Many people think of saving money as something you do for a short or long while so that you can go buy something that you really want. When I started this blog almost 6 months ago, I talked a lot about how I wanted to buy a house in cash and I often used that as the primary reason I was going crazy on saving. As time goes on and I continue thinking about why I’m doing this, my mind has opened up far wider than simply being able to buy a house with cash in a few years. Personal finance to me is becoming more about “what’s possible” than “what can I buy”. Let me explain what I mean:
A personal finance mindset is really a life mindset. Your finances really govern your entire life as an adult. If you’re broke, you really have little choice as to where you live or work. You also have few options on how and where to spend your free time. This lack of choices and options affect your family too and your ability to enjoy time together and experience new things. The typical personal finance mindset is that you need to get a job. As long as you get yourself a job and show up to work everyday, you “get to” pay rent or a mortgage, keep the lights on and put food on the table. Better yet, if you put your head down and keep bringing in that paycheck and paying your bills every month, you eventually “get to” retire when you turn 65 or so. At that time, the government will give you a social security check each month to allow you to keep your house and food in your bellies.
In a nutshell, the typical personal finance mindset is that you go to work for a crumby job from age 22 to age 65 (43 years at least) just so you can retire when the social security checks start coming in. Whether you realize it or not, you don’t have many options under this mindset as to how you spend your 33 years of working, or more importantly, your retirement years after that. This mindset sounds kind of lame to me. I’m only 28, but living this way, depending on someone else for my shelter/food/ability to enjoy my life, isn’t how I want to live the rest of my life.
The Better Personal Finance Mindset
I started learning about a better way to live my life when I got into all this personal finance stuff a couple years ago. This different mindset says. “You don’t have to hate your job. It also says, “Who cares what other people think you’re worth.” This better personal finance mindset is about:
- Finding your passion
- Getting motivated
- Getting out there and executing on it
Finding Your Passion
You’re probably not passionate about your factory job or your corporate cubicle position. You probably don’t get that excited to be told what to do each day either (although some people like this). You may think you’re worth more that your company is paying you. You may just be passive aggressive about everything related to your job. This is all okay (for now) if you’re experiencing it. Yes, you need to keep that paycheck coming in. But after work, when you’re usually watching TV, think about what you really care about. Think about your dream job, career or business that you want to run someday. Define out what you want your future to look like.
It’s usually fairly easy to come up with a dream job, career path or business idea. It’s usually harder to get the motivation to start working towards actually making it happen. After all, you’re working full time and/or running a household. If you can just carve out a few hours each week to work on something toward your future, it will make a difference. For me, it’s learning about business (which I do at work), it’s blogging (which I do mainly on weekends) and it’s about my personal finance and saving for the future (which I do every day). I can’t say I’m the most motivated personal in the world, or even on this block, but I have some motivation that I keep my engine running on.
Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to run my own business someday. Although I haven’t been the best executor on this yet, I have been able to leverage my career so far working as an employee to learn about how business works. I thought I was smart enough to run a business when I graduated college. That makes me laugh today, knowing how much I’ve learned during the past 5 years at work, helping our company grow and thrive through these tough economic times. In the personal finance side of things, I’ve really learned a lot these past few years and have kicked it in gear, getting myself out of $25,000 in debt and saving like crazy since. As for my blog, I’ve been doing my best to keep that moving forward as well. In all areas, I’ve learned a lot and prepared myself immensely for my future goals.
So what is this better mindset? It’s about thinking outside of the box and chasing your dreams. If your doing what you love to do, the word “retirement” might not even exist in your life when you get older. It’s simply what you love to do and you wouldn’t have it any other way. The better personal finance mindset is about breaking free from having other people choose how you live your life, where you live, how you live, what you spend your time on and who you spend it with. There is a better way to live your life everyone. I may not be there yet, but I’m working towards it. It’s my goal. Is it yours?
Category: Doing What You Love