Top European Union court rules that member nations must legally recognize same-sex parents and their children

An activist carries the rainbow flag during the gay pride rally in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Sept. 21, 2013. A ruling by the European Union's top court on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 has given a boost to the rights of same-sex parents and their children in the 27-nation bloc.
An activist carries the rainbow flag during the gay pride rally in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Sept. 21, 2013. A ruling by the European Union’s top court on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 has given a boost to the rights of same-sex parents and their children in the 27-nation bloc.

  • The case was brought by two same-sex parents who could not obtain legal documents for their baby.
  • Bulgaria, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, denied the couple a birth certificate.
  • The court ruled that Bulagria restricted the baby’s free movement between countries as an EU citizen.

On Tuesday, the European Union’s top court ruled that each of its 27 member states must legally recognize same-sex parents and their children as a family.

A case was brought by Bulgarian citizen Kalina Ivanova and Gibraltar-born British citizen Jane Jones after they were denied a Bulgarian birth certificate for their newborn daughter, Sara, because the EU member state does not recognize same-sex marriages, according to The Hill.

Because Sara was born in Spain, an EU member state where same-sex marriage is legal, both women were registered by Spanish authorities as her mothers on her birth certificate, LGBTQ advocacy group ILGA-Europe told The Hill. However, the couple had no other choice but to apply for Bulgarian citizenship for their daughter, according to ILGA-Europe.

“Under current Spanish law, the child could not acquire Spanish citizenship because neither Kalina or Jane is a Spanish citizen. The child was also denied British citizenship because Jane was born in Gibraltar of British descent, and under the British Nationality Act (1981), cannot transfer citizenship to her daughter,” ILGA-Europe said in a press release.

Still, Bulgaria denied Sara citizenship because her parents are of the same sex, which deprived her of personal documents and the ability to travel outside of Spain, as well as restricted her access to education, health care, and Social Security, according to ILGA-Europe.

In its ruling, the European Court of Justice stated that EU citizens have a legal guarantee of free movement between countries and consequently must acknowledge the relationship between parents and their childen.

“That refusal could make it more difficult for a Bulgarian identity document to be issued and, therefore, hinder the child’s exercise of the right of free movement and thus full enjoyment of her rights as a Union citizen,” a press release from the court said.

The court also determined that recognizing families with same-sex parents “does not undermine the national identity or pose a threat to the public policy” of another member state where same-sex marriage is not legal, such as Bulgaria, according to a press release.

“We are thrilled about the decision and cannot wait to get Sara her documentation and finally be able to see our families after more than two years,” Ivanova and Jones said in a statement to ILGA-Europe.

“It is important for us to be a family, not only in Spain but in any country in Europe and finally it might happen. This is a long-awaited step ahead for us but also a huge step for all LGBT families in Bulgaria and Europe.”

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One of the largest taxi companies in Paris suspended its fleet of Tesla Model 3 cars after a driver lost control in a fatal crash

A red Tesla Model 3 in a showroom.
Last January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was formally investigating a petition claiming 127 complaints of sudden unintended acceleration from Tesla drivers.

  • A taxi firm in Paris suspended its Tesla Model 3 cars after a deadly crash killed one person.
  • A police source told French media that the car kept accelerating and the driver couldn’t brake.
  • The car hit at least three pedestrians, a traffic light, and smashed a glass container.

Parisian taxi company G7, one of the largest in the city, has suspended its Tesla Model 3 fleet after a fatal accident involving one of the electric vehicles on Saturday.

The accident killed one person at around 9 p.m. local time and injured 20 others, seven of whom were seriously injured, according to French paper Le Parisien. Another local media outlet, Figaro, reported that nine people were injured.

The car hit at least three pedestrians, a traffic light, and smashed into a van, Figaro reported.

G7’s deputy chief executive, Yann Ricordel, said the driver was off-duty and was taking his family to a restaurant when the accident occurred, Reuters reported.

The taxi firm is suspending the use of its 37 Tesla Model 3s until the police complete their investigation, and Ricordel said all drivers affected by the suspension would be compensated, per Reuters.

Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13 arrondissement — or local administrative district — in Paris, mentioned a “technical failure” in a tweet about the accident. “The first elements of the investigation indicated that the accelerator would have gotten stuck,” he later tweeted.

But Ricordel told Reuters that an initial inquiry ruled out technical issues as the cause of the accident, contradicting Coumet’s tweet.

