A big money breakthrough I had was money and self-awareness go hand in hand. Once we know our daily cash flows, we’re able to invest the excess to pursue financial independence. When we lack clarity, we tend to interrupt compounding interest.
The example I use is, oddly enough, garbage.
An Average American family throws out 4.5 pounds (2 kilos) of garbage per DAY.
Do we know how much trash we throw out? We have no clue since we don’t track it. We have placed none of our awareness on this issue.
Our lack of awareness results in us throwing away more money than we should. Last night I tossed out brussel sprouts, which was heartbreaking since they are my favorite cabbages!
This experience isn’t uncommon since the average American family throws away $640 of food each year.
I’ve been looking for more areas of my life where I’m not honed in on.
For money matters, it often is the big things that carry much of the freight.
With half our income going towards saving, I’m most surprised by the fact there are more opportunities to save even more.
Big Money Breakthrough #2: Emotions
Another key element to self-awareness is understanding how our emotions dictate our behavior.
As humans, we tend to analyze the situation, only to misread how we would behave. I mentioned this type of behavior before where we justify a bad act because we previously did something good. In a nutshell, think eating-ice-cream-after-a-workout (guilty x100 here).
Our story is one where we had great intentions from the start, but it took us three years to develop the habits. I still recall seeing my net worth decrease in a quarter and thinking to myself, “I need to figure this out!”
When I start to think long term of 5 years or more, I always remember something I learned from, Kai Green, the famous bodybuilder. Before starting his workout, he would spend 5 minutes on a light cardio machine and prepare for the workout by honing in on his self-awareness.
He later went on to summarize his view:
“The achievement of great things comes from being able to manage yourself very well, or at least, well enough where you almost become compulsive about getting certain things done.”
For anyone focused on money, the “certain things,” is investing. I made investing a priority and focused on reducing spend. Any extra savings would only help me grow my capital.
Another great part, “One way you can say, ‘absolutely I can,’ is, not with your mouth, but with your actions and actions are the product of thought.”
Aka, no more stalling. I waited months before I finally put my cash into the market. I blame that problem on too much productive procrastination, so I’m happy to have overcome that money hurdle.
“[Our] thoughts are going to be everything… even certain pieces of our despair has to be like, we just don’t have time for it… there’s a certain kind of resilience and toughness that you’ll also gonna have to be willing to accept. That just comes along with it.”
Struggling with the implementation of new cost saving strategies is part of the path. When I stumbled with ironing, my fiancee helped me meet the money saving goal. When I first got back into cooking, it took up over eight hours on Sundays, without any help this time. Despite whatever the hurdle might be, we stuck to our game plan and pulled off an immense 90 Day Frugality Challenge.
At this stage, I’m near obligated to let Kai wrap it up, “…the lesson in this is you’re able to do what you need to do when you say you’re gonna do it.”
What’s your big money breakthrough?