Monday, April 20, 2015

Financial Freedom | Week One

Money. This is a subject that overwhelms a lot of people. Think about it. This topic is an emotional topic. Every day we have to face the facts as we pay our bills, buy our food, pay our rent, put gas in our cars…etc. The amount we have in our bank accounts reflect what we can afford and what we cannot afford. It reminds us of what we have or what we do not have. Most of us are tight when it comes to our funds. We count every penny making sure ends will meet.  For many of us this brings anxiety to our lives. It also triggers our depression and prevents us from living the life we truly desire. This is a problem.

Sit with me a while and try to imagine yourself in this scene: 

You get a call from a friend whom you haven’t seen in a while. She calls you because she is wondering where you've been hiding all this time. She asks you how you’re doing and you two begin to catch up on lost time. Suddenly she reminds you that Susie a mutual friend, is turning 30 and she’s having a big birthday party at Sal’s (the upscale Italian restaurant downtown). Your friend tells you it will be a hit and everyone will be there. You regretfully turn your friend down and inform her that you will have to call Susie and wish her a happy birthday from home. You have no money for Susie’s expensive birthday bash nor can you afford a gift for Susie. So, you call Susie on her birthday and you wish her a happy birthday as you sit in front of the TV watching The Good Wife while eating left over Chinese food from the night before. This is your life. Missing out on bonding with those you cherish and settling for soaps which you vicariously live your life through. Does this sound like you? It sounds like me for sure.

Recently I had dinner with a friend at a cute and cozy restaurant a few miles away from my home. We had a great night. We spoke about work, love, relationships, life, and our aspirations. We laughed a lot and we sat in awe of one another’s courage and persistence. We admired the way one another saw our or situation and the slight skills we possessed to overcome the things that are holding us back. As the night ended I walked my friend over to her car and I noticed her beautiful, bright red Lexus. Immediately it was like I had forgotten the great night we had and my focus shifted to what I lacked again.

Now, I want you to understand something. I am not the girl who needs to carry around a Louis Vuitton purse nor am I the girl who thinks that money can buy love and happiness. However, I am the girl who recognizes that money can solve a deal of our problems. Having sufficient funds in our account can lead us to afford that surgery we need in order to be well. It can lead us to vacations that will save us from a nervous breakdown. We work hard don’t’ we? Believe it or not these things affect us. We are meant for abundant living. We are meant to be whole and sometimes things like vacations, facials, gym memberships, and heck even a real nice car can make us feel better about ourselves and in turn can lead us to a freer way of living.

Eight months ago I sat down with an amazing woman. We had sandwiches by the mansions near Viscaya. We talked and dreamed about financial peace. I met this wonderful girl at a gardening party and well we kind of hit it off! Anyway, I told my friend that my finances were something I wanted to get in order. I shared with her my financial goals and she shared with me her story. I won’t be able to tell her story as good as she does but, from what I understood this gal was in the same situation that a lot of us are in. She went to school for the reason most of us do…to follow her dreams. While she was in college she racked up a ton of debt from student loans. After college she moved back to good ol’ Miami and met her current boyfriend. However, as they began to plan a life together they noticed that money was getting in their way. Well, that did not stop her! She knew she had a debt to pay off. But, she also knew that she was worth the fight. She didn't settle to pay of the minim and struggle her way through life with her guy. No. She decided to take action and to be proactive with her situation. She took on a side hustle. She worked extra jobs and soon was able to pay off her debt in its entirety. Now, my friend is ready to buy a home and has met most of her financial goals. She worked hard. She did what she had to do and she put aside her ego so she can make the extra buck to live the life she wanted.

Are you tired of being a victim of your bank account? Are you tired of letting money control you? If so, then I welcome you to join me over the next few weeks. I will be meeting here for the next three Mondays to talk about practical steps we can take towards financial freedom. I hope to see you here! Until then, have a great week!

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