In February 2007, I met someone who would be integral to my personal success, especially in terms of finances. She was a 22 year old single mother who was incredibly driven and everything I would have wanted my mother / sister-type to be at that time. I was seriously lacking direction (haha, I was a whole 15!), and I really needed something to aspire to.
Through my friendship with her, I actually began to explore the reality of fiscal responsibility. Not for my parents, my friends or even the future me, but for who I was at that time. I needed money. To get there, I made some changes that I still utilize today. Interesting that in spite of insane progress, I’m still motivated by the same things. So here goes 🙂
1) Urgency. To me, the sense of “I need to build up my emergency fund”. I teetered back in forth, in and out of discipline until March 2009 when my roommate died. I saved $3000 in four months. The balance of how much I’m personally willing to do to avoid pain vs. gain pleasure.
2) The Older, Less Energetic Version of Me (formerly The Older, Less Pretty Version of Me). This one was my thoughts of being 66 working at McDonald’s. Not that there isn’t dignity in doing that, I don’t think anyone’s above doing any type of work. I just didn’t want to do it at 15 or 22 and I’m sure I’ll be kicking myself if I have to at 66. Or 50. Or ever haha.
3) Taking Care of My Child. This is one that came up more recently, but it resonates so deeply. I try to think of things in relation to finances (and health for that matter) as if I was doing it for my child. I would always make sure my child had a safe place to sleep and play. Healthy, quality food to eat as well as extracurricular things to do that would contribute to their growth. I’d also ensure they didn’t suffer because of my lack of discipline.
All of these things considered really drives me in terms of what I refer to as my “financial domination”. I don’t like saying discipline because it makes me feel restricted. Domination implies that you’re taking the driver’s seat with the affluence you are afforded (let’s not be silly, almost the entirety of Western civilization is amazingly affluent in contrast to the average on this planet).
I hope this helps inspire someone who reads this. I’m always inspired by these list type things, so I figured I’d create one!