This is one of the most common problems people have – how to start doing something they KNOW they should be doing but for whatever reason they’re not. After all, it’s not like this stuff is rocket science. You already know what to do: you just spend less, save and invest the rest, don’t go into debt and live happily ever after, right? :)
SO WHY AREN’T WE DOING IT??
Why do we keep spending and not paying attention to stuff???
I’ve only personally figured it out myself just a handful of years ago, but it all comes down to a simple question in life:
What do we care about??
Not what do we *think* we care about, or what others say we’re *supposed* to care about, but what do WE – deep down inside – care about? What makes us truly happy??
We’ll get to more of this in a few, but first here’s an email I just got that spurred this post:
I need some serious advice. I have been following you for some time now and I LOVE your blog and LOVE the concepts that you have shared… However, I don’t know what the disconnect is for me… I spend and don’t save.
I want to do better.
And here was my gut response to him – unedited and polished – straight outta gmail:
it seems like you just haven’t figured out your “Why” yet. Like, what the point of it all is for YOU.
What do you want out of your life? what are your hopes and dreams? What would you do today if you were rich and didn’t have to worry about the $$$? What do you CARE about?
You gotta focus on those and really figure out what’s bubbling inside of you… Most people know how to save money and pay off debt yada yada yada, yet they never do anything about it. You gotta figure out what drives you and then pull the trigger from there.
The good thing is that you’re already online and reading about $$$ so now you just gotta take action! :)
It sounds so simple and cheezy (because it really is) but it’s not always so easy to come up with the answers. At least the first times around.
I remember when I started this blog I thought it was all about being hot $hit with money and becoming a millionaire so I could live the good life forever and just party all the time. Which is still what I’m striving for to a degree (except for the hot $hit part – I don’t care if I’m hot or cold as long as I get to the finish line ;)), but I no longer care about the *title* of being a millionaire or early retiree, etc.
I just want the freedom.
The freedom to work on whatever I’m passionate about, the freedom to travel far and wide or stay at home all day in my pajamas, the freedom to hang out with my kids and not be so attached to a screen 24/7, and the freedom to LIVE FULLY without thinking about the money anymore.
Which is funny if you think about it… Our whole lives we’ve been trying to figure out how to GET and SAVE more of our money, when all we really want to do at the end of the day is not worry about it at all.
And that’s exactly why we need to step away every now and then and really remind ourselves what the point of it all is. Because believe me – it’s not about the money or accolades our statuses. It’s about following our hopes and getting rid of all that garbage that comes with being so broke and stressed all of the time… That’s not a desired state for anyone.
So yes – congrats to everyone here reading and wanting to learn more and be better with managing their money, but if you don’t figure out your own “why” it’s going to be hard to keep straight and motivated. You gotta know what stirs you inside and keep reminding yourself of it.
Do this for the rest of the day: pretend you’ve got a couple of million in the bank. How would you spend your time this weekend? What would you work on or not work on? What would you do for the rest of the year?
You figure that out and you’ll be wealthier than you’ve ever been before…
And then you go out and get your millions :)