According to the BBC, Tesla also denied the car had any technical issues based on its remote data collection.  

Videos on Twitter show the aftermath of the deadly accident.

Tesla has sold over one million Model 3s, making the car one of the world’s best-selling electric vehicles. Last January, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was formally investigating 127 complaints of sudden unintended acceleration from Tesla drivers.

Tesla said the petition was false and raised by a Tesla short-seller.

The NHTSA has also been probing the car manufacturer on its “autopilot” feature after it received at least 12 reports of Tesla drivers hitting first responder vehicles while having their advanced driver assistance systems turned on, Reuters reported.

Tesla and G7 did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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Recent beachside attacks reveal a new cartel turf war in some of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations

Mexican national guard on Cancun beach
A member of the new Tourist Security Battalion of the National Guard stands guard at a beach in Cancun, Mexico, December 2, 2021.

  • Deadly attacks this fall have heightened concern about organized crime in Mexican tourist hotspots.
  • Recent shootouts are signs of what experts and officials say is a growing turf war in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

MEXICO – Three recent armed attacks on Mexico’s top tourist beaches reveal a new turf war involving Mexican gangs, Russians, and local politicians, according to security reports and sources consulted by Insider.

At the end of October, an attack inside a bar in the popular city of Tulum killed two foreign tourists, including US-based travel influencer Anjali Ryot.

During the first days of November, tourists visiting Puerto Morelos, south of Cancun, were locked down in their hotels after gunmen opened fire on a beach and pursued a target into a nearby resort. The shooting left two people dead.

On the morning of December 7, three men riding ski-jets opened fire on a group of people at Playa Langosta beach, in the tourist hotspot of Cancun, according to news reports. No one was injured or killed, but another attack in only a few weeks spiked anxiety among tourists.

Mexico national guard troops in Playa del Carmen
Mexican national guard members patrol in the center of Playa Del Carmen, November 6, 2021.

Tulum alone saw 65 homicides between January and September, an 80.5% increase compared to the same period last year, when just 36 homicides took place, according to statistics from Mexico’s national system of public security.

Mexican officials said the recent spike in violence is a consequence of a “turf war” among a dozen local gangs looking to control the street drug-dealing business.

Oscar Montes de Oca, the state prosecutor in Quintana Roo — where Cancún and Tulum are located — said “about 10 groups of drug dealers” are fighting each other, but the reality could be more complex.

Quintana Roo very recently had local elections in its 11 municipalities, including for mayor and most police chiefs. This could be a key factor in the uptick of armed attacks, according to Eduardo Guerrero, director of Lantia, a Mexican consulting agency specializing in criminal organizations and security analysis.

“Most gang leaders had agreements in place with the leaving administration, and with a new chief of police, new mayors, and city officials, they are fighting to be the ones breaking a permissive deal that allows them to operate their illegal businesses freely,” Guerrero told Insider.

Cartels, gangs, and the mafia

Mexico national guard troops in Tulum
Mexican National Guard troops patrol the Tulum Ruins, November 10, 2021.

Currently there are six gangs affiliated with major Mexican drug cartels operating in the region. The main criminal activities for these gangs are drug dealing, trafficking, extortion, human trafficking, and money laundering, according to a recent report by Lantia.

“These gangs are fighting mostly for the beach area, where they want to operate freely offering all sorts of drugs and businesses to tourists. Another hotspot for them is the main streets inside the cities, clubs, and casinos,” Guerrero said.

The gangs described in the report are “Los Pelones,” which broke away from the Gulf Cartel and is responsible for the most recent attacks in Tulum and Puerto Morelos.

The gangs “La Barredora” and “Los Compich” are fighting against Los Pelones for Cancun, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos specifically. La Barredora is especially invested in generating business ties with local authorities and officials; “La Gente de Aquiles,” a group belonging to “Los Árzate,” with strong ties to the Sinaloa Cartel and responsible for most of the street drug dealing.

“El Cártel de Cancún,” which operates as a branch of the Sinaloa Cartel, is mostly responsible for the area of Benito Juarez and Isla Mujeres.

Mexico national guard troops on Tulum beach
Mexican National Guard members patrol Playa Pescadores in Tulum, November 8, 2021.

On top of these gangs, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel also has a strong presence through alliances with smaller local gangs that once worked under the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, according to the report.

“This could only explain a part of what is going in Quintana Roo recently,” Guerrero said. “Another big part is the presence of Romanian and Russian mafia operating mostly on money laundering and sex trafficking.”

