Surviving and Thriving With No Money in the Bank


Surviving and Thriving With No Money in the Bank

I decided to dig into my old bank statements to see where I stood financially at the beginning of the year.

My jaw dropped when I realized my bank account barely had $1,000 saved up in January 2015, even after working full-time for a year. The following month dropped the amount to under a thousand.

And for a second, I wondered to myself how I ever survived with so little. How did I pay for anything? Was I living month to month?

It was humbling to be reminded that I was surviving and thriving on so much less than what I’m fortunate enough to have now. I never starved. I had a home, food, and everything I ever needed.

Sometimes I wonder about worst-case scenarios. What if it all just goes away? What would I do? How would I survive?

But looking into the past and reading those bank statements is like being reminded that everything will be okay no matter what happens. I’ve done so much more with so much less and I was as happy then as I am now.

And that’s when I realized I don’t seek to become filthy rich. That doesn’t sound appealing to me. What can a million dollars really buy me that’d make me any happier than I am today or any happier than I was in the beginning of this year?

It can buy me peace of mind, sure, but apparently I already had that with only $1,000 to my name.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… Life’s always going to be okay.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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8 responses to Surviving and Thriving With No Money in the Bank

  1. Hi Vincent,

    I know what you mean. When I look back at somethings I amaze myself also. It’s really mind blowing what you can make work when you have to.

    You’re right, life just always works itself out, whether you realize it or not.


    • This is something I always try to keep in mind when I’m needlessly worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet (even crazier is when I worry about things that have absolutely no evidence to indicate it ever will happen!)

  2. Thanks for that post. I know what you mean. Sometimes I get down very low and wonder how am I going to manage but as you know things always work itself out. I am keeping my eyes on my dream and never letting it go. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Vincent,

    Love your priorities on seeking peace in your life. Being content with everything we currently have and not worrying about what the future might bring is a ideal way to be happy in life. There will always be peaks and valleys in our journeys we will come up against, but they are nothing anyone of our friends or neighbors haven’t faced. The one
    thing though you might want to take a look at though is your savings. Every Financial Advisor I’ve ever listened to has suggested to have at least 6 months of savings of your
    monthly expenses in the bank. There is always the chance of misfortunes happening to us, our friends or neighbors. I’ve found that if I can help relief some stressful time for someone in my circle of friends it’s worth going without something to have some money set aside. Please keep up the encouraging posts, you have a big impact on others as you have on me.

    Thanks, greg

    • Hey Greg,

      Thanks for the advice on the savings! Fortunately, I currently have enough to cover more than six months of emergencies.

      I actually review my personal expenses on the 1st and 15th of every month. During my most recent financial review, I was astonished at how much money was spent on food! I’m trying to figure out how to cut my expenses.

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad to hear from you!


  4. Dear Vincent,

    It seems you came to the Tribe yesterday!

    And look at you! You were special to begin with, but now it’s heartwarming seeing you grow to a wonderful, wise, and generous young man.

    A beautiful post that not many young people could have written.
    Proud to know, even if I don’t stay in touch.

    Building an Orphanage is an awesome idea. Donating that money is even more inspiring. I want to help, but right now we have committed to supporting two other causes. I believe soon we will be able to contribute to your cause. Remind me in a couple of months.

    All my best to you!

    Katina Vaselopulos

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