Don’t get rich, get free
I've never been interested in being rich. I want to be free. Here are 7 philosophies I live by that are helping me pursue financial freedom.
Summary: today I sharing some mentalities/philosophies that I believe it takes to be free of the endless chase after money. Because it’s a race most people never win.
I’ve never been one to chase after material items. Sure, there are things I’ve wanted to own over the years. When I was early in my professional life I wanted a Rolex and a Mont Blanc pen. Not because they denoted status. Because my father had them and I wanted to be like my father.
I never drooled over cars like some people do. My brother loved cars. My wife considers herself a “car person.” I think fancy cars look cool. But, I don’t long to own one. I’m happy with my 2019 Nightshade (all black) Toyota 4Runner that I bought used.
If there is any material position I’ve wanted, it’s a large plot of land with a cabin surrounded by trees for privacy. Somewhere we can disappear to on the weekends for a simpler life. We even looked at such a place this past weekend.
It takes money to buy things like a getaway house. I get it. But, I’m not interested in getting rich. I’m interested in getting free. Free of the rat race that many in our society are caught up in.
That’s easier said than done. Especially with the rate of inflation these days.
The more I work with people, the more I learn that plenty of well-educated adults don’t understand how to manage their money.
I got licensed as a financial advisor because I was already managing family money. But I wanted to help other people as well. I wanted to help people get free. Free from financial decisions that kept them trapped in jobs they hated just to pay for stuff they didn’t need. Because the truth is, most people are terrible at making those financial decisions.
If you are going to get free, then there are some basic mentalities you need to take.
#1 Things won’t make you happy.
Things won’t make you happy in the long run. They simply provide short-lived dopamine hits.
Replace buying things and invest in experiences/people.
#2 Don’t pick up pennies.
It’s not the small purchases that cost you. Sure, they add up. But, its the big purchases that end up wrecking most people’s budgets. It takes a whole of Starbucks coffee to cost you as much as that $3,000 table you are wanting for your dining room.
#3 You can’t save your way to retirement.
This mentality will be the most unpopular. I’m not saying that financial discipline won’t put extra money in your pocket. I’m saying that in today’s economy, it is very hard to save your way to retirement. The alternative that I am seeing more and more is people creating additional income sources. I’ve personally had multiple income streams, e.g. side hustles, for the past ten years.
#4 Life insurance isn’t an expense, it's an investment.
This will be another unpopular take. Before you say it, I know there are much better investment options than life insurance. I also know of multiple people who had their family not had life insurance when a loved one died, they would be hard-pressed to make ends meet. I’ve seen life insurance payout to believe that it is simply an expense. If you don’t have enough coverage, 10x-15x your annual salary, find a way to get that in place.
#5 Pay yourself first.
Most budgets force people to make do with what’s left after all their bills are paid. Instead, pay yourself first by having money automatically deposited or invested into the right accounts before the money touches your checking account.
#6 A tax refund is merely a forced savings plan.
I used to get excited when I got a tax refund. I don’t anymore. Instead, aim to get as close to no refund or payment as possible. When you get a refund you essentially gave the government an interest-free loan.
#7 Starting a business will accelerate your path to freedom
I’ve spent the last ten years growing businesses in my spare time. We used that income to pay off debts, build up a significant savings account, and make additional investments. I can tell you without a doubt we wouldn’t be where we are financially if I hadn’t hustled. Full stop. Starting a business in your spare time is by far the best way to speed up your path to freedom. I firmly believe that it is infinitely easier to make an additional $1k/month than it is to save $1k/month if you can do both at the same time, all the better.
One of the things my business does for people is that we provide free financial plans. A well-thought-out plan can help you drive toward financial freedom.
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