Stranger Things In Finance

Why do we end up making the same mistakes with our finances? Too often we start with good intentions and end up unsatisfied when it comes to money. What if we changed the way we think about finances and our careers. In America we are trained to learn, earn, and then burn! Put in another way we are taught that a high paying career is the way to freedom, once this is reached we can sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. What isn’t discussed is that there is another way to live, this life style does not match the social norm but in the end, does it matter?

Be Strange With Your Money

If you feel normal with your finances I guarantee you are doing something wrong. Never have I talked to someone who is self-made by being normal, this is a fact of life. If you do what everyone around you is doing you will end up like those people, how could you expect anything different? It takes being extreme in life to break out of the averages, why would money be any different? You must commit today to be strange with your money in a positive way!

Challenging The Status Quo

What if we challenged the normal model of learn, earn and burn. Instead what if we change the paradigm to learn, earn, and invest! Middle class America refuses to listen to this advice. Instead people struggle through the week, live for the weekend, and find someone to blame come Monday for their problems. Success is not given or easy, but it can be earned if you want it bad enough. Everyone is tired when they get home from their 9-5 yet we all have the freedom to pursue more, don’t take this for granted.

Be Weird

If you do the same thing that your neighbor, cousin, or teacher did there is a high probability you will end up like them. If these people are who you idolize then by all means, follow their lead! However, if you are seeking more in life accept the fact that you will have to work harder and smarter to improve your situation. No one is responsible for your life but you, stop finding people to blame and take responsibility in your finances and career!

What Are Your Thoughts?

  1. Do you think being normal with your finances works?
  2. Why do so many people follow the traditional model?
  3. What are you doing to break away from the status quo?

Spread The Wealth!

20 Comments on “Stranger Things In Finance”

  1. I haven’t seen Stranger Things but I hear it’s all the rage. I can’t do scary shows or else I can’t sleep!

    I agree though- a lot of people want to blame others for their situation but success really equals following through with your goals and being accountable to them.

  2. Not sure why as a young adult I was in the burn mode. But sometime in my 30’s, I changed and just didn’t have as much interest in purchasing more stuff with my money. Perhaps it’s all the advertisements we are subjected to as children. When I was younger, I felt more peer pressure to keep up with my friends, siblings, etc. in all the stuff they were buying. Now I could care less that my neighbor drives a new luxury car and I drive a 10 year old Camry. I guess we are all wired a little different. Have a great weekend Mr. Millennial! Tom

    1. For the most part I think when you are young that just seems “normal”. You feel like you work hard for a reason and then when you get paid you use the money to go enjoy yourself. Then over time you start to realize that if you try to physically work for every dollar you make and never invest you have to work harder and harder as life becomes more expensive. Eventually you are either forced to change because responsibilities grow or you have some foresight and make the shift early. Thanks for commenting Tom.

  3. Interesting post. On your questions:

    1. Do you think being normal with your finances works?

    – This might depend on one’s respective definition of “normal”. If defined as how you described it (“learn, earn, and burn”), then I think this works for most people. It doesn’t work for us. Everyone should consider defining his or her own normal.

    2. Why do so many people follow the traditional model?

    – It’s what people have been trained to do and are comfortable with doing (also see #3).

    3. What are you doing to break away from the status quo?

    – A blog, learning, expanding my income at both my “real” job, and not falling into the normal normal.

    Side note: interested reads to consider by MJ Demarco (I just finished the first and am in the second):

    (a) The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

    (b) UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship

    I don’t agree with everything said in the books, but a number of great points and themes are presented.

    Thanks for the post.
    – Mike

    1. I do think some people do not care at all they live for today and spend each dollar they earn and some might be perfectly happy as long as they can keep earning.

      Good for you on being “strange” and stepping out of the comfort zone to create a different lifestyle for yourself Mike.

      I have actually read The Millionaire Fastlane, I also enjoyed it a lot. I was also not in 100% agreement with everything but that is often the case in these types of books. A lot of great things to take away from it though the number one being entrepreneurship remains the way to earn a big income. He is a true all or nothing entrepreneur which I really respect.

      Let me know what you think of the second one.

  4. I think being “normal” can kind of work, but ultimately fails the vast majority of people. I think if you look at how satisfied we are in our lives, it seems like most people tend to be miserable in their jobs. No matter how folks are doing financially, how could you really say that’s a success?

