What type of lifestyle do you want? Do you dream of having the means to travel three months out of the year? Or go zip-lining through the rain forests of Costa Rica? Or watch beautiful sunsets on beaches in Thailand? Perhaps the freedom to sit with a cup of coffee each morning on your back porch in Tennessee? Or simply the time to sit and play with your kids in your living room on a weekday?
Then I recommend reading books on asset allocation. Learn about the intricacies of a 401(k) plan. Watch Khan Academy videos to learn about stocks and bonds. Learn about the philosophy of stoicism, minimalism, and essentialism. This will enable you to have the freedom to travel, explore, have more time to yourself, and gain the ability to live each day however you want.
You may be wondering, how on earth will reading personal finance books give me this freedom?
The answer is simple. Whatever it is you want to do in life, you must have the financial means to do so. Most people have no savings, no understanding of how money works, and no financial freedom. This translates to no freedom. But through learning about personal finance, you can gain necessary knowledge and skills to save money and gain financial freedom. You can start earning more, saving more, and investing more.
By sitting at the library and reading The Richest Man in Babylon, you can quickly grasp the basic principles needed to start saving money.
By watching videos on stocks and bonds, you can learn how investing in assets can help you grow your money.
By reading about the philosophy of stoicism, you can recognize the shortness of life, the fleeting nature of material goods, and identify what you actually value in life. This translates to more savings.
By prioritizing your financial life, you allow every other area of your life to flourish. By learning about personal finance, you’re enabling yourself to gain the freedom to start living how you want each day.
You might be sitting in a cubicle right now on a Monday morning, wishing that you were instead going for a run on a beach. The way to gain the freedom to run on that beach is to prioritize your financial life. Recognize the connection between money and freedom. When you master your money, you gain freedom. Freedom from a shitty job. Freedom to travel. Freedom to spend time with family. Freedom to define your day and dictate how you spend your time.
I’m personally seeking this freedom. Over the past year I have increased my net worth from zero dollars to well over $50,000. Over the next 8-10 months I hope to increase that number to $100k and then to $150k shortly afterwards, all before age 25.
No, money is not the most important part of my life, but I’m choosing to make it a priority so that I can begin to do more of the things I truly enjoy every single day.
By focusing on increasing my income, minimizing my living expenses, and investing my savings, I’m quickly working towards gaining financial freedom in a short period of time.
Most people find personal finance boring, which is understandable. Analyzing expense ratios of different 401(k) funds might not be your cup of tea (it just so happens to be mine), but educating yourself on the basics of personal finance is exactly what will allow you to transform your lifestyle. Learning how to manage your money is of paramount importance if you wish to gain the freedom to live how you want.
No matter what your ideal life looks like, whether it involves travel, starting a business, or raising a family, the foundation of this life is dependent on having the financial means to do so. Money serves as the backbone of an incredible life. By itself, money is meaningless. But when used appropriately, it can enhance your quality of life dramatically. It’s the chief support system that allows you to live how you want without being hindered.
To spend more time with family, read about stoicism.
To be your own boss, watch videos on stocks and bonds.
To gain the financial freedom to travel the world, embrace minimalism.
To watch beautiful sunsets on beaches in Thailand, read books on asset allocation.
My favorite free financial tool I use is Personal Capital. I use it to track my net worth, manage my spending, and keep an eye on my monthly cash flow. It only takes a few minutes to set up and it makes tracking your finances simple and easy. I recommend trying it out.
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