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This is the Disclaimer and Intro for a financial piece I’ve been working on for quite some time. I figured I’d share this excerpt so people know what to expect when the book in released.
This is written for EXTREME financial struggles, but pieces of this advice can be applied to just about every level of financial difficulty. Maybe you’re homeless, jobless, have burnt all your bridges, and know EXACTLY why you are in the situation. Maybe you can’t figure out why the struggles keep happening, or maybe you just can’t afford to keep up with all of your bills; or have quite a bit of debt you need to pay off, but just can’t find the money. Whether you need a complete financial overhaul, or to just streamline your spending, my suggestion is to go ahead and read through all of this with an open mind.
There are useful tips scattered throughout- so take from it what will work for you, and apply it to your life. If you are in the most extreme of situations, apply it ALL. It’s the only way. You’ll need to let go of many of your ideas of what you THINK you need- and understand that the reality is that it’s much less than society leads us to believe. I am NOT a financial expert. Please be clear on that. I’ve just been through the struggle numerous times, and understand how to break that cycle better than some. If you’ve been struggling over and over, that means you need to CHANGE something. DRASTICALLY. This advice will help you do so.
If you aren’t truly financially struggling, you’re probably going to realize that fairly quickly while reading this. You’re going to think that many of these techniques and ideas are insane, and probably not going to want to make the changes I’m suggesting. If you ARE truly struggling, and still aren’t willing to make these changes, you need to seriously evaluate whether you want your life to get any better- because it never will until you are truly willing to recognize where you’re going wrong, and take steps to correct it.
Usually, at least part of the problem, and sometimes MOST of the problem, has to do with our perspective and the decisions we’ve made. There ARE sometimes things that happen to us that are beyond our control. Yes, they do create, or add to, these financial struggles. The thing is, even when bad things happen, most people find they can still make some changes that could have made it have less of an impact- we just have a hard time seeing that. Say it with me: There MUST be something I can change to get myself out of this cycle. I can only control my own actions, so it has to be ME that makes the changes.
Thinking this way puts you into a completely different mindset. If you remove the possibility of having control over the outside force, it allows you to focus all of your thoughts on what you can do instead of wasting energy on something futile. Things are always going to happen. You can’t stop them. The only logical choice is to find a different route.
I get that there can be circumstances that can make it really hard to get out of the struggle, but that usually just means it will take you longer to get to a more stable situation than it would others. Disabilities, both physical and mental, can definitely impact your ability to be financially stable, but putting these techniques into effect can seriously help lessen the burden they create. It won’t get rid of the medical bills, or make things perfect, but it will make things better financially, and maybe even help you in some other aspects.
A little history about me- I’ve had money and lived a luxurious life, but I’ve also been stuck in the cycle of extreme financial struggle- broke and homeless. Having lived in both worlds, for extended periods of time (because yes, how long you had money DOES matter to your perspective,) gives me a bit of a different outlook than most. I was blessed to be born to parents who were mature, responsible, hard-working, and from a generation who believed in giving their children the best they could AND had the opportunities to do so. I say this because the way that generation was able to build their dreams and succeed really no longer exists.
It’s a different world now, and harder to really make your way unless you are very tech-savvy and skilled in something in the computer or technology industry. That’s just the reality we now have to deal with. Just about everything has been done in some way. New, completely original business ideas are rare. About the best we can do is try to find some unique little spin to put on it, but even that is getting harder, since pretty much everyone is having to do it. Things just aren’t the same. We have to find our own way to succeed in this new society.
As a child, I didn’t realize that we had a nice house and pretty much lived in luxury compared to many. Even as a teenager, I wasn’t truly aware of how wonderful I had it growing up. I knew I sometimes helped my friends by paying their way, but to me, I wanted their company, so I made it to where they could come. I still didn’t grasp what exactly that meant, even though I was considered intelligent. It wasn’t until I was an adult, and lost everything, that I really became aware of how wonderful I had it growing up. It took losing that stability and security for me to finally see how different things can be for someone who has to worry about money 24/7. Not knowing how you’re going to get food, pay rent, or keep the utilities on is stressful and exhausting. You can’t even come home and relax after a hard day because you’re subconsciously aware that the electric or water could be disconnected at any moment.
Living without any sort of safety net means that when even one little thing happens, like a common flat tire, it can have a devastating impact on your life. Being overwhelmed by debt, and on the verge of losing your home and everything else you’ve worked for, isn’t a fun way to live, either. Whatever financial struggle you’re in, consider the information I’m presenting, and try out some of the ideas I have for stopping that cycle. If you take all the information and really get into it, you’ll see progress. It will be slowly at first, but as you keep putting the little things into practice, and work on the big ones, you’ll see it start making a difference.