In May, the Mexican government captured Romanian businessman Florian Tudor in Quintana Roo. Tudor is accused of being the leader of a Romanian mafia operating in several tourist hotspots in Mexico.

“Florian T. was captured by Mexico’s General Attorney Office complying with an extradition request by Romanian government for allegedly being involved in organized crime, extortion and homicide” the Attorney General’s Attorney Office said in a press release.

Originally from Craiova, Romania, Tudor moved to Quintana Roo with several close family members in 2014.

Adrian Enachescu, Tudor’s step-brother, opened a Delaware-based business with offices in New York and San Francisco, which were allegedly used to transfer money from illegal operations in Romania to Mexico, according to an investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

Mexican national guard troops on Cancun beach
Members of the new Tourist Security Battalion of the National Guard patrol a beach in Cancun, Mexico, December 2, 2021.

The organization Tudor is accused of running, called the Riviera Maya gang, was unique among European criminal groups in that Mexico was its base of operations.

“Florian built a network of politicians, businessman, and criminals for more than 10 years that allowed him to operate massively in Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur,” Guerrero said.

According to Guerrero, Tudor was so high up he even met with current Mexico’s top police chief, Rosa Icela Rodriguez, by request of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Although he is in jail and faces several years behind bars, the operation he is accused of running is still alive for the most part in Quintana Roo.

“Its the same as with Mexican cartels. They captured the boss, but the organization is still operating under new leadership,” said Guerrero.

Last week, Mexico deployed 1,500 National Guard troops to Quintana Roo, basing them in Tulum, to patrol tourist beaches. As with previous deployments, the soldiers in full gear among the tourists enjoying the beaches has received international attention.

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Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US seeks ‘serious and sustained diplomacy’ with North Korea

Antony Blinken speaks at a podium in front of a US flag and ASEAN flag
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks on the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy at the Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta on December 14, 2021.

  • Antony Blinken said the US seeks “serious and sustained diplomacy” with North Korea.
  • The Secretary of State’s comments come just days after the US announced sanctions on North Korea.
  • Blinken said dealing with North Korea would help keep the peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

The US seeks “serious and sustained diplomacy” with North Korea, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, just days after President Joe Biden announced sanctions on the autocratic state over human rights.

But the US still has the “ultimate goal” of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, Blinken added as he spoke to regional leaders at the Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday.

He highlighted North Korea’s nuclear weapon capabilities as he discussed how the US wants to boost security in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We’ll work with allies and partners to address the threat posed by the DPRK’s nuclear programs through a calibrated, practical approach while also strengthening our extended deterrence,” he said.

He recalled a November meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping when Biden advocated that China and the US should make sure their competition “does not veer into conflict.”

“We take that responsibility with the greatest seriousness. Because the failure to do so would be catastrophic for all of us,” Blinken said.

He also said the US has helped to “keep the peace” in the Indo-Pacific region for decades, and that the US was  “reinforcing” its “strength” so it could continue to do so.

“We don’t want conflict in the Indo-Pacific,” Blinken said.

“Threats are evolving. Our security approach has to evolve with it,” he continued. “We’ll seek closer civilian security cooperation, tackle challenges ranging from violent extremism to illegal fishing to human trafficking.”

In May, Blinken said the US was open to engaging diplomatically with North Korea, and that it was up to Kim Jong Un’s regime to decide if it wanted to respond.

“I hope that North Korea will take the opportunity to engage diplomatically, and to see if there are ways to move forward toward the objective of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Blinken said at the time. 

Since then, both the US and North Korea have blamed each other for creating “instability” in the Korean peninsula, with Blinken raising concerns over missile tests by North Korea and Kim accusing the US of being the “root cause” of tensions in the region.

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The best 5 countries to live in if you’re a freelancer

Singapore at night.
Singapore ranked as the best place to freelance in 2021, with a score of 7.35/10.

  • Tide carried out a survey of 30 countries to find the best country to be a freelancer.
  • Singapore ranked first, with the report noting the strong and fairly inexpensive internet there.
  • The US ranked outside the top 10.

Becoming a freelancer gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work. However, you might not always be able to find steady work. 

Depending on what you do and what country you’re in, this can feel like an extended vacation or it can be a time filled with anxiety and uncertainty.

Financial solutions company, Tide, carried out a survey of 30 countries to find the best place to be a freelancer. 

The survey used eight measurements to analyze how well-suited a country is to the needs of a freelancer.

