Financial Freedom Chronicles: Pilot

it happened almost fifteen years ago but i still remember it so vividly.  my sister and i were studying in Dumaguete and about a week before the next allowance from our parents would kick in, we lost the remaining Php300.  we looked all over our tiny, rented room and could not find it.

i remember us sitting on our bed, softly crying. it is not like our parents have any extra money to send to us. it is not like either of us have the courage to call home for that. and even if we did, it is not like we have money to make a long distance call.

i remember us, Jesse and myself, sitting on our bed, softly crying.

i remember thinking how nice it would be to never have to worry about money ever again.

fast forward to the present, i still worry about money. but it is a different problem altogether now. i worry about my retirement years. i worry about my daughter’s future. i worry about dying too early and my insurance is not enough to cover for my family’s need in the next ten years.  i worry about getting ill and wiping out my financial nest trying to get healthy again. i worry about getting old and not being able to bring my family to discover the world.

i worry about these things because they can happen. and that shit about money not being the answer to everything is a poor excuse for people not wanting to address the elephant in the room. tell that to a family who just lost a father and an income source; dealing with death is hard enough on its own to add a financial burden on that. tell that to helpless aging parents who are fully dependent on their married children because they have not prepared for their retirement. tell that to a high school student who could not go to college because the savings fund has been wiped out and replaced with hospital debts due to a parent’s critical illness.

most often than not, i met people who have plans to save for the future and rainy days when they get their present sorted out. but they never got out of living from paycheck to paycheck. there are credit card debts. there is the housing loan. there’s the horrendous tuition fee from that montessori school. there’s the car that breaks down every year.

i worry about those things because life is wonderful and should be spent with people you love doing thing you enjoy. not on extended working hours trying to get that promotion for higher pay in expense of family time. not on little fights about money (specifically, the lack of it) that eventually will put a strain on the relationship.  not about daydreaming on how nice it would have been if you could just splurge on a holiday and not think about the cost.  not about dragging yourself out of your bed every morning to an office doing the kind of work you absolutely hate but could not leave because you have no other financial alternative.

my financial worries do not give me fear because i know how to address them.  how to attain financial freedom is not a closely guarded secret; it is a matter of commitment, humility, and time.  it is not sacrificing the comforts of your present but rather, it is delaying gratification (huge difference there).  it is not a choice between relationships and money; it is knowing your priorities.

this is a journal to my trek to financial freedom. learn with me.

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