If you have a chance to swipe a magic wand that will grant you financial freedom, will you do it? Sadly, there’s no such magic wand. We spend our live savings (and/or family savings) to get university education, but after years of trying so hard, we realize the sad truth:
The competition in the employment market is brutal and unforgiving. For us to succeed, we must outshine our competitors…
Or rather, choose a different part.
What is financial freedom? What are 10 steps to financial freedom? And why should we stop trying to outshine the employment market competition?
- What is financial freedom?
- How to achieve financial freedom, and
- Knowing the financial freedom formula and climbing the 10 Steps to financial freedom… one step at a time.
Let’s dive in.
- Ditch university, learn a skill
- Save little, save now
- Despise white collar jobs
- Invest little, invest now
- Social media is someone else’s business
- Drink from the hose, urinate with the straw
- Spend from a budget (50, 30, 20 rule)
- Quit harmful habits
- Live below your means
- Protect your marriage
DITCH UNIVERSITY, LEARN A SKILL
There used to be the golden years in Africa when parents sell land and property to send their kids to school, when he returns (with due respect to all the women in our lives), he gets a good job, and train his younger ones. He becomes the pride of his family and community. This might be true of other 3rd world countries with limited opportunities.
But those years are gone, today the university has become little more than a social center where youths go to learn how to express themselves better. the few remaining virgins that survived high school, choose to give it out there. the university has achieved so many things but financial freedom. While attending is something to be proud of, at least for those who just need the knowledge and exposure, the vast majority who attends in hope of gaining knowledge to be used in the job market, learn the hard truth the hard way. Universities does not prepare youths for the employment market, today’s institutions enrich the institutions and the highly paid professors and lecturers than it does, the 21st century youth.
Are there alternatives, yes. In many countries, there are schools and colleges that offer professional courses. Graduates of these schools, spend less money to get practical and professional skill for less time, they graduate better prepared for the employment market, and often have the opportunity to establish themselves even with job-hunting. These may not have the ‘coveted’ bachelors and masters the university offer, but they get a better offer for their money, skill, knowledge and financial independence than their university counterparts. More so, university students today, return after 4-5 years of schooling to learn the same skill they refused 4 or more years ago.
A financially woke college Husband is preferred to a broke bachelor’s degree fiancée. Choose wisely.
SAVE LITTLE, SAVE NOW
The secret in financial freedom is not doing what everyone is else is doing… saving from their surplus. This is supposed to be an obvious technique, except those with surplus seldom see the need to read articles like this. The vast majority of readers will be low income earners, or rather, no income earners who’re trying to break out of the cash-trap whirlwind to financial freedom. They are those who have searched the internet for:
- What are the 7 steps to financial freedom?
- How to achieve financial freedom before 30
- What is the key to financial freedom?
Of course, if anyone is searching for “the key”, he obviously does not have access to the house. And here lies the point, never wait to gain access before you start saving, because you might need those savings to buy “the key”.
The point, financial freedom begins from saving out of our needs. As we will see, later in this article and subsequent ones, there are an array of opportunities to break out of the cash trap bubble, but most, needs at least some form of financial commitment as a starter. If you wait until you “have enough” to save, you might get stuck for a really long time.
So, begin by document the amount you spend on your basic necessities, and cut down 20% for savings. This is sacrifice. But success without sacrifice is success sacrificed. Let’s, I eat $20 pizza for lunch each day, this is what I need to be satisfied for the afternoon, the invest small, invest now strategy says, says from today, by only $16 pizza and drink more water, before and after eating to reduce your appetite. After a few days, of persistence, your body becomes accustomed to $16 pizza for lunch and eventually derive the same satisfaction it gets from the $20 lunch. Save up $4 for 30 days, and you have $120 to start a hustle, say trading forex, for example.
Drops of persistent water, makes an ocean
DESPISE WHITE-COLLAR JOBS, START A BUSINESS
Back in 2012, I worked close to a local government secretariat. Everyday, mornings and evenings, these well-dressed gentlemen, come in to eat. They patronize a local sales-woman. She’s always on here “market attire”, which is on the opposite spectrum of the ties and suit of her customers. Her sales are so much that she always battles with sweat in the hot African sun. well, she sells so much, that daily, she opens and empty a full bag of yam, plantain, and corn (during rainy seasons). She sells so much, often giving credit to her customers who repay at the end of the month. And they resume the process again the next month, pay until they run out of funds and buy in credit from the coming month’s salary. The well-dressed white-collar gentlemen were corporate slaves to the blue collar, lowly dressed, saleswoman.
This obviously does not resonate with our white folks, but the point stands out, the lowly, blue-collar jobs and businesses, time and again, have proven to be better income streams, in part because, “nobody wants to do it”, because “it is below our status”. Hence, they usually have less competition especially in rich, affluent countries and environments. Branching into these less competitive sectors are sure ways to establish oneself.
Remember: your white-collar job, is usually someone else’s blue collar business.
