and benefiting from it. That is how it works. That is how things get better. Not by not spending. But by spending.

Where would we be without rich people footing the bill? Who would build the libraries, churches, parks, pools, schools, the grand buildings or the beautiful houses? I think that money is one of the greatest things ever.

Even love can be enhanced with money. If you have plenty of money there will never be a reason to argue with your wife about it. You can just take a lack of money or disagreements about spending out of the marriage equation. If all your needs are met, if you have plenty of flex money and you have excess money to do what both partners want, all the squabbling and fighting over money will not end the marriage. It may end over something else, but not money.

You see all the time how couples do not agree on spending. You see the wives wanting more and more and the husbands resisting these demands. I resented how my wife refused to work and how she spent all the money I made. This did not help our marriage.

When there is not enough money for the needs and wants of both parties it is a huge problem in marriages.

The couple do not treat each other properly when this happens. Not because there is too much money. It’s the lack of money that brings out the problems and the worst in people. I saw that in my marriage. The lack of extra money magnified our problems. My wife was never happy with the amount of money I made.

She constantly demanded that I ask for a raise.

She constantly questioned everything I did and blamed me for things beyond my control.

She also didn’t do anything to bring in any money.

I guess we stayed together as long as we did because I did make a decent living. I was able to spend quite a bit of money. I stayed busy trying to make money instead of dealing with the issues we had.

I was too busy at work to leave her. Having more money will make your life much easier. The trick to more money is to not commit to more spending. Making more money only works if your obligations don’t take it all.

I wasn't using my simple living ideas at that time. I was totally in over my head.

What I’m talking about is having excess cash that isn’t spoken for. It just sits in your wallet or your bank account waiting. You have no need for it to live or pay the bills. It is extra. This is the type of money that makes for a great life, for the fun, for the having it for emergencies. To let set in savings accounts to grow into more money.

This is the important money. This is what I call life money. All the money you make and spend to live and pay the bills is called survival money, not life money.

I want life money. Everyone has survival money, otherwise they wouldn’t be surviving. Some people have a lot of bills; hence, they need a lot of survival money. I want more life money. The key to a good life is have plenty of life money.

Some people cut their survival money as low as possible to leave more life money. Some people try to make more money to have more life money.

The best way is to work on both. Cut expenses where you can and increase your income. You cannot only play offense or defense. You need to do both.

I look for ways to decrease my survival money needs and ways to increase the amount of what I make in order to increase my life money and increase my enjoyment of life.

All the talk of not needing money is just a way of justifying the fact that you don’t have life money.

I can’t think of any example or circumstance where an individual having excess life money is a bad thing. Can you start to imagine how much better your life can be if you have more money?

When you are dreaming of a better life and all the things you want to do, is there ever any dreaming about cutting coupons, finding bargains, getting by on less, arguing with your spouse about money, doing without, sacrificing, not doing what you want?

No, I did not think so. When I dream it is always about nice things and doing exciting, fun, and adventurous things. It is never about shopping the sales and not spending life money.

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