Do you want to be financially stable, financially free or just frickin’ loaded? I think most people would say yes to at least one of those.
To become one of those, and particularly to become financially free or loaded, is going to take hard work and perseverance. A very small number of people will wake up with winning lottery numbers that change their lives forever. Most of us are going to have to work at it, and for a long time at that.
One day, in 5, 10, 20 or maybe 30 years, you could wake up and financial freedom could be a reality. But only when you’ve put in the work in the preceding years. I know it sucks and I’d love to be able to lean across the metaphorical table and whisper that I have a secret but I’m afraid I don’t. And if I did, I’d probably charge for it.
I’ve read articles that say you can get where you want to be but that you have to make sacrifices. And I’ve read that you can get where you want to be without needing to make sacrifices. So which is it? Well, kind of both…
I thought a definition would be helpful here for the verb ‘to sacrifice’.
- offer or kill as a religious sacrifice.
- give up (something valued) for the sake of other considerations.
The good news is I’m reasonably certain you won’t need to slaughter any goats to achieve your goals, so certainly in that sense of the word, no sacrifices necessary.
Will you need to give up something you value though? At first, yes. Only at first? Let me explain.
3 years ago, we sacrificed bi-weekly takeaways for the greater good of the holiday of a lifetime. We sacrificed the time and convenience that came with a takeaway for it’s monetary value to be used for something of greater importance. It was a difficult adjustment to make.
Fast forward three years, and takeaways are a rare treat nowadays. Why are we still making the sacrifice? Well to be honest, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. We can both cook tastier and healthier meals than we used to be able to. On our rare indulgences, we enjoy them more than we ever used to.
What else are we doing to achieve our financial goals? Driving second hand cars of course! How much of a sacrifice is that? It’s never been a sacrifice- we never had a brand new motor to give up.
When you’re accustomed to a certain standard or lifestyle, pairing back always takes some adjustment. There is a feeling of sacrifice, even if it fades with time. If you never experience something, you don’t miss it. They say it’s better than to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. But I don’t think that’s true where cars are concerned. It’s less catchy, but I think it’s better to have bought reliable second hand cars than to have lost a great chunk of value driving off a forecourt.
If you have consumer debt, that is, debt that doesn’t arise from a mortgage or student loan, for example, changing your position is going to mean sacrifice.
It’s going to mean giving up something that, up to now, you’ve valued.
Without a doubt, financial success will come easier to some than others. Some will have greater earning power, some greater self control, some fewer responsibilities vying for their attention. Some will live in areas of the country (/world) where house prices are extortionate. Some will receive regular handouts or huge inheritances. These things are all true, whether we like it or not.
There are no guaranteed quick wins. There are no magic beans that sprout beanstalks, from whence we might procure bars of gold.
If you really do want to achieve wealth, whatever that means to you, you’re going to have to work hard for it. You won’t achieve a perfect 10. You might even fall off the beam a few times.
Today is a day when you can do something about your situation. Tomorrow is the second day. And so it continues. A sacrifice today becomes normal tomorrow (not literally, but you know what I mean.)
I’ve been diligently planning my finances for 7 years. When I look ahead to my goals, they seem monumental. Sometimes they seem too big, but then I have learned and changed much in the last 7 years. Am I ready to do the same for the next 7 years? I don’t know, but I’m ready to do the same thing tomorrow and I know I’ll feel that way for the next 7 years. So I guess the answer is yes.
The truth, whether we like it or not, is that success and wealth will take a lot of hard work for the majority of us. I’m putting in the hard work because I believe it will be worth it. Do you?