Speed and cost of internet, number of coworking spaces, legal rights, gender equality, cost of living, number of searches for freelance work, and happiness were the measurements used.

The World Bank provided them information on legal rights, and they used the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 to assess gender equality. 

They used Numbeo for data on the cost of living and to assess happiness.

They used the Speedtest Global Index to find internet speed and data from to find internet costs. 

Coworker was their source for the number of coworking spaces available and they used Google Keyword Planner to find searches for freelance work.

They then used this and data from the World Population Review to work out the number of searches for freelance work and the number of coworking spaces per 100,000 people in each country.

They gave the data collected from each measurement an equal weighting and then combined them into a single score out of 10.

The US ranked 12th out of the 30 countries with a score of 6.12.

It seems that one of the main problems in the US is lack of demand for freelance work. The survey showed there were only 365 Google searches for freelancer work per 100,000 people.

These are the top five countries to freelance in, according to Tide.

1. Singapore

Singapore ranked as the best place to freelance in 2021, with a score of 7.35. 

This was largely due to quick, affordable internet and a large number of available coworking spaces.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand came second, scoring 7.20.

Internet costs are high in the country but strong ratings in legal rights, happiness, and gender equality saw it rank highly.

3. Spain

Spain was in third place with a score of 6.53.

Its main strengths were cost of living and gender equality.

4. Australia

Although Australia has the slowest broadband of the top 10 countries, it makes up for it in the Gender Gap Index and Happiness Index.

This ensured it placed fourth with a score of 6.49.

5. Denmark

Denmark has the second-highest cost of living of the top 10 but its happiness rating was top of all the countries in the survey at 7.65.

It also scored well in broadband speed and gender equality.

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How to turn the 2 fears that most often lead to failure into strengths, according to a successful entrepreneur

Man holding a mug and looking fed up.
There are ways to turn your fears into motivation.

  • Fear is natural. It often just means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • If you let it to get the better of you, though, it can stop you getting ahead — in and out of work.
  • The founder of a professional development program, Raul Villacis, gave his tips to beat two fears.

Fear is a natural way of telling you that you’re leaving your comfort zone and you should pay more attention to what you’re doing.

It can become a major problem, however, if it starts to dominate your mind — it can lead you to make bad decisions, both in daily life and at work.

You may find that you’re too afraid to ask for a raise or that you’re too scared to start the business you’ve always dreamed of starting.

In situations like this, fear causes you to fail. Fortunately, there are ways to turn your fears into motivation.

Raul Villacis, entrepreneur, investor, and motivational speaker, explained in a video for Entrepreneur the two most dangerous types of fear in the workplace and how to use them as motivation.

Fear of not being good enough

The first fear is the fear of not being good enough. Villacis explained that this fear stems from our ancestors, who had to hunt for their survival.

“The fear that if they were not good hunters, they would die,” he said.

That same fear still exists today, even though we no longer have to go out and hunt for our food. 

Overcoming this fear is all about understanding that you’re working towards a better future.

“Yes you’re going to mess up, yes you’re not going to be perfect, but at the same time find the edge, meaning can you create progress every day?” Villacis said.

“Your job is not to be the best today. Your job is to create progress,” he added.

Fear of not being liked

The second fear that can harm your career is the fear of not being liked. 

The good news is that this fear can motivate you to be a good person or a good worker. 

However, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of constantly seeking appreciation, and this will always leave you feeling that you’re not good enough.

According to Villacis, the trick here is to understand that the most important thing is that you like yourself.

“The most important person that you have to be one with, that you have to love, is yourself,” he said.

The key is to truly realize and accept one thing.

“I am not perfect. But I am a work in progress,” he said.

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Indian PM Narendra Modi’s hacked Twitter account told 73.4 million followers that the country would distribute 500 bitcoins among its citizens

Narendra   Photo by Drew Angerer:Getty Images
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

  • Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Twitter was hacked on Sunday and said the country had adopted bitcoin.
  • The tweet said that India had bought 500 bitcoins and would distribute them to residents.
  • The Indian government has been the target of more than 30,000 cyberattacks so far this year.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked on Sunday, broadcasting that the country had accepted bitcoin and would start distributing it to citizens.

Modi’s Twitter account, which has more than 73 million followers, was “very briefly compromised,” announced the prime minister’s office on Sunday.

“The matter was escalated to Twitter, and the account has been immediately secured,” it said. “In the brief period that the account was compromised, any Tweet shared must be ignored.”