So, this perspective situation. From the tme we start understanding words, we’re told what we’re “supposed” to do. That’s perfectly fine when it comes to teaching us the basics of how to be a human- but as we age, we’re inundated with society’s ideas of how we’re “supposed” to be, what we’re supposed to desire, what we need to be considered successful, and all those other expectations “they” like to have. We are led to believe we need the “right” home, car, clothes, etc. Obviously, expectations vary depending on things like culture, and social & financial status, but they all have their “norms” of standards for people to strive for to be accepted as a “normal” member of their world. This is at least part of what causes financial struggle in just about everyone I’ve encountered, even myself before I realized how counter-productive it was.
We all have these basic things in our mind that we feel like we have to do, or own, in order to be accepted. Even if they aren’t material things, we still feel pressure to have our kids in the “right” schools, live in the “right” neighborhoods, etc. Our desire to create a good life for ourselves and our families can cause us to strive for too much, too quickly. Our intentions can be the best, but trying to keep up with all that “right” stuff can be extremely expensive and overwhelming. The pressure felt can break a person, causing them to feel like a failure.
I know because it happened to me. I failed completely, had nothing, and was broken. I decided I wasn’t going to STAY that way, though, and instead, decided to get realistic. I had to change how I thought about EVERYTHING. Instead of looking at a situation thinking “I need to make this much money to get all this stuff,” I changed my thinking to “I need to figure out how to get all I need with this much money.” Really think about that for a minute, because I realize it may initially seem like nothing, but it’s REALLY important. Most “financial people” will probably think it’s silly, but this isn’t your ordinary advice.
You can use the experts advice once you’re not worried about where you next meal is coming from, or if you’ll have a home, or whether you’ll need to file bankruptcy. Their advice is great once you’re not living in constant fear of your world falling apart from one tiny issue. My advice is to help you break the cycle of struggle and poverty that you keep finding yourself in. A pattern in your situation usually means there has to be changes that can be made somehow, usually they just aren’t the kind of changes you really WANT to make. Once I realized all of this, I also realized I had to let go of what I thought was acceptable, and all those expectations I had, for more realistic views.
Is it great if I can afford to send my kids to the best schools, be “supermom”, AND have a nice car? Sure it is, but that doesn’t mean I’m not also a great parent if they have to be taught the extras at home instead of pre-school, or I have to drive an older car, and just be a “normal mom.” As an individual, would I love to be able to afford nice clothes, and go on vacations and have fun? Yep, I sure would, but it doesn’t make me any less of a person because I can’t afford those things. I can survive in basic clothes, a modest home, and a working vehicle. I may WANT other things, but they aren’t needed. I applied that to all aspects of my life, and thinking, because I really needed to see that reality.
The reality that we all think we have to live up to whatever picture we have in our head, created by everything we’ve been told and seen- sometimes by parents and friends- but more often, by the media and “influencers.” I had already made the most obvious changes, and thought I had my mind where it should be, and thought living up to expectations was necessary. I thought, and I was sure, and just knew it had to be that way- and I was wrong.
I also had to stop trying to “manage” my situation. See, because I was always considered intelligent, and had been fairly successful in anything I pursued, I had it in my head that I knew how to handle my finances best, as long as unexpected things didn’t come along and mess it all up. Trouble with that is, something unexpected almost always happens, so using that reasoning didn’t work often.
While it may have been true that I had it mostly handled, I thought I was educated and clever enough that I totally had it under control. I was very wrong. My intelligence, education, and cleverness actually contributed to the constant cycle of struggling I got into because I always had a solution or plan for everything, and those “solutions” would result in more problems to “handle.” Thus, the cycle. Inevitably, things would always become overwhelming and fall apart because of something I hadn’t planned for. I “juggled” too much and was always thinking TOO FAR ahead of where I should have been. I wanted too much, too fast. I didn’t mind putting in the actual work, it was the patience I had a problem with, along with the unrealistic perspective on what I thought I “needed.” Changing that perspective, and realizing that I needed to be transparent, were game-changers in my understanding where I was going wrong.
END of excerpt.
I’ll be releasing the rest of this book on Amazon soon, so check back with me for the release date. I plan to release as soon as I can, but if you’re really struggling right now and need it, please contact me. We’ll work something out. My main objective always is to help people.