Financial freedom is a journey that holds a promised land as the end reward. After all, who doesn’t aspire to live on their terms over the Man’s?
Nevertheless, while this endeavor appears to be numerical, such visions are a mirage, as the journey is equally emotional and mathematical.
For example, get out a piece of paper and pencil. Jot down your income, debt, savings, and expenses. It will be easy to reduce certain costs, pay off debts, and increase your savings rate on that sheet of paper. Nevertheless, it is anything but simple in real life.
Why? Because money and our emotions are intertwined, and simply put, logic does not trump the emotional aspect of life.
In our society, many people link their relationship with money to their self-worth and happiness. But such aspirations where riches cure one’s ailments are fallacies. Wealth does not correlate with worth, and a content pauper is on equal footing with a baron.
After all, you cannot take wealth with you, and everyone returns to the earth as peers.
If you cannot be happy with yourself today, you will not be satisfied with yourself tomorrow. Achieving an income of $75,000 should indeed correlate with happiness. However, anything above that is trivial, and living in self-pity until reaching that income is a tragedy. Happiness is a mindset that you can enjoy today.
Therefore, your journey to financial independence shouldn’t be solely numerical. Instead, it should be a metamorphosis where your emotions and logic merge to enjoy the beautiful adventure we call life. Such change is the key to success, allowing you to spread your wings and soar to your highest potential.
Attempts to impose unnecessary deprivation and frugality on yourself may reduce your spending and increase your saving habits initially. You may even fly far from your current pasture.
However, creating a scarcity mindset is misguided at best, harmful at worst.
Saving should feel natural, and you should not cut out the things that bring you true joy unless they are admittedly out of your financial reach. Otherwise, you likely will revert to your old habits, returning to the present after a failed pilgrimage.
If you want to reach financial freedom and achieve happiness, you need to balance your budget while allowing for enjoyment. Doing such will engrain success into your future, and such an aspiration is both logical and emotionally fulfilling.
Ask yourself, why do I desire new things or adventures? What value are they providing me that I do not already have? Will I regret not making these purchases?
Each answer will vary, and that is okay. Sometimes treating yourself and splurging is justified, as rigidity is unnatural. Depending on the situation, the tiniest things can be either a wave or a particle in quantum physics. However, wastefulness is not natural either. Remember the conservation of energy? It dispels the idea of waste, embracing redistribution. So don’t buy so much stuff that you add unnecessary waste to landfills.
Learn to compromise with yourself, as life is too short to wait for your finances to be in order before you live. However, life is equally too fast for your finances to be in perpetual disarray. Find a balance of spending and saving that works for you while focusing on finding happiness in the present. Importantly, no two journeys towards financial freedom will ever be the same, nor should they.
And remember, money is emotional and numerical.
So, what are you waiting for, protagonist? Pen your journey into existence, spread your wings, and live a beautiful life.
And as always, have a great day.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
If you realise that you have enough, you are truly rich.
If you stay in the centre and embrace death with your whole heart, you will endure forever.-Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell & Frances Lincoln
Mile High Finance Guy
finance demystified, one mountain at a time