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“The Money Trap: The Old Road Map for Money”
In order to maintain financial security, you need to know how you’re spending your life. You also need an income apart from your job. Financial independence means creating a source of income that’s different from the way most people get money and paying for their bills.
Work is important in people’s lives. It gives them a sense of self and purpose, but it can also take away time from friends and family. Americans typically work more than 40 hours per week—add commuting time to the equation, and there are few waking hours left for anyone to be “human”.
Despite working harder, most Americans haven’t saved much money. In fact, people are now saving less and have more debt than ever before. This way of life is debilitating, stressful and hard on your health, relationships and family. What do you work so hard for? Usually to get more than you need to have in order to be happy. Consumerism destroys the earth as well as individual lives and peace of mind. The deepening gap between the haves and have-nots is a recipe for calamity because it’s not sustainable in the long run; there will come a time when we won’t be able to sustain our consumption levels due to environmental issues such as climate change that can’t be fixed quickly enough or at all without radical changes in lifestyle habits across society—and those aren’t likely any time soon! Humans are wired by evolution (hard-wired) for imminent danger but find it difficult to put things into perspective like impending global crises; they’re just not prepared for that kind of thing.
The belief that money can solve all problems is a common one. If you think “more is better,” then you’ll never be satisfied with what you have. On a large scale, this idea translates into society’s belief in relentless growth and an ever-expanding marketplace. These ideas have transformed “citizens” into consumers who see consumption as their right, even though consumables take resources from the earth. In reality, everyone has to live within his or her means (budget), so it makes sense to act accordingly.
“Step 1: Making Peace with the Past”
The first step is to examine your attitudes about money and what it buys. Human nature likes to stick with comfortable routines, including routine thoughts. It doesn’t help that advertising constantly makes you feel as if you need more. Getting caught in the race for more stuff is so easy that you don’t even notice when you may have “enough,” and you just continue accumulating. Once you pass the point of sufficiency, the things you amass just complicate and hamper your life. At some point, there’s enough of what we need and want, as well as luxuries we desire – maybe not so much that managing them all is stressful but enough.
“Step 2: Being in the Present – Tracking Your Life Energy”
We all have an idea of what money is. It’s a form of exchange, and it pays our bills. We also think about budgets, credit cards, investments and bargains. Our ideas are shaped by our feelings and family influences. For some people, money is security; for others, it’s power or social approval. Achieving financial independence means having enough to live on without worrying about running out of money.
To get a better understanding of your relationship with money, calculate how much time and money you spend on work-related activities. Start by adding up the hours you spend at work each week and then add in commuting time, childcare costs, shopping for clothes to wear to work, etc. Consider all the “life energy” that goes into keeping up with what everyone else has (keeping up with the Joneses). By calculating your real hourly wage and meticulously tracking every cent you spend, you can gain financial integrity.