Thirty years ago, I was flat out dumb about the power of finances.
I spent money with abandon and knew nothing about saving, long term planning or the choices that could be created if one handled their finances.
Using a money blueprint that was passed down to me from my family, I constantly whined that my parents knew nothing about money and therefore could not teach me anything about this highly charged and intimidating subject.
My philosophy was “fuck it”. Somebody will come along and solve this problem for me or I will get this great job/opportunity and then magically I will have all the answers that I need.
With every job failure and career mishap, I would recall my familial logic: my dad’s advice- spend all you have that’s what its for; Debt is the American way; my mom’s advice- you don’t need much; God will provide; and my personal favorite- its easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven.
When you are a youngster and are totally dependent on those raising you, you are forced to buy into their nonsense for survival purposes.
It’s impossible to ask caregivers why they are always crying broke and yet continue to shop, eat out and use credit.
At some point, you will make decisions that will change your financial life and give you the chance o have agency in your life and have some fun in the process.
Here is a short list of what I’ve been able to do/accomplish once I took more control of my finances and began the dance of middle age.
Visit Greece for two weeks for a writer’s retreat and some serious yoga
Improve my credit score by 125 points which allowed me to –
Purchase a home and stay out of credit card debt.
Self publish two books (a how to guide for thriving despite unemployment and a sci-fi collection)
Unexamined philosophies are at the root of all our financial woes.
For starters, we make ridiculous moves with money because the results are not immediate.
Most of our money decisions (with the exceptions of utility bills) don’t play out in real time.
Many of our philosophies are based in short term gains.
Philosophies that stink cause us severe problems.
Change that philosophy and use the Jim Rohn method: Correct the errors of the past then master a few key new disciplines.
This two prong approach looks like this: Pay off old debt, make amends to folks you’ve borrowed from, get that student loan debt out of default- all ways to correct errors of the past.
Second part- acquiring new disciplines- don’t spend your whole paycheck; pay yourself first; create a drop dead/freedom account that will keep you safe when the shit hits the fan; learn all you can on a continual basis; invest money in your own growth; stop spending money on things (cars, crap in your house, credit card debt) that will never appreciate in value and start spending it on experiences that will enrich you as a person and update/challenge your life philosophies.