Each of us may have different concepts about being financially wealthy. Many Filipinos believe that one can only become rich if they enter show business or politics. Some say having formidable social connections of the elite is a prerequisite. Others claim that with great talent and brains, one can become at par with Manny Pacquiao or Lucio Tan. A few also believe that desperation can push people to acquire riches, the unethical way. Case in point: Janet Lim-Napoles .
Let’s face it. We live in a world where money can dictate our lifestyle. However, there’s a school of thought that considers it as a matter of perception. One can either be contented or displeased with their own wealth. Those who have the lack of it may just be thankful to get up in the morning and be satisfied even with just one pandesal to satiate their hunger. Others, despite their overflowing cash and luxurious properties, may find it hard to seek unadulterated, inner happiness.
On another note, have you ever wondered why some individuals become robbers, thieves or fraudsters? Some of them are driven by desperation. Some of them want to have enough food to serve to their families. Some want to pay their loved one’s surgery or hospital bills.
Half may view it as a blessing. The other half may see it as a curse.
So, how do you view wealth?
Are you satisfied with where you are right now?
Do you want to live comfortably?
Do you want your loved ones to live comfortably as well?
Do you want to retire without having to rely on others for financial support?
Do you want to leave this world in peace knowing you’ve already secured the future of your dependants?
Money is important. It’s an inevitable fact of life. There’s no denying that we need it in order to survive. Although it isn’t the most important thing in life — as Zig Ziglar would put it — it’s reasonably close to oxygen and our other basic needs.
The terms “rich”, “wealthy” and “contented” seem like a paradox. To answer the interrogative title in the affirmative may come across as presumptuous — it may not be believable for some.
The good thing is each of us is capable of attaining FINANCIAL FREEDOM.
In a literal sense, financial freedom isn’t the same as being rich. One person can be financially free even though he earns a mere Php 30,000 a month. The other could be swimming in millions of cash of different currencies right now, yet end up filing for bankruptcy in less than 5 years.
In simple terms, financially free people are those who can afford decent 3 meals in a day. They are those who can pay the bills on time, have growing savings accounts, and have STABLE sources of income without having to work for someone. In fact, they don’t work at an office space for rent in Cebu — they lease them for their OWN businesses. They need not own a luxury vehicle or a flamboyant mansion. They need not spend so much on luxurious items or getaways because they know the value of savings and investment. They don’t have to show off their wealth because deep inside, they’re self-assured of their financial states. Most importantly, they will fully enjoy the fruits of their labour during retirement.
So, how do you know you’re FINANCIALLY FREE?
1. You still have automatic income even when you’ve already resigned or retired.
If you have read the best seller book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, you’ll understand why having a business and investing at the same time is important. Other ways of achieving automatic wealth is through interest on savings and passive income.
2. Your combined savings and income is larger than your expenditures.
The saying “live according to your means” holds true for financially free people. You shouldn’t be sitting on the knife’s edge of your ability to spend.
3. You have a low poverty threshold.
Poverty threshold is a term used to describe the minimum amount of money one needs to enjoy a comfortable life. A low poverty threshold only means that you are contented with a few material conveniences. You can still go through living even with minimum expenditures.
You need to understand though that the steps to financial freedom are excruciating and long. Still, it’s all about mental disposition in the end. True wealth isn’t measured by the number of assets in your SALN, but your ability to support yourself and your dependants until the day you leave this planet.