Personal finance is about so much more than just knowing the mantra “Save more than you earn. Invest the difference. Rinse and repeat until you reach financial independence.”
I can explain to anyone I meet the concept of how a high savings rate can allow you to retire early. I can show them the raw numbers and the simple math behind financial independence.
But to actually achieve F.I. it requires so much more than just understanding the math. It’s great to realize that financial independence can give you freedom, but that still doesn’t magically grant you the wisdom to know how to master your money. It still doesn’t offer answers to specific questions like:
How do I save more money?
How exactly can I earn more?
What type of mindset do I need to live frugally?
What resources can I use to invest effectively?
I think the best way to answer these questions come from exposing yourself to a variety of different sources that offer wisdom on how to increase productivity, ramp up savings, hustle harder to earn more, and find simple ways to invest more efficiently.
Drawing Wisdom From a Variety of Sources
On any given day I might grab some inspiration from The Minimalists with a philosophical video like this:
Then I might jump over to Ryan Holiday’s blog and see what books he recommends for every “young and ambitious” person. Ryan is a huge advocate of Stoicism and his work revolves around how philosophy can help us live better lives.
I might follow this up with a quick visit to Seth Godin’s website where he writes a brief blog post every day. Seth’s writing always stretches my brain and he has a tendency to challenge traditional ways of thinking.
If I need a new podcast for my morning commute to work I’ll stop by Mad Fientist and download his newest financial independence podcast. Most of his podcasts are interviews with people who have already reached F.I. and he explores the tactics they used to achieve early retirement at a young age.
Or if I just want some inspiration for frugal living I might watch a short video from the Goal Zero YouTube Channel like this one:
Or if I’m in the mood for conquering the day with a roundhouse kick to the face I’ll download the latest podcast from Jocko Willink. His podcast focuses on overcoming adversity, the importance of resilience, and how to take radical responsibility for your life and the situation you’re currently in. One of the most memorable Jocko interviews can be found here.
Notice that not all of these are personal finance resources. They’re more of an eclectic mix of self improvement sources. Some of them focus on building work ethic and character (like Jocko’s podcast) while others are about developing a personal philosophy on life (like The Minimalists). Even though they’re not explicitly about personal finance, they have a massive impact on my finances.
By constantly learning from different sources and different arenas of thought, I’m exposing myself to different ways of thinking. I’m learning how to increase my savings rate with frugal inspiration from Goal Zero and blogs like Frugal Woods. I’m learning about how to reduce my spending and focus on what I truly value with blogs like The Minimalists and Becoming Minimalist. I’m focusing on the importance of philosophy and how it drives my financial motives from Ryan Holiday. I’m gaining inspiration for earning more money through side hustles from sites like Financial Panther and Side Hustle Nation.
Turbo Charging My Path to F.I.
I’m still in the early stages of my own financial journey, but I’m turbo charging my journey to F.I. by constantly drawing wisdom from a huge variety of sources. I’m reading about how other people are developing lifestyles that give them tremendous freedom. All of these resources in one way or another have helped me to:
I like to think of personal finance as an awareness field. I’m aware that I should be saving most of my income and investing wisely. I’m aware that money can buy freedom. But philosophy, psychology, and work ethic often help me to find the specific means to actually optimize my finances.
What resources do you use to find ways to optimize your finances? Who are some of your favorite mentors? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or you can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share resources. Knowledge is power 🙂
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