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Chapter 24. The Freedom Plan > 1. What is your relationship with money? - Pg. 112

The Freedom Plan 112 school, an expense they deemed worthy for our education and value system. Some of the money mantras in our family were, "It's not how much you make, it's how much you save. Save for a rainy day. Don't worry about the Jones's." These ideas were drummed in early and often, but what I learned was that you could have a great life and still save for that rainy day, no matter your income or job title. Money is a necessary ingredient for a freer life. A long-term financial plan allows for a good life while you plan for the time when you might need capital for a break, career change, early retirement, or perhaps to carry you over in a bad job or stock market. According to recent employment data, a person who earns less than $100,000 per year can assume it will take six months to find a new job. A person who earns more than $100,000 per year will need to budget for eight months. Wouldn't you like to be able to outlast the very worst job market and not have to start over at the very begin- ning? There are many books, Web sites, cable shows, and broadcast programs to help you become more comfortable with financial planning. Certainly, this chapter is only a start, and I am not a financial guru. The following 10 considerations are an elementary discussion to explore your views on money, savings and investments, and your own attachment to material items or habits that might hamper your end goal. The road to financial freedom might seem daunting and undoable to some of you; please don't let that be enough to deter you from trying. Equal parts of patience, willingness, disci- pline, common sense, and determination are required to pay yourself the huge reward of peace of mind that comes with a freedom plan. Consider these discussion points as a starter kit for your personal freedom plan. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. What is your relationship with money? Visualize your long-term goals: Retire early? Switch careers? Financial independence in your older years? Freedom versus bondage. Freedom versus material goods. Create a value threshold. Think like a corporation and protect your profit margin: your savings and investments. Don't be afraid to bust conventional thinking. How much money do you really need? How much is enough? Is enough enough? Look good, take great vacations, and don't feel deprived. Don't worry about what friends or family members say or think about your choices. Be an active investor. Educate yourself and give time to your financial freedom plan. Look into resources. 1. What is your relationship with money? A relationship with money? Yes, we all have one, and it begins when we are children. It depends on how we react, as adults, to the early lessons learned. If you grew up in a household where money was no object, spending was free and lavish, and talk of savings was nonexistent, you will have one outlook. If your household was one where money was a bit tight, you might have felt it, and you might have disliked it. If you grew up in a home where money was discussed and the value of a dollar was a lesson that your parents impressed on you, you are more likely to be a saver now. There are households that surely had both: lots of money and lessons on its value. What were your early lessons and how are you reacting to them in your adult life? Are money and the niceties that it affords part of your identity? Do you have the outlook that money will never be a problem, so you spend it freely? Are you a person who never had money and figure you never will, so you spend it freely? Do you have fears related to lack of money that find you a bit frugal? Do you view money as freedom? Is luxury spending something you do to reinforce a perception you have about yourself or the picture of the life that you want for yourself? What is your relationship with money and why do you think you have the disposition that you hold?