No one wants to be a slave.
We understand this to be true with regards to explicit forms of slavery. If a man tells you that he owns you and that he will shoot you if you do not perform backbreaking work for him on his plantation, you would naturally revolt.
Why don’t we revolt just as fervently to financial slavery, whether the slavery takes the forms of debt, careers that bore us, bosses who intimidate us, or incomes with no potential for growth?
Types of Financial Slavery
Financial slavery can take many different forms, many of which are obscured upon first glance. Some of these forms of enslavement are:
We’re not going to try to convince you that all forms of debt are evil and should be exorcised at all costs. Of course not. The importance of getting out of debt, however, should not be underestimated. When you are debt-free, you have the freedom, emotional and financial, to do things previously thought to be impossible under the heavy weight of debt.
There’s a myth floating around society that the best thing you can do for yourself is to find any well-paying job. “If you just shut up and do the job,” the myth goes, “you’ll be happy.”What ever happened to following your passion? There are even ways to make money without having a degree! Do you like to write? Try your hand at freelancing! Do you enjoy computer or web coding? People are looking to outsource these types of jobs all the time.
If you can earn money while doing something you love, then your quality of life – and the freedom of your life – will be increased many times over.
Income comes in two forms: active and passive. Active income is earned on the basis of work completed, and it comes in the form of a wage or a salary. When you complete work for an employer, the employer pays you.All too often, though, people stop at active income.
If passive income, a flow of income earned well after the initial value has been provided, is added to your repertoire, then you will have much more financial freedom to pursue other interests, such as taking a break from a dead-end career, moving to a new location, or other freeing activities without worrying about a total loss of income.
Now that some of the obstacles to financial freedom have been observed, it’s worth taking a look at some actionable ways to overcome these hurdles and become free in your own financial life.
“Sure,” you say, “easier said than done.” Yes, getting out of debt is an arduous process. However, with the right principles in mind and knowing which debt mistakes to avoid, you can remove the burden of financial debt and liabilities. Learn how to get out of debt.
Jump-Start Your Career
Whether you stay in your career or decide to pursue an entirely different one, don’t let your tomorrow be like your today. A slave doesn’t negotiate with his “boss.” A slave doesn’t enjoy his work. A slave doesn’t try to better his circumstances.
Stop being a slave. Sit down with your boss and negotiate conditions that would make you happier. Go to work every day and figure out how you can make it even more enjoyable than the day before. Be as productive as possible, and be proud of the productivity.
If you do these things, you will not be a slave of your workplace.
Do What You Love
A slave, of course, does not enjoy the work that he does. He goes to the field, completes his work (often without putting much effort towards it) and repeats this process day after day.
All too often, this describes the life of the average worker. No passion is involved whatsoever. This doesn’t have to be the case, however.
“But I have no idea how I can make money from my passion when I have no idea what my passion really is!” Fair enough. Sit down, relax, breathe, and allow yourself the freedom to say, “I don’t know what I want to do.” You’ll be surprised at how naturally ideas will flow when you allow yourself to say, “I don’t know.”
You may find that your dream job turns out to be something you didn’t even know was an available career path when you began the exploration.
Financial freedom is impossible without a dash of risk — make sure you have financial security. Risk is emotionally anxiety provoking without “just-in-case” backups. If you do yourself a favor and set aside a nest egg, a passive form of income, or a method of earning income from home, and you will be amazed at the increase in your comfort taking calculated risks.
One thing’s for sure – slaves definitely don’t take calculated risks.
Save Your Money
On a related note to having a safety net, there’s simply no better safety net than a defensive savings strategy. This doesn’t simply mean putting a set percentage of your income into a savings account — that’s just the first step.
Saving is a lifestyle choice. Saving involves actively looking for ways to receive the same value of goods for a lower price, becoming more efficient in your day-to-day life, and even increasing your income through whatever means you can.
If you start living a lifestyle of saving, you’ve already become free from the standard strategy of planning finances; in technical terms, this is described as “living by the seat of one’s pants.” No plans are involved, and life is lived in action-reaction to external stimuli.
You do not want to be a slave to external stimuli.
Spend Your Money Rationally
Holding “saving” as a value in your life does not mean living an ascetic lifestyle, putting every extra penny towards a savings account. Sometimes, investing in yourself is worthwhile.
Trying to jump-start that career? Maybe spending some money on a class or a workshop focusing on the skill you are trying to hone would be worthwhile. Maybe some of your tools, such as computer hardware, are out of date and your income would be well served if you replaced that tool. Replace the tools and remain guilt-free about the expense.
What a contradiction it would be: “I want to be financially free, so I will create a rule that says I cannot spend money beyond basic living expenses.”
Enslaving yourself to your own financial rules in the name of financial freedom is self-defeating.
Feel free to break your own “rules.” You’ll be surprised at how little you will actually want to break your own “rules” once you give yourself this freedom – and when you do want to break these “rules,” have the self-trust to know that it’s probably with good reason.
The term “slavery” throughout this article is meant loosely. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to take on debt. No one is threatening to ship you off to a gulag unless you choose a dead-end career. No one will break your knees in if you fail to diversify your income.
We are “slaves” of past choices, usually made in the moment for short-term gain without referencing long-term benefit.
To stop being financial slaves, we don’t need to escape the plantation, making it past rows of guards with guns. We simply need to choose to stop making choices that enslave us and start making choices that make us free.
Subscribe below and you will learn actionable methods to help you stop being a slave and start being free in your finances.