The mind-set of money starts at a very early age for most and the lessons each of us learn relates to the knowledge and habits of those around us. Our families and our friends all influence our relationship with money and most of the time we only think of the here and now. Instant gratification is learned from watching colourful advertisements on television that invoke a sense of urgency to BUY NOW.
For many years I was sucked up in the vacuum that promotes spending now for the future and the inherent need to buy the latest gadget, car and house. All this changed when I met and married my beautiful wife. She comes from a culture of survivors where her most imminent need was putting food on the table and keeping a roof over her families head.
I stood back and took a long look at our western way of living and the pressure we put on ourselves to keep up with all those around us. As of writing this I currently own a Honda Accord Euro, I bought it brand new. However, my next car was selfishly going to be a BMW.
I also got caught up in the credit trap, topping up my personal loan and conveniently using my credit card because it was linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program; of course having all the intention of paying the balance at the end of the month. Before I knew it things got away on me…again.
When I reached this realisation I began to take stock of my spending habits and extended that to my possessions. Do I really need all this STUFF? I became a minimalist. I gathered up my old novels, clothes, trinkets and furniture and disposed of it all. As hard as it was in the beginning, the act itself was liberating.
I wrote a budget that was wasn’t too strict and allowed us to enjoy some simple pleasures like the occasional fast food run and bottle of wine. The idea was to rearrange our priorities and give us some focus on the future.
I am writing this blog to share my journey, a journey that will continue over the coming years and hopefully benefit us all. Who doesn’t want financial freedom? I hope you will join me.