This is part of the Unconventional Guide GRS series (affiliate link) by JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly. I’m working through the material and have started writing about it again. If you want some back story, check out some of my earlier posts:
When you’re first starting out on your own, life is your oyster. You get your first job out of high school or university and you have tonnes of discretionary income. There is always enough money for that restaurant you want to eat at or that party you want to go to. I’m not saying you are making mad stacks of cash, just that you don’t have that many priorities competing for that limited resource known as your cash. As you go along in life, you start to collect people and things that might make your world a little more complicated and expensive. All of a sudden, you have a mortgage, a family, a car payment and you still have to think about retirement planning and starting a college fund for your kids. There’s a lot to do with your money and you need to stay on course to make it all happen.
Here are some strategies for sidestepping four barriers to financial freedom:
1. Financial Freedom Barrier: Lack of Purpose
When we are vague and unfocused in our lives, our finances will follow. I don’t mean that you need to have every minute of your life planned out but it’s important to have some priorities. Whether that’s starting your own business or planning a family, you need to know where you want to end up before you start going there. Without a purpose, you could get stuck in a rut and just end up spending money on anything that catches your eye in the moment. Going through the motions will you get through for a little while but you’re not going to be able to achieve life or financial success without a purpose to help map out your own journey.
How do you find your purpose? You need to figure out what motivates you to get up in the morning and pushes you to keep going when you’re feeling down and defeated. That will be your starting point to getting you to on the right path to your own purpose. I like What color is your parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles for career-related guidance. No matter what you choose, having a purpose is like the North Star. This is what you will steer your life by.
2. Financial Freedom Barrier: Materialism
This can be a symptom of not having a purpose. When you are keeping up with the Joneses, you’re distracted by the next bright and shiny object that you are sure will make you happier than you already are. Why bother worrying about where you want to be in ten years when you can devote your time and energy to buying the next best Ithing? I’m not saying you have to forsake all possessions and move to a shack in the woods, just that you should be strategic about what and where you want to devote your precious resources.
Like a wise person once said to me, you can have anything you want but nothing everything you want. So maybe you set up a system where you schedule in your passion. For instance, you are a foodie and love eating out at new restaurants. If you could go five times a week, you totally would. So you find a compromise between this expensive hobby and your other goals and go once a month (or whatever) to a really nice restaurant. Be strategic – choose your thing and enjoy it in moderation.
3. Financial Freedom Barrier: Debt
Not all debt is created equal. A mortgage on a multi-family rental property is quite a bit different than debt racked up on a credit card. Let’s talk about the second kind of debt, the kind that won’t add anything of value to your life except a pile of random junk you thought you needed. When you owe money like this, you’re funneling your valuable resources towards maintaining a status quo instead of getting ahead. Nothing will keep you stuck in a rut like a mountain of debt. Make paying off your debt the priority in your life and it will pay you back tenfold.
4. Financial Freedom Barrier: Lack of Discipline
So you have your goals and your plans and you know you should follow through but it’s just so much work. Granted, you’re going to have days like this but when too many of these days start to happen; your goals tend to fall by the wayside. Your commitment to your priorities is a commitment to yourself and is worth some sacrifice. If you need some help with goal setting, read about making better choices with fewer options to learn how to prioritize your goals. Because sometimes too many things leaves us directionless.
J.D. had more to say on this topic but these are the points that really stuck out for me. I wanted to share a few with you to get you started on your own journey to financial freedom. Go forth and be profitable!