This is a blog about money and achieving true freedom.
Time freedom. Location freedom. And of course… financial freedom.
We’re going to talk a lot about money on this blog. And that’s because even though money can’t buy you happiness, it can buy you the freedom that you are so desperately craving. And at the end of the day, that is what we are all looking for, isn’t it?
But money is frustrating and elusive and complicated. It can take you to amazing places and allow you to do amazing things. But at the same time, it can kill relationships and bring down families.
I’m going to teach you a new way to think about money and use it to bring joy and happiness and, yes, freedom to your life. I want to help you to get out of debt, practice smart investing, and start thinking about money for what it is, an unlimited resource that can change your life.
Most people who live in a civilized and advanced society (I live in the United States) cruise through life on a treadmill that is taking them nowhere fast.
They are taught that if they go to school, work hard, and get good grades that they will end up with a nice job and a cushy salary. In 40 years they can retire happy.
I’ve lived this way for most of my adult life. But here I am, just a tad over 40 and my mortality is staring me in the face. I’ve got a beautiful wife and three amazing children, and I’m starting to realize that life is too short to play that long, slow game.
My goal for you and for me is to start the process of getting off this hamster wheel. Stop playing the game that you’ve been taught and lead to believe will result in a fantastic retirement in your golden years.
How do you do that? That’s the whole point of this blog. To provide you a daily dose of guidance and advice about money and about how to jump ship on everything you have ever been taught, from a bearded guy who is working through these money struggles as well.
And once you open your eyes to a new way of thinking about money, your life will suddenly begin to change. You will be amazed that you have spent your entire life shackled to preconceived notions about what money is and the limiting beliefs that surround it.
But with the shackles off, you will start to accomplish new and amazing things. You will start down a new path of financial and personal freedom. All of a sudden, you will find yourself free to travel, spend more time with your family and children, rekindle your love life with your spouse, and maybe even take an extended vacation to someplace amazing and exotic.
Or maybe you just want to spend a little more time at home doing simple things like fixing the hinges on your kitchen cabinets or switching out some ceiling fans or just simply mowing the lawn on a Tuesday morning.
This new way of thinking will allow you the freedom to do what you want when you want to do it.
But before we get there, let’s assess where you are right now. (Before I dig into my stages of money maturity, let me first say that during the day, I’m an attorney. And in that capacity, I work with lots of young families and I’ve seen lots of mistakes with money. I’ve also seen many people who are so full of bullshit about what money is and what they can or can’t do because of it that it would make your head spin.)
Back to assessing your current situation…
The 5 Stages of Money Maturity
And over the years, I’ve started to classify these people into one of 5 separate categories or stages of money maturity:
Stage 1, The Financially Free – Retired, happy, will never need to work another day in their life and can do whatever they want. This also includes people who are still working or running a business but have figured out the game that is money.
Stage 2, Financially Tethered – These people are retired from the standpoint that they will never have to work again, but they are tethered financially due to a fixed income and cannot afford to enjoy their retirement.
Stage 3, Indentured Servitude – This is where the majority of Americans find themselves. It doesn’t matter if they make $50,000 a year or $500,000 per year, these are people who spend everything they earn. They may be able to put a little bit of money into their retirement savings, but they are otherwise financially destitute. If they lost their job, they would be in a bad place as they have no financial safety net. But to their friends and family, they seem content, happy, and even financially successful.
Stage 4, Ticking Timebombs – These are the folks who have drastically overspent their incomes. They have multiple credit cards, huge car loans, and are house poor. They are a lost job away from bankruptcy.
Stage 5, Crashed and Burned – These people are in the process of losing everything. They have lost their job, they can’t afford their mortgage, and the creditors are calling. Their credit stinks, and the bankruptcy attorney is on speed dial. If this sounds like you, now is the time to pick up the pieces, reassess, and figure out what went wrong for you.
Wherever you fall on this spectrum, your goal should be to make your way to Stage 1. It saddens me when I talk to clients about money and realize that they feel hopeless to move up the ladder. They see financial freedom as completely unattainable.
But I’m here to tell you that it is attainable. Many people are victims of a lifetime of negative inputs from family and friends. It’s hard to get out of that cycle – but it is possible.
Stop listening to all the negative influences in your life and start reading this blog. The Bearded Money Guy and his years of wisdom will show you the light.