INVEST SMALL, INVEST NOW
As your income stream begin to grow, it will come a time when you realize you need to start investing your savings. The problem? You’ve only saved a little.
But hold on, Mr dreamer, the walls have ears, and so does your problem.
While it is good to save patiently, the idea is to wait till you save the bare minimum, not till you SAVE BIG. Because, even when you have big, you might still want it to be BIG ENOUGH. And trust Newton’s third law of poverty, for every income, there is an equal and opposite expenditure. Sometimes our problems and appear to know when we have enough and when we’re broke. If you hold on, till you “HAVE ENOUGH” you’ll very likely spend it solving a problem that would have not existed, or would be probably hibernating had you not had the money.
Aron Ramsey is one financial I’ve learn’t a bunch from. If you love his program, you can find him on Youtube. But if you prefer reading, then you try his best seller.
The point? There’s never the “right amount” to invest, and the “right time” to do so. Once you have the bare minimum, get it out your account and wallet, and invest. When that problem comes and find you empty, it will probably hibernate till the next time you’re buoyant again.
Not every problem need to be solved. Ignore them and they’ll lose relevance.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS SOMEONE ELSE’S BUSINESS
In the ‘netosphere’ are 2 kinds of people, the magnets who attract others to advance their interests and business and those who are attracted to advance the business of others. It stands against reasoning that someone will quit the university to build a social media platform, reject a billion dollar offer to sell the start-up, raise it to accommodate billions of billions of users, pay billions to highly intelligent and ambitious developers to maintain the site, and give this service all for free. As unlikely as it seems, social media is someone’s business. And among the users, a few are there to eat their share of the ‘national cake’. The vast majority are there to share this cake to the few, and leave there broke and empty. Which are you?
Social media platforms are a vast opportunity to step in the realm of financial freedom. And unless you’re profiting from this disruptive innovation, you have no business with social media.
All the free and fun features added daily to these platforms are meant to get you hooked, so you can keep feeding the smart few, they’re not there to add to your joy. So, join the few eaters from the cake or go out to make real friends who’ll be there when you need them.
There are tons of opportunities in the social media ‘netosphere’, which are discussed in-depth in these articles.
Social media is someone else’s business, if you ain’t sharing from his profit, quit! and get a job.
Jones the donkey was tired from his long trip and sat in the only available shade in the desert, the shadow of an oak tree, with the last water jug sitting next to him. Jones remembers his master’s famous words, “always use the straw, never dip your head into the jug. Such is the legacy of the civilized world.” With the desert sun beating on the water jug, it was only minutes from its breaking point. Suddenly the jug gave way, somewhere around its base, water gushing out, Jones the donkey had one chance to save the day. Then he remembers his mother’s dying words,
Dear Jones dove to the gushing water and said, I’m sorry master I didn’t use the straw; but mama always say,
Jones the donkey drank and was filled and he lived happily ever after.
It is good to be civilized and spend like the big boys, but remember their surplus is probably more than your entire net worth. Earn in dollars and spend in cents. Fill up your account, not by earning much, but by closing expenditure to it barest minimum. Obey the 50, 30, 20 rule. And even in the desert financial brokenness, you’ll have enough for future use.
SPEND FROM A BUDGET, OBEY THE 50, 30, 20 RULE
What is the concept of the 50 30 20 rule?
The 50/30/20 rule is an easy budgeting method that can help you to manage your money effectively, simply and sustainably.
In her book, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, US law professor and currently serving senator once propagated the 50, 30, 20 rule which can be explained simply:
- 50% to needs
- 30% to wants
- 20% to savings
Let’s call the talent we’re about to mention Dave. The rule says that if Dave earns a hundred dollars in salary.
The rule says that as he has pertinent expenses to make, like paying his rents, feeding himself and family and caring medical expenses, he has to make a budget for these. These are his needs. But what if, after calculation, his basic needs turn out to be $60 dollars. $10 dollars more than his $50 budget? He can choose to move to a slightly smaller apartment; buy neat, quality but fairly used clothes for his children; keep a clean home environment and eat well washed food to reduce disease infection of his children and hence reduce medical expenses. Hopefully after this adjustment, he might have saved more than $10.
But because he wants his children to be happy just like their peers, he occasional takes them out to some amusement parks or maybe get some treats when returning from work. Of course, he also gets flowers from time to time for his wife, as an expression of his love. For this he budgets 30.
Then at the end of each month, even before making any expense, he keeps $20 in his bank account. This is non-negotiable. Only an apocalypse will move him to spend from this.
At the end he still has $20 safe margin. This is the fall-back margin in the event of emergencies.
Is the 50/30/20 rule realistic? Yes.
How 50 20 30 rule can help you budget? You spend 50% of your after-tax pay on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings or paying off debt.
The 50, 20, 30 Rule is the golden rule of finance
QUIT HARMFUL HABITS
Imagine that Dave, our case study, smokes cigarette. He smokes 2 sticks a day… just 2 sticks. Since he lives in Missouri, United States, he buys a stick at a massive discount of 60 cents, that’s one 10th the actual price. If he smokes 2 packs a day, in 30 days, he’ll have spent $18 dollars, that, approximately the amount set aside for savings or the 20% save margin.
