My definition of financial independence:
To no longer be a slave to money as a way to self-value yourself, your worth, or your progress in life.
I’m not a businessman, I’m not a businessman
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve never really desired to have a ton of money. Sure, I liked fashion (clothes, shoes, etc), and I liked hanging out. I liked photography, blogging, sports, being social, and teaching. To me, entrepreneurship was simply a means to an end — the end being having freedom over my schedule and life.
But somewhere along the way, I got a bit corrupted. Not sure why or when. But as a reminder to self:
Accumulating money isn’t the goal of life. The goal is to maximize our personal creative output — through blogging, videos, and sharing new art and turbo thoughts.
Financial independence — to gain freedom for wanting money for money’s sake.
Obviously dinero is good. But money for money’s sake ain’t the goal.
I even feel the notion of “fuck you money”is a bit misguided — people think you need millions in the bank.
Perhaps better is Dr. Dre’s notion of “fuck off money”— having enough money that you can fuck off and not “work”for extended periods of time and not go broke.
Independence as not being a slave.
“Don’t stare at money too long, it’s Medusa!” – Kanye
When do we know when we have “enough”?
You will never have “enough” money— no matter how rich (or poor) you are.
And I also do believe it is wise to continue to pursue making money and saving it up (for fun, as a game)— but not as a form of quantifying your self-worth.
To save is to feel safe.
Thus the goal isn’t to save money for the sake of saving money. The goal is to feel safe, secure, solid, and whole!
You can be a billionaire and still not feel safe or secure. So— how do we feel safe, secure, and whole?
For myself, this is what works for me:
- Adopting a life of “voluntary poverty”: You realize if you can live like a broke college student (or better yet, broke high school student) and if your earnings outstrip your meager expenses, you’re balling!
- Easier to reduce your expenses than to increase your earnings. Best ways to save money include getting rid of Amazon prime (less tempted to buy superfluous things), to unsubscribe from services like Evernote/Spotify/Netflix (or any services which cost a monthly fee), getting rid of your car (no car payments, insurance, parking, gas, maintenance).
- Not owning more than 1 item of a certain thing (one camera/one lens — like RICOH GR III), not owning more than one jacket, one pair of shoes, etc.
- Be a lagger in terms of adopting new technologies. Lag behind buying an electric car, new iPhone, new Laptop, etc. To procrastinate as long as you can before buying new things, technology, or tools.
- Make it a game to NOT to buy anything new. You can afford it, but the fun game is to not buy anything new.
- “Reverse flex”: More interesting to NOT own a phone instead of having the newest iPhone. More impressive to NOT own a car instead of having the newest BMW. More impressive to NOT own a home and be a “digital nomad”/ “location independent”. More impressive to live in a tiny apartment than to live in a huge house. Minimalism and simplicity as sexy!