NinjaPigeon - My Flight to Financial Independence

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Financial Life Preservers

Imagine a friend, caught in the rising tide, the shore getting smaller in the distance. They slip beneath the surface of the water, then spring back up gasping for air. It happens a few times, and then finally, they are overwhelmed.

This has become the state of many people's financial affairs in today's economy. People are literally drowning in debt, with financial freedom shrinking on the horizon. And rather than call out for help, they choose to let the waters take them.

It seems almost ironic to me that there are people I work and interact with daily who are struggling to get by yet take no positive steps to improve their situation. In particular, there is someone whom I have been speaking to about her future.

My friend, who we shall refer to as Kate, has told me a little about her financial challenges. The gist of it is that she's living check to check. I gave her some basic advice and then offered her my favorite book on turning your life around - The Wealthy Barber.

Kate has so far read only four chapters in the two or three weeks she's had my book. Which, unfortunately, tells me that she's not serious enough about taking her life back. Or, more specifically, she isn't willing to give up her lifestyle.

Now, to be fair, Kate makes very little money. In fact, she works a second job after she leaves her 9 to 5 just to keep up. But there is still room to maneuver, even on her budget. Did I mention that she wears very trendy clothes and owns a phone that is several hundred dollars? How about her fabulously manicured nails and perfect hair?

The problem, as I see it, is that people have developed the fast food mentality and are trying to apply it to every aspect of their lives. If they want something, they want it right now; tomorrow is too far away. Saving $20 per check just doesn't put the big numbers on the board fast enough for them.

What they fail to realize is that all of us who practice the live below your means (LBYM) philosophy started at that point. We got to where we are today one dollar at a time. It is merely through discipline and continued resolve that we have achieved more.

Unfortunately, my efforts thus far have been in vain. Kate is still living beyond her means and not planning for tomorrow. But I have not given up on her. I have thrown her the financial life preserver that can save her. The one that saved me. The one that can save all of you.

Pay Yourself First


  • Great post. That's my first rule too. I learned it from "The Richest Man in Babylon." Pay myself first.

    By Blogger Wilks, at 10/08/2006 11:59 AM  

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