Are you clear about your priorities? What is more important for you: living in a fancy house with a mortgage that is killing you or renting a comfortable place that you can afford while saving for a house of your dream? Driving a brand new car, wearing designer clothes, going on exotic vacations and worrying about paying for your lifestyle or having a peace of mind and freedom to choose?
I know these questions may sound controversial – of course you want to have a fancy house, a brand new car and to go on your dream vacation! I get it, I really do! The question du jour is: can you afford it right now? Will the payments for ‘having it all’ be translated to worries, anxiety, health and relationship problems? Because that is what often happens when you live above your current means.
Allow me to share with you my own stance on ‘what matters.’ Yes, now I own beautiful homes in exotic resort-like locations. But it was not always like that… I rented apartments, drove 20 years-old cars and used to wear no-brand-whatsoever clothes. My desire for financial independence was always stronger than the desire to own anything (e.g. designer clothes, luxurious vacations or fancy cars). I was fortunate enough to have a professional career that allowed me to support my family, accumulate savings and make decent investments, but it didn’t provide a way toward financial independence.
My relentless quest for financial freedom and meaningful work led me to becoming an entrepreneur. Leaving a steady paycheck job was nerve-racking at first but it felt right in my body even though it was not easy. I made mistakes and learned lessons in the process—which is what happens when one dares to change life!
I consider myself a risk-taker, which served me well with a few exceptions, especially in the stock market investment arena. When I was young, reckless and naïve, I wanted to become financially free overnight. Common sense approaches to investment—longer time horizon, rational vs. emotional choice of stocks, diversification as a risk management tool, etc.—were too slow and boring for me.
I used to chase hot tips; loaned money from my house’s equity line to a businessman I hardly knew and even invested my entire pension plan in the stock of the company I used to work for. My pension portfolio was performing great…until the stock crashed and I lost almost everything.
As you can see, I was reckless and lacked common sense in my investing at that time. But as the result of all my mistakes, missteps and lessons learned, I’ve developed three Financial Freedom Rules:
- Don’t spend more than you earn.
- Don’t borrow more than you can afford.
- Build multiple streams of income.
I see a lot of people in our country, some are really smart and well educated, who are so addicted to spending that no matter how much they earn, they manage to spend even more.
There are a few high-paid professionals like investment bankers, executives, doctors and lawyers, who have higher than average compensation and yet are not financially free. Many of these high wage earners incurred massive debt and owe more than they can afford.
They are under enormous stress and have to deal with creditors and mounting debt. Apparently, what is most important is not just how much you earn but how much you spend. Is this also true for you?
Read more about money management ‘know-how’s next week.
*Some of the text was taken from my upcoming book “A Shift Toward Abundance.”
To Your Health, Wealth and Freedom!
With love and Gratitude,
Millen LivisPlease Share!.......