    But people do it because it’s easy. It’s what our parents did, it’s what their parents did. So it’s what we do….except that the conditions under which our parents and grandparents did it – the days of pensions and things – aren’t our reality today.

    We’re just now starting to realize that we’ve got a choice. And it’s easier than ever to share ways in which we break that ‘normal’ trend and do something different and unique. When we see others enjoying their lives and doing cool stuff, I think that makes people want to replicate that – for better or worse.

    1. Well said Dave. I would agree that if you are not happy with how you spend your time you cannot call your life a success.

      There is a level of comfort with the known and I think that is why so many people end up following in the footsteps of their parents. Nothings wrong with that if it is fulfilling to the individual. I think many people are realizing that they do have a choice and are trying to make changes, or at least you meet more people when you are focused on it as well (like how I met you through the internet)!

      Thanks for sharing.

    1. This is a fact, I think that quote is very true. That is why I think it is important to become a part of an online community like this to find a little motivation when you are going through the motions in your every day life. Also I don’t think it means you can’t hang out with certain people you maybe just have to plan around the expensive events they are partaking in and let them know you are focused on other things in your life right now.

  5. I think a lot of it comes down to income. I know there are exceptions, but generally those who make more have less trouble investing, mainly because they can still “live for the weekend” with $ being diverted towards investments. At the end of the day you have to live within your means and divert those $ to investments.

    1. No doubt about it a bigger income makes investing easier. I think its key to start with good habits in saving in the beginning. Train yourself to live on next to nothing and then as you increase your income reward yourself with more “spending money”. I have learned to enjoy investing much more then consumption of something I won’t remember in a couple months. Thanks for sharing.

  6. True. It all comes down to financial literacy. Teaching Math won’t help you as much as having money smarts. Though, we have a ton of Math classes that the students will likely never use to an extent. If I had learned it in school it would have piqued my interest to learn, research, and see what I could apply to my life early on. Even though I started in my early 20’s to increase the amount of money I made, I could have started in my late teens. It’s never too late though to realize that it’s a powerful concept to let your money work for you.

    1. Thanks for the input FTD. Starting in your early 20’s is pretty amazing though in the big scheme of things. Of course it would be great to get started as a teen but in reality most teens aren’t making much money nor do they have their head on straight. I know that I was pretty immature as a teen!

  7. My thoughts:

    1. Do you think being normal with your finances works?

    No, mostly because being normal anymore is not only being in debt, it’s drowning in so much debt while acquiring even more debt.

    2. Why do so many people follow the traditional model?

    Group think. Plus the thought process of “Everyone’s doing it” and “There’s no escaping it, why even try?” Oh, and people think if they can’t fix the mess their in instantly, they can’t fix it at all. Sometimes things take years to accomplish.

    3. What are you doing to break away from the status quo?

    I ignore the status quo. I look for opportunities, even if that opportunity is small. If I can do something that makes me pennies a day and I have to put very little effort into it, great.

  8. 1. Do you think being normal with your finances works?

    Depends on what you think ‘works’ means, I guess. For most people it seems that paying the bills and purchasing stuff with the remainder is normal. That is not for me, I don’t need much.

    2. Why do so many people follow the traditional model?

    They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang around with the most. To break that cycle usually requires a direct effort. Few people will put forth enough effort for as long as it takes. So basically, normal is easy. Most people will do what is easy over what takes effort.

    3. What are you doing to break away from the status quo?

    I never stop learning about things that interest me, like finance and FIRE.

    1. I agree with all your points Mr. DD. The quest to never stop learning is so important. To many people think that once you get out of traditional school your learning stops, this is the wrong approach. We can all be learning something every day to better ourselves, it is one thing to say and another to actually follow up and do! Happy thanksgiving!

  9. Money is such a taboo topic, that is difficult to compare yourself with others.
    I have many coworkers with nice houses and cars, who spend lots on trips, clothes, and restaurants.
    They must have major or debt and no savings, unless there is some secret income I don’t know about.

    1. Maybe they are pulling a breaking bad scenario? The truth is most people just live right up to their income. Even when you are engaged and trying to do all the right things becoming wealthy is a difficult task and takes time. Most people are not willing to sacrifice whatever it takes.