Ok, so we established in part one, the first, very obvious step to thriving in the midst of economic collapse…CUT THE FAT! It’s time to learn how to live within your means. And let’s be honest, most of you don’t have a clue how to do this! There are two primary issues that are creating your financial dilemma. The first and most pressing issue, most of you need to deal with, is related to the final question that was asked in part one. Most of you are doing what you feel you HAVE TO DO, not what you WANT TO DO! This creates an unfilled void that you might try to fill with stuff you don’t need and activities you simply can’t afford. Chew on this nugget. The average family in America has $15,863 in credit card debt. This of course does not include the two car payments, mortgage and school loans most have. How did this happen? When did this quicksand lifestyle begin? It all began as a small child, when your parents swallowed the, ‘my children have to go to college to become successful’, propaganda. And from that point forward you were encouraged and even pressured to go to college so that you could get that degree that would enable you to get the ‘good job’. But you didn’t even know if you wanted the “good job”! So now you have invested between 50 and 100k to get a job that you hate; and that’s assuming that you got the job! Now I could go on for hours describing the conventional wisdom that screwed most of you, but I simply can’t stomach thinking about it anymore. So let’s move on to some solutions!
Albert Einstein once said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." If you want solutions, you’re going to have to change the way you think! Are you ready to escape the prison that you have unknowingly subjected your mind too? Are you ready to dump your old financial advisor, your favorite news stations, and the ideas that your teachers and parents filled your head with as a youth? These traditional ways of thinking are the reason we are in this mess to begin with. And if you continue following these thought patterns, you will never escape their undertow.
Let me state this again with emphasis…NOW IS THE TIME TO CUT THE FAT! If you wait until the collapse is on us, you will lose value on the items you need to cut. Now don’t get me wrong, you will make it through this collapse whether you listen to me or not, but if you want to thrive in the midst of it and set yourself up to take full advantage of the collapse then you need to begin cutting the fat now! Those of you who do this and with patience follow the wisdom to come, will find yourselves in position to take full advantage of a frail market on the rebound and to create for yourself a NR lifestyle. Traditional thinking has always been work hard, put in your 40 to 60 hours a week for 40 to 50 years and hope that your financial advisor is competent enough to make sure you have the cash needed to retire. What if I told you to forget retirement for a minute...wait, at least hear me out before you call the men in white coats. Retirement is just another scheme used by the monetary system to bower your hard earned money for 40 years. It is a clever use of hype and fear driven indoctrination used to keep you so busy that you don’t have time to see what’s going on behind the curtain. What if I told you it’s possible to make good money and actually have the time to enjoy it? What if I told you it’s possible to live every day like you’re on vacation without braking the bank? Are you interested…? Of course you are, who wouldn’t be? In order to make this dream a reality, you must change the way you think! So, I’m introducing two small practical steps for you to employ, while your mind escapes the prison of thought it has been incarcerated in! But I warn you…don’t go back to watching the news, reading the paper or talking finances with your neighbor, this will do nothing but plant seeds of fear and drive you back to the arms of the prison guard.
After successfully cutting the fat from your lifestyle (removing the unneeded extras/downsizing), you need to begin budgeting…yes, you heard me correctly. You are probably thinking to yourself, “I thought Silas was going to introduce some new radical ways of thinking! This is what I’ve been told since I had my first job.” Well just hold on to your panties, we are going to get into the good stuff soon, but for now you need to begin laying a few foundational cornerstones. And while these first two steps may not sound radical, I AM NOT introducing them to you with the same thinking used by your grandparents. In no way shape or form am I suggesting that you should save for retirement, nor am I suggesting that you should maintain this model of savings after the market makes its rebound. No, this is simply a savings model designed to take the fat from your lifestyle and put it to work for you, so that you can begin doing the things you WANT TO DO! Now, I am aware that some of you are living from week to week or maybe even from day to day and you think you have no fat to cut from your lifestyle. But it is my experience, having been there myself, that there is always fat. You just have to look in the right places and be willing to think outside of the box. So whether you are a multi-millionaire, apart of the middle class, or one of the many who are apart of the financial lower class, you can prepare for and posture yourself to take on the daunting task of finally putting money to work for you! The savings model is so easy a two year old could do it! All you’re going to do at this point is take the payments you are no longer making, or the cash you have after downsizing, and save it. Don’t look for investments. Don’t buy that new toy but if you must, once per month establish a specific amount (10% or less) out of your surplus for fun. Now consider this, after cutting the fat, downsizing and establishing a budget many of you will be able to save somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-65% of your gross income! On your mark, get set…GO! Don’t wait another second, get started cutting the fat today!
Let me pose one last thought for today. We have been indoctrinated by media to the degree that we are no longer driven by that which we love or find pleasure in, we are driven by fear of a non-existent future! When I was seven-teen I was making 35k a year on less than 40 hours a week. I drove an almost new BMW 525i and rented a three bedroom, two bath house, with a 1500 SF detached garage. I thought I was big stuff. Considering I was seven-teen, I had things together for the most part. Whoop de doo!!! The problem was I just looked like I had it together! I was spending $750 a month on my car!!! Did I need the BMW? Did it add anything to my life? Did it increase my joy? NO!!! As a matter of fact, it only decreased my ability to do what I wanted to do! For the two years I owned that car, I spent $15,600 on it…not counting the one time I had to get it worked on! You know what they say…You don’t have to be rich to buy a BMW, but you have to be rich to own one. If I hadn’t bought into the social need to look sexy, to look successful, I could have put close to $20k to work for me! And I could have done that while still owning a nice car! You need to understand…I am not advising you to give up the things you enjoy! I am advising you to temporally learn how to enjoy your life free of fat! People tell me all the time, “I would love to be in good shape, I just enjoy food to much!” The problem isn’t their enjoyment of food!!! The problem is that they are have learned to enjoy the wrong food! News flash…McDonalds isn’t good food!!! But that’s not what their taste buds say at the moment. I used to eat McDonalds multiple times per week, my excuse, it was fast and cheap. The truth was I simply programed myself to like it! You couldn’t force me to eat McDonalds now! The last time I tried to eat McDonalds I almost threw up! I used to watch the news too…guess what, now it makes me feel like I’m going to throw up! It’s time to re-program your thinking! I don’t want you to think like me, I just want you to think!
I have a challenge for you. For the next thirty days, TURN OFF all traditional media…e.g. news media, newspapers and articles and only look at social media, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc, once per day. For some of you this will be a monumental challenge! You can do it!!! Trust me, this will revolutionize your life! Oh, and just for kicks, you should see what happens when you stop eating fast food for a month...you won’t regret it!
See you next week!
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