I can’t remember if I’ve shared this before, but one of my favorite new’ish money blogs on the scene is a site called FourPillarFreedom.com.
This guy’s always getting me to stop and think with his short and concise posts, and the infusion of data visualizations he sneaks in with every other article just sucks me in even further.
Here’s one of my favorites to give you an idea: The Early Retirement Grid
At any rate, I was poking around his Twitter page earlier (@4pillarfreedom) and was reminded of his “four pillars of freedom” which his site – and name – is based on:
- Philosophy – identifying your “why”
- Psychology – reducing your spending
- Work Ethic – increasing income
- Finance – growing wealth
Pretty clear and true!
But I thought we’d break it down a bit further today or else this would be a pretty short post :)
Pillar #1: Philosophy – Identifying Your “Why”
By far my favorite of them all because it is very VERY hard to stay motivated with this stuff (or any stuff, really) when you don’t know THE POINT of why you’re doing it to begin with! Is it to feel more secure? Provide for your family? Travel more? Quit your stupid annoying job? Be the richest person on the block??? Doesn’t matter *what* your reasoning is, just so long as you know it to keep you forging ahead (although spoiler alert: you’ll never be the richest person around as it’s a never-ending pursuit!)
My personal “why” is to be able to wake up and do whatever I want without having to think about money once… Which is ironic, since you need to deal with it every single day until reaching that point :)
Pillar #2: Psychology – Reducing Your Spending
Another great pillar! And 1/2 of the overall strategy as there really is only two ways to grow your money: spend less or earn more. You’ll see opponents of both sides battling for which is the most important, but true rock stars (or should I say, Wonder Women?) nail down both sides of the equation simultaneously. I’ve only been able to do that in short spurts (I tend to veer one way more than the other at any given point in time), however like everything this is a work in progress…
Pointing back up to that chart up above though – you’ll see how drastic the time gets cut down the less and less you spend. Especially as you keep earning more over that same period of time.
Pillar #3: Work Ethic – Increasing Your Income
The 2nd half of the financial equation! And one with unlimited potential unlike that of cutting back since there’s only so much you can do if you still want to enjoy your life. The caps are completely removed with how much you can make, though, and if you’re REALLY good at the game you’ll manage to earn more while still working the same amount of time as everyone else!
I’m not such an expert that area as yet so I can’t share any examples, haha, but I *was* good at working 20 hours a day once to help make up for it ;) My desire for freedom overrode everything else for a handful of years back then, and really jump started my finances as I started sprinkling in elements of pillar #4 below.
Pillar #4: Finance – Growing Your Wealth
The *turbocharging* part of the equation! And the most fun one as it requires a fraction of the effort involved compared to cutting back or earning more ;) This is the area where you *invest* all of that cash you’ve been saving so it can keep compounding over and over and over again – thereby speeding up the process so you can do less cutting back/earning more later!
This part’s usually the most tricky as it can be a learning curve to get into it all (do you invest it into the market? CDs? Real estate? BITCOIN???), but once you land on what makes sense and fits your personality, you can just pour it all in from there without needing to give it much additional thought.
For me, personally, you know it’s all index funds, all the time!, but many people (smart people) will diversify it up and have their money tucked away in all kinds of different areas and risk levels. (Another post I liked from Four Pillars is this one that talks about investing in general – “A Dollar That Experiences an Investment Loss is Still Worth More Than a Dollar Spent.” How true that is!!)
So there you have it – the four pillars to freedom :)
What do ya think? Missing any here? What would YOUR four (or five/six/seven) pillars look like?
Might make for a good exercise this week, particularly nailing down that first one – the “why.” Having money is nice, but the LIFE it brings you is the more important piece to the puzzle! Use that mission as your guiding light, and it’ll make all other pillars easier to accomplish as you go…