Our General Education on Money
Growing up, many of us were never taught about money and really where it comes from or really how to generate more of it. The only thing we were taught about it was that if we had enough we could buy something with it.
Later, when we got older, we’d find out that we could actually get paid to do jobs here and there, say like yard mowing. We learned that if we saved that money we earned, we’d be able to put it all together and get something we really wanted.
The older we got, though, the more expensive the things we wanted became. In high school for me, it was cars, gifts, and, apparel. The list continued to get longer and longer.
As we got older, we learned that if we could manage to get a college degree, we would be qualified to get higher paying jobs.
Oh, and if we wanted or needed something right now that we could use a credit card and then pay back the credit company back all at once or over time. The sooner we paid the companies back (monthly is best), the sooner that our credit went up. The higher our credit the more a company would risk on us to buy larger purchases – including houses. This is where mortgages come from.
Retail Therapy is an Addiction.
Obviously, the more expensive our tastes, the more money we need to support it. Even more so, the more that we want or feel we need something new – the sooner that we’re going to pay for it.
Doing this over and over just for the hell of buying things is definitely a thing. Why? Because there is a rush in buying something. And just like any other rush, it can get addictive.
There’s tons of people who don’t know when they’re getting out of control in their spending. Part of this can be put on the shoulders of not having a real education about money growing up. However, there’s another part. A part that is a little deeper and a little darker.
That part that is so common with other addictions. We’re using that addiction to fill a void in our life. The thing about voids is that we usually try to fill them with things that are detrimental to other aspects of our lives. “Retail Therapy” is really no different than gambling. Just throwing money out there on things that have no relevance in where we actually exist in life.
Righting the Ship
Hopefully you’re the type of person who can see where things are going wrong in your life. If you feel that you don’t have money to do what you really want to do with your life or you simply have a ton of stuff, but you still feel empty – then I want you to keep reading.
In a nutshell, what I’ve already talked about here is the extent of what I learned about money before I started educating myself on the matter. It came from what was taught to me at school and from what I learned from people in my life.
What I found is that life is actually NOT about going to work and getting paid the market value of what I’m worth. It’s not just about buying things that you need and what hoping that this new thing might make you happy.
What it is about is giving yourself as many options as possible to do things that fulfill you. And, as I’ve mentioned before, Financial Freedom is a big part of opening up those options.
Achieving Financial Security
So, the first step to reaching Financial Freedom is by first obtaining Financial Security. In this video, Tony Robbins discusses what that means.
So let’s say that finding Financial Security sounds like a good place to start? How would you get there?
Sure, you could seek out more of Tony’s info (and I recommend it), but I think the biggest name that’s out there in today’s world is Dave Ramsey. He’s on national radio and his main focus is to help people learn how to get achieve financial security.
Laila swears by Dave and his methods and I have to say that I appreciate the advice that he gives when I get the opportunity to hear him.
So here’s a really good video I found where Dave explains his steps his famous framework called The 7 Baby Steps.
For Maria and myself, this has been a good place to be at. Many people in our lives believe that we’re poor because we don’t spend our money on anything and everything. However, we know that eventually we’ll be able to do rather well on what we’ve invested in during the past 5 years.
Reaching for Financial Independence
After you’ve bought your home and have everything covered by Dave Ramsey’s method, you need to start thinking about the next level. Let’s bring in Tony again here so that we can see the next step.
Maria and I are working to be fully in this zone with our next house. We have a few more debts to knock out before we get there, but we believe we’ll be able to get there within the next year or two.
But really our secret has been to keep re-investing money into other baskets and not spending money from building our financial security phase.
Another step for us to start reaching financial independence was taken by me when I started focusing on New Inceptions. One of the things I heard in LTD back when was that you shouldn’t do something that you believe will never get you to your destination. Whether that’s more financially focused or purpose driven, you have to do something that will yield you the results that you really want. Not doing so will either drive you insane or send you into a constant depression.
Don’t do that to yourself!
Escaping the Rat Race – What Financial Freedom Looks Like
I know a few people who are already at this level. What’s interesting to me is that they’re as busy as the rest of us, but they live their lives in a world where they’re choosing what they want to do.
Mark Nathan is one of those people. And if you listen to his chat in session 22 of the AoL Podcast, you find out that just because you’re free – that you don’t actually want to sit on a beach somewhere. Check out that interview here.
My thinking is that once you’re used to working at peak level, you can’t stop. At this point, you’ve more than likely found meaning in your life and you know how to leverage your skill set. Stopping would probably yield insanity.
Chances are you’ve definitely built a business around this so it can’t ever be taken from you.
Oh, if you’re interested in finding some more of that Tony Robbins course, check out more of it here.
I’d love to hear how your guys’ plans are going. Do you follow Dave Ramsey? If not, who do you follow for your financial advice? I’d love to hear one or two tips that you’ve learned on your quest in getting out of the rat race and reaching financial freedom.