Print this off and put it in your wallet this week:
Freedom > Money > Stuff
FREEDOM = Being able to do whatever the hell you want, whenever the hell you want. And it’s what happens when you’ve got your $$$ on lock and the system in place where you can actually *not need* to think about money anymore. It’s all working behind the scenes for you as you live your kick-ass life! This is the concept behind F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early), and it still means you can work if you still wanted to. The difference being it’s a *choice* vs a *need*.
MONEY = This is the beautiful green stuff that we all love and want more of, but it’s also only a tool. It’s not as good as financial freedom, but of course it’s what’s needed to get there. For the first 5 years of this blog all I cared about was gobbling up as much of this stuff as possible. I worked 20 hour days, hardly hung out with my friends, and was on the brink of becoming a workaholic. Then I had kids and remembered what the point of living was again – TO LIVE!!! :) I’m glad I worked so hard while I did since it means I don’t have to as much later now, but it’s important to recognize that the end all be all is not the money. It’s the amazing future it buys us.
STUFF = This is the hardest habit to break, and some of it we cannot because we need a roof over our heads and comfy places to sit our buttocks on. We also need to wear clothes and have a computer unless you’re living in certain communities :) There’s a lot of items we need, but a lot more that we desire. And it’s these desired things that trip us up the most! As my friend Paula says, we can afford anything, we just can’t afford everything. But that’s okay! We don’t need everything. What we need is “enough.” And the better we get at being happy with what we own already, the easier it will be to save more of the above (money) and reach the ultimate level (freedom).
Do we already know all of this stuff? Of course. I’m sure all 1,946 of my posts over the years (true fact) have covered this same topic to some degree. But it’s also something that needs repeating because we’re all humans and constantly forget!! Which is exactly why I want you to print this off and put it somewhere as a physical trigger to snap you back into reality :) Make it a sticky if you’d like, it doesn’t matter.
Freedom > Money > Stuff
Put it somewhere and then make sure to do something about it. The worst is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Try purchasing one less thing this week or selling/ donating something. Put together your net worth or a list of all your credit cards/accounts all on one page if you haven’t done so already. Go out of your way and try earning an extra $20!
Whatever you do, just remember there’s a point to it all in the end: living a life on your own terms. You don’t have to work for the rest of your life if you don’t want to, and you certainly don’t need as much stuff as those around you seem to think. All you need is a reminder to keep pushing yourself and that you’re on the right track. And I know you are because you’re reading this blog :)
So keep going!! Every little action adds up!
UPDATE: Here’s a much prettier picture you could download or print off :) (Thanks Cait!)
Yes that is a miniature box of Campbell’s Soups on my monitor… the things you find on the ground!
Bonus tip: Find a good "balance transfer" offer to help pay off debt faster!
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PS: If you don't trust yourself with another credit card, ignore this! This strategy is to help you get out of debt quicker, not risk adding more to it.