At the start of the year, many of us were looking forward to what looked like it was going to be a bumper year. The economy was raging. Technology was advancing. And, in general, people’s lives were getting better – at least financially.
But things, as we know, took a turn for the worse. We don’t know precisely how the crisis is going to impact the lives of regular people. But we can guess at the fact that it’s not going to be easy. Who knows when the economy will return or how long it will take to slash the unemployment rate back to January’s levels.
The last few months, however, have gotten people thinking seriously about their finances. Being cooped up inside for long periods has taught a lot of us some valuable lessons, particularly when it comes to financial freedom. We’ve realised that riding the consumer carousel isn’t the route to happiness. Quite the reverse, in fact.
If we were to sum up the lessons that people have collectively learned from this experience, they would comprise the following:
Trading Time For Careers Isn’t Worth It
Careers seem like the ultimate route to success in life. They provide meaning, fulfilment, and resources. But when you peel back the curtain, you see something different: a lot of stress and missed opportunities. People give up a lot for their work, particularly their family lives. And now many people are discovering the real cost. They’re finding out that their marriages aren’t as secure as they thought and that they’ve neglected to get to know their children. They’re also finding out that they have interests outside their careers and that they’re worth pursuing too. Maybe that’s why people aren’t particularly enthused about going back to the office.
Going Into Debt Is A Bad Idea
Going into debt seems so justifiable at the time. But when you realise that shopping isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after weeks of lockdown, you soon see the folly of your ways. Getting into debt, as DTSS U.S. Complete Freedom points out, is a way of trapping into a cycle of servitude. You don’t actually benefit at all when you borrow money from other people to pay for stuff you want right now. Instead, you simply make your life worse by creating new obligations.
Saving Is The Only Way To Become Free
The world is a surprisingly free place for people who have a lot of money in the bank. You can pretty much go anywhere and do anything you like, so long as you have some substantial resources behind you. Unfortunately, many people tie themselves to a kind of wage slavery. Yes – their work is something to do. But if they’re honest with themselves, there’s almost always something else that they would prefer to do with their time.
Saving and investing really is the only way to financial freedom for most people. We’re not all going to become superstar entrepreneurs. For many of us, ordinary life is sufficient. And that’s okay. Long-term savings are the way to go.
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