There has been a huge shift in financial thinking in the last five years. For many it was the thought that the good times would never end. We could borrow for the things we wanted and pay it off over time.
This is one of the greatest traps to fall into. Our personal net worth is not made up of the “real” value of “real” assets more importantly it is made up of the surplus we can generate in our cashflow.
A prime example of this is farming where family may be asset rich, but for whatever reason, income poor. Don’t be deceived by the big equipment they have or the vehicle they may drive. It is all essential. Believe me living in the country you do need reliability.
So what does this mean to you. It means doing a checklist of what is essential to you and what is something you have because it feels or looks nice.
Back to the borrowed money and farming. The annual cost on a medium farm ranges upwards of a quarter of a million dollars, yet a single frost can wipe that amount off the annual income. And remember the big machinery, that is not factored into the annual expenditure.
So lets look at your situation. Have you considered what your current lifestyle is costing you in real terms? Particularly if that lifestyle is funded by the borrowed money we spoke of earlier.
The reason for this is in how the repayments are structured.
Too many small loans generally means a large amount going out each month (most lending institutions work on a monthly basis.) Then along comes your friendly finance person who says “we’ll simply absorb that into your home loan that way the interest rate will be lower and you won’t be paying as much.”
Actually you will be paying a lot more because even though the interest rate is lower it is being paid over a much longer period. Lending institutions love this one because interest paid on loans means long term income for them. Do they really care about you and your personal situation? Only insofar as your ability to give them the income/interest that you have gladly agreed to pay them.
There is a hard and fast rule to apply if you want financial freedom. Never, ever, ever assume anything. Sure there is acting on faith, but that alone isn’t enough without proper action.
So what can be done about overcoming the debt cycle. Step one is to “learn” from reputable sources what you need to know and do. One thing I found useful many years ago was a book that a highly successful business colleague gave me. That book was “The Richest Man In Babylon” and I still take it off the shelf often to help keep my focus on track.
Even though it was written almost a hundred years ago the epic tale of one Babylonian’s rise from broke and indebted poverty as a slave to become financial secure, then financially free. It’s all spelled out in very simple steps that are as relevant today as they have been since the days of the fabulously wealthy
which existed over six thousand years ago. Babylon
Slave customs in ancient
were strictly regulated by law. For example. a slave could own property even
other slaves which his master had no claim over. Slaves married non-slaves.
Children of free mothers were free. Most Babylonian merchants were slaves. Many
in partnership with their masters and wealthy in their own right. Babylon
But debt and having to work long hours for low wages that fail to meet our cost of living is in itself a form of slavery. Financial freedom, when spoken of by those who have achieved it, is something that adds real quality and meaning to our lives.
Money is how success is measured, it can’t buy health but it’s interesting to note
how the affluent of today are the lean trim and healthy ones.
We feel more secure with money than without, as I’ve said on many occasions,
money is not important, it just ranks second to oxygen in our existence.
Learning how to control how you generate your money, cashflow is better, by being taught by those who already have achieved success removes a lot of stress and thereby adds to the enjoyment of life.
The principles and processes are simple. While you have debt you are controlled by those you have borrowed from.
Start by seeing yourself debt free. This can be a bit of a stretch of the imagination, but over time you’ll come to realise and work out how important being debt free can be in all areas of your life.
Even in the process of actively pursuing the dream of financial freedom you will find yourself feeling much happier about the potential future. Dreams do come true so pursue financial freedom, then you can become a force for good in your family, your community and who knows, the world?