*This is a post written by Arbed Much like most people, after paying of my student loans I felt free. Ready to scream from rooftops, hang up banners and pop confetti to proclaim my new financial freedom. Removing the chains that Sallie Mae burdened me with for years. The taste of victory was sweet but adulting wasn’t allowing any room for celebration. It’s pretty much on to the next thing. Little did I know my next move was going to hurt me more than help me. All the extra money in my bank account was something I definitely was not use to. It was a beauty I couldn’t describe. I can’t lie, I had the urge to spend it all. Well most of it at least. Looking to obtain the luxuries I had sacrificed in order to get my credit in good standing. We all know how important credit scores are. And how they like to follow you around like rain clouds if mistreated. This is why it seemed like a no brainer to limit my spending and focus on saving. It was so habitual for me to set aside a percentage of my income to pay off my student loans, I decided saving my money had to be the smartest move. After all, the main expense that was digging into my accounts was now gone. My student loans had me so traumatized, I began treating my money like my child. I became extremely overprotected. I wanted my money where I could see it.
Months and months went by and as my saving account kept growing my sense of achievement started to do the opposite. In essence my funds were growing but for what? What did I have to show for myself? Especially since I was so scared to touch it. I tried to rationalize this by treating my savings account as an emergency fund.Having an emergency fund always seemed like a bright decision to me. That idea didn’t last very long. I thought to myself, am I really only working in order to have an emergency fund? What kind of life is that? I don’t want to live my life where I’m only planning for the worst. That’s when I came to the realization that I had an unhealthy relationship with money. I was simply scared of money. The fear of going without haunted me daily. Relying on an “emergency fund” created unnecessary anxiety. It was around this time when I picked up an important piece of literature that would shape my future. A friend of mine recommended the book, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki. This book happened to already be sitting on my bookshelf, crazy right? A friend gifted it to me a few years back. As I became more and more engulfed with the book, key quotes started to jump out at me. The first being, “Money is just an idea”. See, growing up the way I did this quote would have never made sense. The inner city education system was definitely not teaching financial planning. Being the first person in my household to graduate from college, I thought I was making great strides for my family. Moving out on my own at 21 years old, I felt as if my life was coming together smoothly. Comparing myself to the generation that came before me, everyone worked in factories. I did not grow up with a strong financial knowledge. My mom was in debt. My dad owed backed child support. It was safe to say that I did not come from much. This is why graduating college and obtaining a degree was mandatory. With a degree, I would be able to make more money, they said.
The notion that I held onto my entire life, was what was actually hindering my ‘level up”. I needed to accept the fact that money was just an idea. Once that hit me like a ton a bricks, I was ready to move on from this horrible relationship I had with money.Another strong quote that stood out to me was, “The more a person seeks security, the more that person gives up control over his/her life”. To be completely honest, upon first reading this I could not help but feel personally attacked. This spoke volumes. There was no denying that it was an eye opener. I was holding onto my savings as a security blanket and this security blanket was suffocating me. It was at that moment I knew I had to change my narrative. I needed to become fearless. I had to for all intents and purposes “break up” with my prior relationship with money. If I wanted to taste true wealth, I needed to embrace a level of risk-taking. I needed to dump savings and get with investments. Investing was a word I in fact heard before. Just not super familiar with. I was blocking my blessings. All this time spent saving, I’ve could have been investing in mutual funds, stocks, bonds, real estate with the expectation that the value of these assets will increase. Successful investing requires time and I felt like all my time and patience were spent on paying back my debt. I now know that I am ready to embark on this new journey. They say the first step toward change is awareness. I’m aware that being consumed by saving allowed me to disregard the power of investment. The second step is acceptance ]]>
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