“For those who are motivated and driven this is an amazing time to be alive, if you are unmotivated or looking for easy then this is a terrible time to be alive.”
I learned about money like most people, modeling my parents. I had very little financial education other than that. I remember my dad teasing me when I didn’t know how to write a check when I was 18 years old. I told him that they didn’t teach me that in AP Calculus. Amazingly, as of writing this article I still have never used calculus, ever! What a benefit it would have been to have a financial education class instead.
I went to a two year nursing program after high school and graduated at the age of 20. I was able to get caddie scholarships carrying golf bags at Oakmont Country Club in the summers. I cut a check for my entire education for $1,200 including my bachelors degree I got online. I didn’t realize what a blessing that would be to have zero school debt. I know many people struggle with the burden of student loan debt; the debt that stays with you a lifetime. The ultimate F*#@ you to this generation. It’s no wonder why they are so angry, they were sold a bill of goods and the tab is as much as a mortgage.
I was lucky to be debt free and now, at 20 years old, making more money than I knew what to do with. To boot, I got an $8,000 sign on bonus for my high needs medical floor. I was single, living at home with over $10,000 in the bank, debt free, an income to sustain a family, and zero idea what to do with it all.
What do you think happened? I spent it! I like to spend money. Where are my spenders out there? I am now 30 years old and have been in the process of figuring out the financial game for a few years now. I am going to share with you strategies and lessons I have learned that have benefited me tremendously.
Financial freedom is a mental, emotional, and educational process.
The first step is financial fitness. You have to learn how to manage your money, budget, and get out of debt. These sound boring, but they are essential to getting free. You will literally find money you didn’t know was there that you wastefully spend every month. You will need this to then GROW your wealth.
You need to figure out and learn investing. I was like most people, intimidated and lost when it came to investing and retirement. I started a 401k at 20 years old. I didn’t know anything about it, but I did it. It was a huge benefit to me, but I have since learned there are a lot of problems with these programs as well.
Did you know only 5 out of 100 people can actually retire at the age of 65. That means 95% will work until they die. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be one of those people. There is a fascinating documentary on PBS called The Retirement Gamble which I am recommending everyone to watch. The host dives into the 401k and how we have been screwed with fees and people selling things that are not in our best interest. It is crazy and scary, but you have to understand the problem if you are going to fix it.
My next suggestion is get Tony Robbins’ two new books on finance and money. If you don’t know Tony he is one of the biggest personal development coaches and leaders in the world right now. He has switched his focus to finance because he sees so many people hurting.
The first book is Money Master the Game which is six hundred pages of incredible financial education. It gives you the full playbook on how to win. His newest book is Unshakable; a two hundred page updated version. It is a smaller book ( so more people will read it) that more highlights the financial principles. I love that all proceeds from these books go to Feeding America which helps feed millions of hungry families. Tony believes in giving back.
In these books he studied with fifty of the top financial successes and influencers in the world. He educates us on the financial problems we are faced with and how to navigate them; how to avoid high fees, brokers who are out to make themselves money instead of you, varying market conditions and so much more. I can say that these books blew me away with what I was able to learn in such a short amount of time. He took something that seems so complicated and broke it down so anyone, even average people, can understand how to win.
Learning something new can be scary, especially finances and investing. The problem is if you don’t take responsibility for your finances no one else will. There are plenty of people out there who will take your money though. You can take charge or you can be broke. It really is a choice.
I hope that this article has given you some ideas of where to start. Even if it took you five years to figure it out, it is better than five years from now having no idea what to do. Watch the documentary The Retirement Gamble it will get you fired up. Grab one or both of Tony’s new books. Remember, knowledge is only potential for power, knowledge with action is true power. Take action and take charge of your finances today!