In 2002 I didn’t have any money of my own yet. But today, I have over $750,000 in gross investments. Sometimes I feel like I don’t value money as much as I used to. I guess a lot can change in 12 years.
My perception of money
Do you ever get the feeling that the more you learn about the world around you, the less you realize you actually know about it? Throughout my adolescent years my view on personal finance was restrained to over simplified rules and models, taught by the public education system, which for practical life purposes meant very little 🙁 Isn’t it interesting that we learn how to dissect frogs and solve polynomial, algebraic, and transcendental functions in highschool, but are never taught how to buy or sell a home, how to use a credit card, or what kind of investments can be placed into a Roth IRA? 😕
Luckily education doesn’t have to just come from schools. Over the past 6 or so years I have exposed myself to regular doses of financial knowledge from newspapers, business shows, and of course, the internet. And now, in my mid twenties, I have a completely different view on finance. I used to think that money was just a medium of exchange that I could earn, spend, and save. While that’s not necessarily wrong, it doesn’t tell the full picture.
How I look at money today
So here’s a better explanation of what money TRULY represents to me.
When I look at money today I see POWER. When I look at my net worth I feel POTENTIAL. When I save money I insure my future SECURITY. When I spend money I’m buying INFLUENCE, and I’m buying back my TIME, which is the most precious commodity in the world! When I read about money I gain KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING about society. When I invest money I facilitate jobs, wealth, hope for others, and create MEANING to this world. When I waste money I squander my LIBERTY and INDEPENDENCE. When I invest money into stocks I’m buying POSSIBILITIES. When I blog about money I share and disseminate CONFIDENCE. And when I eventually reach financial independence I will experience FREEDOM like never before.
Money gives me perspective and context. By associating money with powerful words it’s easy to understand the importance of financial literacy, not just from a materialistic point of view, but also in terms of reconciling our emotional and personal well being with the modern world we all live in. The more we understand how money works the more dominion and authority we’ll have over all the dimensions of our lives. By controlling our money we control our fates! 😉
Will it take a lot of work to reach financial enlightenment? Maybe. But will it be worth it? Definitely! 😀
Below is a summary of how I used to think and feel about money. For the full story, read my original post.
2002 – high school.
Money isn’t that important. I will be satisfied making $40,000/yr.
2005 – college.
Worried about my job prospects. But willing to work hard and hope to eventually make $60,000/yr.
2008 – entry level job.
Money is easier to make than I had initially thought. Set a personal goal to earn $80,000/yr.
2011 – experienced employee.
Realized the potential of investing and passive income. Raised income projection to eventually make $100,000/yr.
2014 – intermediate graphic designer
Outlook on life – Enlightened
What has changed
I’m currently making over $70K a year ($15K of this comes from investments, not from work.) This means I’m on the same income level as many senior employees at my workplace. 🙂 even though I probably pay less taxes than them. This also means I’ve already exceeded the income expectations I had for myself back in 2002 and 2005. I had completely underestimated the scope of the financial universe back in highschool and college.
I will continue to track progress, use careful leverage, diversify my portfolio, focus on opportunities instead of obstacles, discover new revenue sources, and do all the other things I’ve blogged about that’s been working well for me so far. If I manage to eventually triple my current investments then I’ll make $45K a year from passive income alone! And if I steadily climb the corporate ladder then I could see my annual working income reach $75K eventually between my 2 jobs. Wow, I can see my total income easily reaching $120,000/yr one day if I just continue doing what I’m doing now 😉
Random Useless Fact: Not all bees are yellow. For example, this is a blue carpenter bee 🙂