Hi there, welcome to TOKYO VEG LIFE! Today, I’m going to share changes I made and experienced after I decided to deal with my anxiety over money What do I mean by “deal with anxiety over money”? When I was a student, I didn’t have much money In my college days, I had an apartment I paid $300/mo which always had some rats running around and kept my living expenses under $100/mo so I was living with a tight budget But more than that, my family’s financial trouble caused a lot of tension and conflicts within my family so “money” became like trauma for me A lot of people with a similar experience get super motivated to make lots of money but for me I became a bit scared of money and it became something I didn’t want to think about After grad school, fortunately I got a job that paid my bills and as long as I was living a normal life I didn’t really have to think about money After I quit my company and started freelancing my income wasn’t very stable so at times I had anxiety over money where I get consumed by feelings of worry over money so I decided to really face money First, I thought that my worries over money came partly from not understanding my spending so I started to look at my credit card bills and bank statements carefully I know some of you may be going What? You weren’t even doing that? but I think a lot of people actually don’t really understand what they are spending their money on In my case, I reviewed my cash balances and learned 4 things about my spending First, I was spending money on things I wasn’t using What do I mean by things I wasn’t using? For example, a gym membership I got because I thought I would go 2-3 times a week but actually went only once a week monthly subscription for magazines that I hardly ever read I had Wifi at home but I also had a cell phone with unlimited data plan and also services I signed up because first month was free but it kept renewing itself automatically even though I wasn’t using the service So I terminated all services I wasn’t using switched to a SIM free phone service provider and from there, with services that required monthly payment I decided not to sign up unless it was absolutely necessary for my business Second, I was using money on “one time” things One time spending is like travelling buying electronics or moving that you think oh it’s just a one time thing so I just have to do it But this kind of “one time” spending was happening quite frequently so when I converted into monthly payment, it was a quite bit of money so I stopped just letting it go as a one time thing and really thought about how much I would be spending per month over how many years before I made spending on big items Third, I was “treating” myself a lot To treat myself, I would go to a spa or get massage but some of you may go to a fancy restaurant or go travelling or go shopping etc. For me, I was going to get spa or massage treatment quite frequently, yes, quite frequently With things like massage, you are paying for the feeling that you are treating yourself but really it doesn’t have much effect on your body So after trying various treatment, I have an acupuncturist sensei who gives me the only treatment, in my opinion, that actually works for me so I go to him when my body is really tired so when I really need healing for my body Fourth, I was spending money on cheap things Cheap things are small miscellaneous items and cheap foods Cheap small items are cheap so without thinking I would buy them and these things accumulate very quickly taking up a lot of space in my home and having negative effect on me mentally and at the end I had to call a waste management guy to get rid of them which obviously cost me money In terms of foods, before I used to grab foods at convenient stores or microwave frozen foods Those ready-to-eat foods are cheap as well as quick and easy to eat so it seems great at the moment but they do contain a lot of additives or artificial flavoring which can’t possibly be good for your health so if you think about long-term it will come back to you as health cost So with cheap things, what you pay right then may be small but down the road, a lot of them come back to you with a big price tag in a different form so I became careful about spending on cheap things After I became aware of what I was spending money on I felt control over my spending so my feelings of worry over money were greatly reduced In terms of income, after I became a freelancer there were times I missed having stable income and actually I went back to work for a company once but for me, I really couldn’t stand being bound to stay at the office all day so I didn’t last there for a long time With freelancing, income may be unstable but depending on how hard you try, you can increase your income and for me, as long as I have enough income to cover basic needs, anything above is not really that important What’s really important for me is being able to live freely doing things that I find meaningful Now I’m doing YouTube and since I became a freelancer people kept telling me I should do something more scalable meaning I should hire people and make a big business so I can make more money But for me, hiring people and making a big business is like when you’re working for a company, you’re bound by the company and now you’re just bound by your investors shareholders and employees There is a study by Princeton which found that if you make more than $75,000/yr, anything above doesn’t increase your happiness level People who make a lot of money tend to want to make more and more money but I think it’s more important that you find work that you find meaningful and you find a life that you feel happy with So today, I shared changes I made and experienced after I decided to deal with my anxiety over money We all have different levels of income and living conditions so I don’t think that my story applies to everyone but hopefully it gave you some perspective on how to treat money See you next time!