Short-term spending habits will destroy your future prosperity.

Staff Writer

What are some mistakes you’ve made with money? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Dandan Zhu, Headhunter, Career Coach, Investor, & Podcaster, on Quora:

My only mistake with money stems from this one thing:

Spending too much on luxury items, leisure goods/services, and vacations, thus losing out on investment opportunities.

Investments have helped me retire at age 28. Although I have nothing to complain about, I recognize that my spending habits held me back from further financial success. Had I been more diligent with my spending, I would have even more financial assets today.

Instead of using all of my money wisely, here are purchases I regret, have since sold off, or no longer engage in:

  • 2 Chanel purses: $7,000
  • 1 Chanel wallet: $1,000
  • 1 Used Rolex: $2,500
  • 2 Prada purses: on sale for a total of $2,000
  • Spa, medi/pedis, leisure services: $2,000

Total: $14,500

Pre-tax total earnings required to obtain $14,500: $30,000 (according to my tax bracket).

I had to earn $30k in order to buy these useless items! Thankfully, I’m now a retired 9-5′er. I have no bosses or colleagues to show them off to anymore! I work from home on my own schedule. I rock climb and work out most of the time. The rock climbing gym is no place for a Prada or Chanel purse.

What I realized is this: I wasted time, effort, and mental energy on caring about material goods and the superficial pursuit of looking rich. Ironically, my efforts to appear rich actually had a negative impact on my actual wealth!

These are truly miscellaneous items that added little joy to my life other than a brief moment of ego-gratification. That money could have been invested in a variety of the different investment buckets I make 5% – 300% returns on. As an investor, although I know what I should be doing with my money, I allowed myself to indulge, an action I now regret.

That’s why the majority of people worldwide work for a living until they physically can’t anymore in their old age. They are a slave to their consumption habits, cycles, and systems.

Short-term spending habits will destroy your future prosperity.

Retirement shouldn’t happen at age 65-70. If you think and act just a little differently, you can escape the rat race much sooner. The journey starts by understanding how your personal spending habits are literally taking years off of your working life.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. More questions: