Let’s Talk Money and Financial Freedom

I can’t tell you how therapeutic writing these newsletters is.

It has become a space where I can think through a topic (or rather, write through a topic) and know that it might, perhaps, shine a light on something you’ve been contemplating too.

I can’t promise there will always be value in what lands on this page, but isn’t that the best part? A peek into someone else’s thoughts and realizing that we’re all the fucking same?

So on that note — what exactly has been on my mind this past week? Money.

More specifically, what financial freedom will look like in 2021 and beyond.

Blame it on the pandemic, but I’ve recently been having existential thoughts about what is financial security? What is the “right” savings to have? What is the “right” income to be making?

While I know there’s no correct answer here, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been Googling ridiculous things like “how much should you have saved by 30?”. (The equivalent of going to WebMD with a cough and learning that yes, you are most definitely on the brink of death.)

Perhaps it’s the combination of not being able to travel this year, feeling restless in a small city like Ottawa, and watching what seems like every person my age ferociously adulting, but I’ve felt a cloud of outdated thinking creep up on me. Thinking that says the most important thing to do is save. Save for a house, save for a car, save save save and whatever you do, don’t rock the financial boat.

Have I been bit by the scarcity-minded bug? The thought alone makes me cringe. And yet, here we are. Thinking the thoughts, feeling the feels, and acting a fool on Google.

Perhaps I’ve been more affected by the doom and gloom of this year than I anticipated. Feeling safe (I think?) in my own career doesn’t mean I haven’t watched local entrepreneurs get repeatedly beat with a stick since March.

In times of fear and scarcity we get possessive, wanting to hold on to everything we have out of fear of losing it. But there’s only so much you can save. There are only so many Starbucks lattes you can skip (and please, count me out of that sad reality. I’ll take a Grande Nonfat Latte any time of the day. Maybe a Caramel Macchiato if I’m feeling devilish).

After all, Abundance 101 tells us that holding a tight grip on our money cuts off its circulation. The energy stops. The flow stops. And the money stops.

So yes, let’s save. But let’s not waste our mental headspace constantly obsessing over what’s in our bank account and more time honing the skills to make money.

After all, there’s a limit to how much we can save, but there’s no limit to how much we can earn.

Retiring a millionaire after spending a lifetime counting pennies is not my definition of a rich life.

Retiring a millionaire after spending a lifetime soaking up the vibrant sights and tastes of this world is what I’m after.

Maybe it sounds like I want to have my cake and eat it too.

But maybe I just want more than what we’re told to settle for?

It’s never about how much money we have, but in how aligned we are with our own version of a rich life.

If you’ve been having any of these strange thoughts as well, here’s a reminder (for the both of us) that a sense of security will never come from external circumstances. Not from the state of the economy, not from our salary, and definitely not from the coffee run we skipped this morning. It will come from knowing that we have the power to pull levers. That we own our upside.

I think we’ve become too passive with money. Afraid to talk about it, afraid to make more of it, and painfully afraid to allow ourselves to want it.

We wait, quietly, to be given an extra slice of cake in life. For the paycheque to come in. For the promotion to happen. For an opportunity to be handed to us.

We need to grab our aprons and bake our own damn cakes. Triple layer, cream cheese icing, and brownies stacked on top.

The infamous year of 2020 will be over in a month and I say we make a commitment to being more dangerous next year. 

Dangerous because we know how good we are. Dangerous because we will stand in front of opportunities and grab them.

Which, by the way, does not come from saving the “right” amount of money or earning the “right” income. It comes from knowing every last detail of what our rich life looks like and pursuing it.

I have the last week of November booked off and I finally decided how I’ll be spending it: dreaming up my rich life for 2021. Perhaps even challenging myself to come up with an additional income stream.

Should we touch base at the end of this month and compare notes? I’m in if you are!

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