With the principle of, ‘drink from the hose, urinate from the straw’ in mind, we realise that bad habits are a sure way of draining critical income streams, with little or no benefits. Remember that we have less control of how much comes in, but usually higher control of how much is spent, quitting bad habits, not only save us the bad effects that comes with them, boost our confidence and self-worth and we see ourselves in control on our lives, it also saves us tons that can be used to, ‘INVEST SMALL, INVEST NOW’.
Quitting ‘One more stick’ can save you a fortune
LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS
What does it mean to live below your means? It simply means: spend lower than your income. Or as earlier mentioned in this article, it means drinking from the fire hose and urinating from the straw.
The key to financial freedom is, not earning the world, but spending the least.
The farther the gap between your income and expenses, the better you are financially, even with modest income. Simplifying one’s lifestyle, differentiating needs from wants and not living for the public, that is, living to impress the public, is key to breaking finance’s sound barrier.
PROTECT YOUR MARRIAGE
Divorce is the enemy.
The oddest in this list… I guess.
Now let’s a real story, and see how your marriage can make or break your finance.
At 50 years of age and a net worth of US $268 billion, Elon Musk is the richest man on earth today, but that was not the case as early as 2020. So, what was the issue? Lets analyse the then wealthiest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. Until 2020, Jeff owned the ‘world wrestling belt’ of the richest man in the world. At $197.2 billion, he was some 7 billion richer than his closest competitor. After acquiring a whopping 10 start-ups, Amazon was on course for an Amazon (a member of a race of female warriors of Greek mythology).
His recent conquests were Harvest.ai, Thinkbox Software, Do.com, Souq.com, GameSparks, Graphiq, Wing.ae, Body Labs and Goo Technologies. These, at the time, appear to be the beginning of his accent. Then came the real Amazon, MacKenzie Scott, the wife of Mr Jeff Bezos at the time. In January 2020, the couple announced the desolation of their marriage, divorce has always been a sour taste for everyone, but if your husband is Jeff Bezos, I guess it sweetens the taste a little, at a divorce settlement of $38billion dollars, that is, 25% of the billionaire couple’s Amazon stock, Jeff was almost $40 billion dollars “poorer”. Subtract $40 billion from a net worth, with tenacious runner up in the billionaire’s 100meter race, you’re sure to come 2nd. Although, this is not a lesson on divorce settlement, the point is clear, divorce is a road block to financial stability
divorce is the enemy
WHY IS FINANCIAL FREEDOM IMPORTANT?
A friend once said that the worst infirmity is poverty. Nobody deserves that. It is this fact that prompts the creation of organizations like UNICEF, and other charity organizations around the world. In Europe and the United States, this level of financial enslavement might not be an existential problem, but with the rising mortgage cost, and higher debt level, people are forced to live, or rather, survive on loans.
But what if everyone is free from any form of financial worries, would it
- increase self-worth?
- Reduce crime?
- Reduce finance-related stress?
- Cut down level of debt-related suicides?
We can only guess.
But if anything, we can say for sure is, it will reduce blog posts like this, or :
- 10 Best Student Loans
- 10 Reasons You Should Stop Job-Hunting
- How Gambling Makes you poorer
- How To Make More Money Doing What You Love
Of course, those are articles you might want to check out, if you have some time to spare. But you get the point, financial stability is a fundamental human right. And the only better option is the abolition of money as we know it today. Then, everyone in the whole wide world will be truly equal. Maybe this is a fancy dream, and if you’re like the fortunate few, you’ll rather focus on how to transfer money internationally.
Do you disagree with some of the points discussed so far, we’ll appreciate writing an update to this article if you can give legit reasons why this is so. If there are any points we’ve skipped, please freely drop your comments in the chat section.
|STEPS TO FINANCIAL SECURITY||QUOTES|
|1||Ditch university, learn a trade||A financially woke college Husband is preferred to a broke bachelor’s degree-holder fiancée. Choose wisely|
|2||Save little, save now||Drops of persistent water, makes an ocean|
|3||Despise white-collar jobs, start a business||Your white-collar job, is usually someone else’s blue collar business|
|4||Invest little, invest now||Not every problem needs to be solved. Ignore them and they’ll lose relevance|
|5||Social media is someone else’s business||Social media is someone else’s business, if you ain’t sharing from his profit, quit! and get a job|
|6||Drink from the hose, urinate with the straw||drink from the hose when you find one, and you will leave to urinate from the straw when there’s none|
|7||Spend from a budget (50, 30, 20 rule)||The 50, 20, 30 Rule: the golden rule of finance|
|8||Quit harmful habits||Quitting ‘One more stick’ can save you a fortune|
|9||Live below your means||The key to financial freedom is, not earning the world, but spending the least|
|10||Protect your marriage||divorce is the enemy|