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Today’s guest post is written by Ricard Torres, the creator of Escaping to Freedom. He helps people stuck in 9-5 jobs to become financially independent by starting their own online business, investing what they save, and focus on happiness.
Crafting The Key That Unlocks Life
Remember when you were a kid and had big dreams of becoming an astronaut, doctor or professional pizza eater? Things were simple back then; you had plenty of time to play and see your friends. As long as you did your homework and behaved well you had nothing to worry about. Life was easy, and you were convinced that it would be even better when you grew up.
Then real life happened. You grew up and were struck by the full force of adult life. A whole barrage of responsibilities had been thrust upon you: feeding yourself, paying taxes, changing the oil in your car and, of course, going to work.
You now realise that working takes up too much time from the rest of your life. The things that you had dreamed of doing now seem very far away. The life that you always wanted has been locked away inside a cage, held shut by tight chains.
But there’s also good news!
You see, I like to think of life like a Disney film. Everything seems perfect at first, then the big fallout happens, and a happy ending doesn’t seem likely. At least that’s what our protagonists think – we, the audience, know everything will work out in the end.
In the case of your life, the big, picturesque villain is money. But it’s a villain that comes to his senses at the end of the movie and ends up becoming the unlikely hero!
Let me explain. You need money in order to live, so you have to spend 40+ hours of every week working. Maybe more. You could reach the conclusion that money – or the need for it – is keeping you from your dream life…
But you’d only be half-right. Money can both make you a slave and free you, as contradictory as that sounds.
If you’re reading Finance Superhero I’m sure you already know that you can do more with your money than spend it. Saving money can make you free, as was eloquently explained in this article. Save enough and you’ll never have to work for money again. Once you know this, you’re ahead of the majority of your peers, and well on your way to becoming truly free.
Crafting your money key
If you want to free your dream life from that dark cage you’re going to need to craft a key. I also really hope that you like metaphors because there’s one coming!
Firstly, you’re going to need to know the lock inside and out. What is preventing you from living the life of your dreams? How much money do you need to live the life you desire – one with all the time to pursue only the things that make it better. Make sure you know that number.
Use the vision of your perfect life to carve a cast for your key. Make sure it’s the exact same shape as the lock, and that it’s nicely polished. In other words, learn as much as you need and get better at making money and saving it. This will be a long journey, so you’ll need to learn and improve lots of skills: frugality, investing, self-marketing, resilience and – forgive me for using a buzzword – hustling.
Next, you’ll need to gather the metal that will eventually become your key. You’ll need to make sure that you have enough to fill the entire cast and produce a solid key that won’t break on the first turn. In other words, you’ll have to accumulate money. Quite a lot of it. You’ll have to put your money-making skills to the test.
Finally, once you have all the components of your key, you can get to work. Melt all the metal you’ve collected, pour it carefully into the cast and wait for it to cool. This will take a while, so you’re going to have to be patient – very patient. You may feel tempted to use the key before it has fully hardened because a lot of time has already passed, but it’s always better to be extra safe. Put another way, it’s important to make sure you have accumulated enough money before you take the plunge and quit your job.
Money gives you choice
Luckily, on this journey to wealth and freedom, nothing is just black or white. You don’t have to wait until you have a full nest egg to start experiencing freedom – the more money you have, the more options and choices you get.
As soon as you save enough to cover around 6 months of expenses, you have a significant safety net that will bring more peace into your life. The fear of losing your job will be greatly diminished, as you won’t be in as much need of the income that it provides
When you get to a couple of year’s worth of expenses, you get some serious options. You could take a sabbatical year to explore your favourite part of the world, or to try a new career. Maybe you’d like to take 3 months off work to go and do some volunteering work. You won’t need money urgently, so even if you compromise your job, it won’t be the end of the world.
Money gives you options in life. Options give you the confidence to make bolder choices without fear. I’m sure you know someone who managed to get an amazing promotion because they had the courage to ask for it. Here is the best guide I’ve read about asking for a promotion, written by Ramit Sethi – you may be ready to ask for one now!
As you become more and more wealthy, you’ll win the freedom to change your lifestyle to look more like your ideal life – much more in line with the life you dreamed of as a child. After all, money causes many of life’s stresses, and is one of the leading reasons for divorce, according to this article in the Huffington Post. If money stops being a cause of worry and problems and becomes a source of freedom and happiness, life becomes a much simpler, happier, smoother ride.
Isn’t that what we all want?
I now want to hear from you. How has money given you freedom? Let me know in the comments below!
For more articles like this, and to follow my journey to financial independence make sure you head over to Escaping to Freedom.