The hoax tweet said that India had “officially accepted bitcoin as legal tender” and that the government “officially bought 500 BTC” that it would distribute to Indian residents, CNN reported. At press time, 500 bitcoins would be worth $24,455,200.

“The future has come today! #BTC,” the tweet read with several emojis (which Modi does not regularly use on his Twitter handle) and a potential scam link, according to a screenshot posted online. 



Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not recognized in India as legal tender.

This isn’t the first time a Twitter account linked to Modi has been compromised. Last September, @narendramodi_in, the Twitter account of Modi’s personal website and mobile app with around 2.6 million followers, encouraged people to donate cryptocurrency to a COVID-19 relief fund.

Nor is this the first time a high-profile Twitter account has been hacked for a crypto hoax. In July 2020, 130 Twitter accounts, including former President Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk, tweeted links to a bitcoin scam. Twitter’s stock lost $1.3 billion in value following the breach.

The Indian government has been the target of over 30,000 cyberattacks this year up to the month of October, The Times of India reported, citing government figures. In 2020, the country’s government organizations faced more than 50,000 cyber security incidents, according to the outlet.

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Vladimir Putin said he drove a taxi for extra cash after the Soviet Union’s fall

Vladimir Putin waves behind a car door.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gets into a car after a summit with US President Joe Biden at the Villa La Grange.

  • Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he used to work as a taxi driver after the Soviet Union collapsed.
  • He lamented the 1991 fall of the USSR, saying it was a tragedy for Russians.
  • His remarks come amid growing fears that Russia is planning a military invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lamented the fall of the Soviet Union and said he worked an extra job as a taxi driver after its collapse to make ends meet.

In a documentary aired Sunday by state media channel Russia 1, Putin described the USSR’s demise in 1991 as a “tragedy” for Russian citizens and the end of “historical Russia.” Excerpts of the documentary, titled “Russia. Recent History,” were published on the YouTube channel of state-owned outlet Russia 24.

“Sometimes I had to earn extra money,” Putin said. “I mean, earn extra money by car, as a private driver. It’s unpleasant to talk about, to be honest, but unfortunately, that was the case.”

Putin had previously hinted that in the late 1990s he considered working as a private driver, but his remarks on Sunday were his first public acknowledgment of taking on the additional gig.

Taxis were rare just after the break-up of the USSR, a time of economic instability for Russia, and some people would give rides to strangers for extra income, the BBC reported.

Putin, who worked his way up the political ladder after his career in the KGB intelligence services, has regularly voiced his regret of the fall of the USSR. He once said in 2018 that if he could reverse anything in Russia’s history, it would be the Union’s collapse.

His musings about the former USSR come amid growing concerns about a Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border.

According to The New York Times, Russia has gathered nearly 100,000 troops just outside of Ukraine, stoking fears that Putin will launch a full-scale invasion that Ukrainian officials said they wouldn’t be able to withstand.

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Turkey’s Erdogan says social media is a ‘threat to democracy’

Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a media conference at the G20 summit in Rome on October 31, 2021.

  • Turkish President Erdogan on Saturday called social media a “threat to today’s democracy.”
  • Erdogan is seeking to enact legislation that would criminalize purveyors of online disinformation.
  • After a new law passed last year, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter now have an office presence in the country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described social media Saturday as one of the main threats to democracy.

Erdogan’s government plans to pursue legislation to criminalize spreading fake news and disinformation online, but critics say the proposed changes would tighten restrictions on free speech.

“Social media, which was described as a symbol of freedom when it first appeared, has turned into one of the main sources of threat to today’s democracy,” Erdogan said in a video message to a government-organized communications conference in Istanbul.

He added: “We try to protect our people, especially the vulnerable sections of our society, against lies and disinformation without violating our citizens’ right to receive accurate and impartial information.”

Turkey passed a law last year requiring social media platforms that have more than 1 million users to maintain a legal representative and store data in the country. Major social media companies, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have since established offices in Turkey.

The new legislation would make the dissemination of “disinformation” and “fake news” criminal offenses punishable by up to five years in prison, according to pro-government media reports. It also would establish a social media regulator.

Most of Turkey’s major media companies are under the control of the government, leaving social media as an important outlet for dissenting voices.

Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net report, published in September, characterized Turkey as “not free,” noting the removal of content critical of the government and the prosecution of people posting “undesirable” commentary on social media.

