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Financial Freedom

Stop being a slave to money

Financial freedom could be viewed in two different ways. The first would be to always have enough money to have and do whatever you wanted. This takes time, effort and just about everything else that is talked about in this website, including this page. Some people make a lot of money and still do not have financial freedom.

The second way is to learn how to control the money you do get. This can be difficult for some people but, with persistence, it can be done. It is easy to learn. This can break the never ending cycle of trying to catch up. This page deals with credit, the largest single factor in financial slavery. There are other pages about Managing Money and Money Tips that you should also read.


Control Yourself

To control money you first have to control yourself, not always easy to do. It seems that too many people in our society are material junkies, they have to have that thing NOW. If that describes you then you will need to break the addiction. Whatever somebody wants will usually be there later, often they will find the same or better item cheaper if they wait.

I used to be an auctioneer and it often amazed me at how high people would bid if they thought someone else was going to win 'their' item. It was great for the auction but if the person would have waited they could have found a much better deal.

I have to admit that I am not totally immune to buy it now fever. With practice you can tell yourself that there are more where that one came from, buy one when I can properly afford it. I can't think of a time when I regretted  not buying something right away, there have been a few times when I did regret not waiting.

The Basic Money Law

The first and most important step in achieving financial freedom was set forth by Charles Dickens, one of his characters, Mr. Macawber. I have changed the monetary designations to make it easier to understand, my apologies to literature purists: "Income $100, expenditures $100 and 50 cents equals misery. Income $100, expenditures $99 and 50 cents equals happiness". This was written in the 1800s

This is so very true. In todays world it is so easy to overspend, it has become too easy to get credit cards, loans and payment plans. People spend money they don't have yet. Even if a person does not use credit cards etc. they can still easily fall into debt. So many people run up horrendous phone, power and other bills that they can not afford to pay. They could not afford the original bill and now they have to try and pay the extra penalties.

What happens is that people end up paying far more than something was worth in the first place. With some credit cards and loan companies the interest rates are anywhere from 18 to 20%, we used to call this loan sharking.

One auction company I worked for used to refinish and sell beautiful antique furniture, a complete solid wood dining room or bedroom set would usually sell for between $1000 to $1500. And yet people would still go to a store and buy, what I call pressed board and mactac, furniture that would fall apart in a few years. Why? because they could get it for no money down and years to pay. It doesn't seem to matter that the items were overpriced to start with.

 In many ways I am glad that I grew up in England in the days before credit became the way to go. We did not have bills, there was an electric meter and a natural gas meter, we had to money in the meter before we got the power. If we could not afford something then we either saved for it or just went without. We were far from rich but I don't ever remember feeling particularly deprived of anything.

The Credit Trap

My English training came with me to Canada, at first I got caught up in the credit trap, buying whatever I wanted and worrying about it later. Then I realized how much extra it was costing me, not only in money but in stress as well. Financial freedom is a great stress reliever.

It seems that some finance companies are determined to keep people in this credit trap. Before some students even leave school they receive letters offering credit cards. I had one friend who declared bankruptcy. Within two weeks he was offered more credit cards!

Enough of my rant about credit, although I do consider it to be one of the major stress causes in the western civilization. How do we go about controlling money and finding financial freedom. Stop using credit. You are not likely to have any more money in the future than you do now, unless you change something. So if you can not afford to buy something now what makes you think that you can afford it later with the extra interest added.

See Managing Money.  Go to the top of Financial Freedom

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