Never was I used to having money to invest; it seemed like I always found a way to make income equal expenses. Such was the life of the young, naive 20-something-year-old who had no idea how to build assets.
Going into my 30s, I began to read more, study more, and inquire more when it came to finances. This led me to finally figure out what this investing thing was all about.
To many, investing is not nearly as fun as buying new things, showing off these new things and then buying more new things when the new things become old things.
Give me another five years, and I hope to be financially independent. Being a California resident, my timetable for freedom is skewed slightly (OK, not slightly) toward the latter years, but nonetheless a constant goal of mine.
You most likely started down a similar path, buying a bunch of unnecessary things before realizing that this isn’t going to help you achieve financial independence anytime soon.
Up until two years ago, I too had no idea what this whole financial independence and retire early thing was all about. Maybe you have a similar story.
Never had I ever considered the concept of having my money work for me, rather than me working for my money.
Going from medical school and training to finally working in my career was definitely eye-opening. I was now making an income, which far surpassed the income needed to support the lifestyle I had grown accustomed to all my life.
To others in my profession, this new found income brings a whole new lifestyle: bigger houses, impressive cars, fancier clothes, expensive tastes. It is not uncommon to fall into this trap.
Let me be completely honest; there was a little bit of a “lifestyle bump” upon actually making money. Part of it was I felt there was a small reward due to myself, my wife and my kids for getting to this point.
You have probably felt the same way at some point. No matter your profession, getting to where you are today required some hurdles to overcome, some barriers to break through. Of course, you are entitled to a small reward at the end.
Down to earth folks understand the meaning of a small reward. As discussed in the Millionaire Next Door, a lot of those with money don’t show off their wealth. Sure they’ll buy nice things, but they buy nice, inexpensive things.
Never would some of today’s millionaires be caught dead buying expensive boats or flying in private jets.
Going from not making money to finally making money is really eye-opening. My philosophy is to “hide” it so to speak from my bank account. Before it reaches my checking account, my income has been divided amongst retirement accounts, 529 plans and a savings account for emergencies.
To me, if you never get used to having a lot of money to spend, you’ll never feel the need to spend a lot of money.
Run from the temptations, run toward your financial freedom.
Around town, people may mistake you for someone who doesn’t do all that well. Someone that is struggling to get by, someone who may not belong in that neighborhood.
And only you (and your spouse) will know the truth. You are financially independent; you can retire early.
Desert your need to fit in. You have the power to take control of your finances.
You’ve been given the opportunity to make sound decisions when it comes to money management.
Been a while to get to this point for sure. But now I’m here; my wealth is growing, my debt is dwindling, while my lifestyle is more than comfortable. You know the rules, you have the skills, it’s time for you to step out on the field.
Rick Astley once said, “We know the game, and we’re gonna play it.”
Rolled into one: lifestyle choices, building assets and staying out of debt is your winning play.
“Another Second Opinion, MD” is an anesthesiologist who blogs at his self-titled site, Another $econd Opinion.
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