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The 6 golden rules to get rich no matter your salary, according to a millionaire

Man standing on a boat with his arms outstretched.
In his book, Geldrichtig, Müller explains that anyone can be a millionaire if they learn to think like a rich person.

  • Part of becoming a millionaire and achieving financial freedom involves having the right mentality.
  • Millionaire and best-selling author Phillip J. Müller said the key is conscious consumption.
  • You have to stop thinking that rich people are like the ones on TV and to start saving.

The only thing holding you back from being a millionaire is your own idea of what it means to be one, according to millionaire and best-selling author Phillip J. Müller.

In his book, Geldrichtig, Müller explains that anyone can be a millionaire if they learn to think like a rich person.

Movies and “get rich quick” stories have led people to believe that the rich do nothing but spend money and that all of their success is due to luck or fame.

The reality, according to Müller, is different.

Becoming a real millionaire means adopting a conscious consumer mentality: thinking about whether you really want what you’re going to buy and, if you need it, whether there’s a cheaper alternative.

Saving, avoiding debt, controlling impulses — these are just some of the steps you need to take to acquire this mindset.

Müller gave GQ Germany his tips to become rich.

1. Saving is essential 

Müller recommended getting into the habit of saving right away and applying it at all times. 

“It’s about thinking about whether you want to spend that money today on your fifth pair of sneakers because you suddenly feel like you really need them, when in reality you’ll only use them once,” he said.

It’s a toss-up between short-term gratification and long-term contentment.

At first, you’ll probably have trouble understanding that you can save at all times. For example, Müller is against eating out entirely. 

“Many people don’t realize how much money they can save if they choose to bring food and drinks from home to the office,” he said.

Müller explained that a coffee in a bar can cost you a few dollars while making your own at home will only cost you a few cents. 

This is the kind of mentality that you need to gradually adopt.

There are many more tricks that you can use to save money in your day-to-day life. For example, it may be a good idea to review things like your Spotify or Netflix subscriptions.

2. Avoid any kind of debt

Take everything you’ve been told about saving and apply absolutely the opposite to debt. Don’t buy anything you can’t afford. It’s a simple rule that will also help you avoid whims.

“You want a smartphone, but you don’t have the money to buy it? Then don’t buy it,” explained Müller.

A lot of debt occurs when people become addicted to the fleeting pleasure that you get from making a purchase.

 “Leave a note in your wallet that says — do I really need that? With time, you’ll start asking yourself that question, and then you won’t need the note anymore,” Müller said.

3. If you do have debt, don’t bury your head in the sand

Before looking for a quick fix to pay off debt, it’s important to take stock of the situation. 

Otherwise, you may make the mistake of creating new debts to pay off old ones.

Müller said that you should write down all the debts that you have. Then think of an amount that you would be able to pay each month and calculate, based on this figure, how many months it would take you to pay the debt off.

Müller recommended using half of your money to pay debts and saving the other half. 

Many would advise paying debt off before starting to save, but Müller disagrees.

“It’s about thinking like a wealthy person,” he said.

“Your wealth, however much it is, grows through saving,” he added.

4. Actively contact creditors

Müller advised being proactive and contacting your creditors before they contact you.

“This will set you apart from most debtors,” explains Müller.

If you can’t pay, it’s better to communicate this openly rather than waiting for them to call you to ask for explanations for non-payments. 

He explained that if you disclose your financial situation honestly, the other party will usually make you a counteroffer, such as extending the payment period or waiving your interest.

This advice is even more important if the debt you owe is to someone you know. 

“If you owe someone something, that will have negative effects in your life. Money isn’t just a medium of exchange; it’s an energy that flows.”

5. Avoid fake status symbols

When you think of a millionaire, you’re sure to picture them driving an expensive car and flaunting a watch that looks more valuable than your house. 

These status symbols have nothing to do with the millionaire mentality.

The path to financial freedom is about consciously consuming, not spending big.

“Do you really need to spend two or three months’ salary to go on vacation somewhere far away, when you could rest so much better somewhere close to home?” Müller said.

6. Exercise self-control and be aware of temptation

Temptation looks different to each individual.

If you can’t control yourself during the sales, just don’t stroll past all the shops!

If online shopping is your vice, you could use apps to temporarily block your access to online stores.

Look for alternatives to the impulsive solutions that temptation offers you. If your cell phone isn’t working, see if you can have it repaired before buying a new one. Or maybe see if someone you know can let you buy or borrow an old one.

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