You would think that by having a personal finance blog, and all the stories that I share about my journey and personal finances, I would be some sort of gifted and intelligent personal finance guy! On the contrary, I am probably no different than you are! I myself also had to overcome my fear of personal finance.
I was never a straight-A student. I was never top of my class. As a matter of fact, in college, I would blow the little money that I had on tablets computers and cell phones. I graduated with relatively low grades in high school and I was really never directly taught about personal finance at home or at school.
But over the years, I took the time to work on my fear of personal finance and educated myself to understand this world.
Simply put, I am not some super well-educated or somehow naturally gifted. Instead, I like to think of myself as willing to learn, and putting my future above anything else!
The honest truth
At the time of writing this, I am 28 years old, own several properties, blog how about personal finance, and have secured not only a wonderful career but passive income as well.
Now that you have the entire picture of me, it’s easy to see that in order to achieve what I have or even a whole lot more, you don’t need to be gifted, Highly Educated, or very talented.
Personal finance, passive income, and financial Independence can all be learned by anybody! Yes my dear reader, even you.
What does it take?
In order to learn all about personal finance and to overcome the fear of understanding personal finance, it takes more than just having a high income, reading books, or even taking courses. None of these things on their own are enough to reach Financial Independence.
I’m sure you’ve heard all the stories about those earning well over six figures but still living paycheck-to-paycheck. I’m also sure you know people that have a Master’s and doctorate’s also living paycheck-to-paycheck. Heck, I even personally know people that have grown up with very wealthy parents but only to struggle with their finances.
So if it’s not any of those things, then what is it? Well, there are probably five things that you need to understand and take steps towards.
1. How bad do you want it?
Personal finance, high-income, or even early retirement, all depend on how bad you want to achieve them! Let’s pretend that the latest iPhone just came out! The phone costs well over $1,000 but you wanted really really bad! What are you do? If you have the money, you probably just go ahead and withdraw $1,000. But if you don’t have the money, you just whip out your credit card, buy the phone, and make payments on it. See how that works? You wanted that phone bad enough that you were willing to get into debt to get it.
Better yet, imagine how many millions of people play the lottery every single month. The odds of winning the lottery are zero to none, but yet so many people continuously play over and over again. They want to win so so bad, that they are willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in their lifetime in order to get it.
It is the same as reaching Financial Independence or understanding personal finance. It all depends on how much you’re willing to work for it and how bad you want it. None of it is easy. But then again, since so few people understand personal finance and are willing to work towards Financial Independence, it must not be that easy.
So, to beat the fear of personal finance, you must ask yourself and understand just how bad you want it. The more you want it, the more you are willing to work towards it.
2. Control your spending
Did you know that one in three Americans are in debt? Debt is the number one killer of personal finance and financial Independence. All those shoes, gadgets, and super expensive experiences, are they really worth your future?
Like I mentioned above, I definitely wasn’t disciplined earlier in my life. I used to work in my College cafeteria as a dish cleaner. I would earn my $200 every two weeks and completely spend it on electronics. How I wish I could go back and tell myself what a waste of money it is, and how much you’re taking away from your future self.
Similarly to how Americans spend money on new cars, they are literally taking money from their future selves and burning it. Just take a day to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you are making wise financial decisions. All those unnecessary purchases I’ll probably super fun in the moment, but future you will probably regret a majority of them.
The fear of personal finance is directly tied to the fear of facing the truth. It’s all fun and games now, but if you don’t learn to control your own finances and control your spending oh, you will lose every single time. Guaranteed.
3. Save and invest
Statistically, Americans are unable to make a $1,000 purchase without getting into debt. That’s a staggering statistic. This basically means that the majority of Americans do not believe in or just have not prioritized having an emergency fund. That probably also means that majority of Americans do not invest either.
Saving and investing are two of the greatest pillars when it comes to understanding your own personal finance and reaching Financial Independence. Saving money is simple. It’s called having a budget. Investing money is also simple, requiring nothing but as little as $5 a month to start investing.
There are loads of programs out there such as a 401k or Roth IRA that gives everyone in anyone an opportunity to invest their money for their future. So simply put, you need to understand why saving and having an emergency fund is absolutely critical and Paramount to overcoming the fear of personal finance. It is also just as important to invest your money for your future. Future you will thank you!
How about I in this with another statistic! The majority of individuals that read this article will leave here and continue living their lives the same as before they read this. Now, I understand how difficult it is to somehow flip a switch in your mind and all of a sudden work towards these ideals.
However, there is probably one or two people that will take heed of everything they read and take action. All of this will take time and effort, but like I told you at the beginning, you don’t need to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to work towards understanding and overcoming the fear of personal finance.
Getting into debt, not investing, and carelessly spending digs yourself into a hole. The deeper the hole, the harder it is to dig out of. Too many of us refuse to take a close hard look at ourselves and face the problems head-on. Instead, be brave and take it on with courage!
If a 28-year-old from Africa invest in his future, generate passive income, and earn a substantial income, then I know for sure you can too!
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