Go Radical and Let This Christmas Change Your Life Permanently

by Kevin on December 13, 2009

Last week I shared how my wife and I are making Christmas radically different this year. In case you missed it: we’re not participating in a consumerist Christmas. We’re not buying each other gifts.

(And we’re not saying that we’re not buying gifts, then surprising each other. We are really not buying anything for each other.) We’ll either save our money or put it toward charity.

In that post I told you to come back later so I could share what the best gift you could ever give is.

Today’s the day. Aren’t you excited to find out what the best gift ever really is?

A Radically Different Kind of Gift

This gift isn’t something new or something shiny.

It isn’t made of plastic, and it isn’t made of wood.

It’s a gift you can give hundreds of times over, and the people that receive the gift can re-gift it guilt-free.

This gift doesn’t cost anything. What could be better than a free gift?

It’s a gift that will change lives permanently.

So, what’s the gift?

Give the Gift of Financial Freedom

Don’t worry! This gift has nothing to do with winning the lottery.

The best gift you can give anyone — yourself, your family, your neighbors, your friends — is to get your own personal finances in order.

Okay, so this doesn’t sound like it really helps anyone but you. And most of you have rolled your eyes, started yawning, and are getting ready to click away to another more entertaining article.

Don’t.

Managing your finances is a critical life skill. Mismanaging your finances can be devastating. Isn’t that worth learning more about?

Why Financial Control is the Best Gift You Can Give

Here’s how having a handle on your finances is a great gift:

Personal Finance Freedom: You will be less stressed out.

Money problems invoke a lot of stress and emotions in our lives. It shows up in our relationships with our spouses, family, friends, and co-workers. We are distracted at work and we’re distracted at dinner with our family.

Stress also keeps us up at night — and that lack of sleep leads to poorer health… which leads to more stress.

There’s no escaping it: the stress of money problems will invade every portion of your life and set up camp until you resolve the issues at hand.

Personal Finance Freedom: You will be less prone to “disaster”.

Everything is a disaster when you’re broke.

If you have $25 in your checking account and the hot water heater dies that is a disaster. Or if the car you use to commute to work needs repair and you don’t have the money. Disaster.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Put a buffer between you and disaster. Budget to spend less than you earn. Then you save some of that extra money in an emergency fund. Two simple steps and you’ve put significant distance between you and disaster.

Personal Finance Freedom: You will be less reliant on your friends and family for money or other assistance.

No one wants to ask Mom and Dad for cash. You hate to be an inconvenience to your roommate by asking for a ride to work for the next week. (And you are probably asking for this help because you didn’t prepare for a disaster of some sort!)

Managing your money correctly will put less stress on these relationships because you won’t be asking for assistance. That’s less awkward silence at Thanksgiving dinner and more time hanging out as friends.

Personal Finance Freedom: You can focus on the rest of life and excel at that.

Putting your finances on the right path — consistent savings, automatic payments, etc. — will let you focus on other things in life.

It’s simple. We all have 24 hours in every day. Additional hours are not available to be added to your clock. (Trust me, I keep asking for more and the clock people never call me back.)

Time is finite, but the things on your mental plate seem infinite. One of the things on your plate is money. Managing that one task better can completely remove it from your daily task list.

You will grow to the point of only needing to check your finances once per week, then once every two weeks, then once per month.

Imagine what you could do with all of that extra time…

Personal Finance Freedom: You can follow your passions.

A classic question: would you work at your current job if you didn’t have to pay bills?

It may sting a little bit, but if we are honest with ourselves I believe many of us would admit we hate our jobs. We would take a different career path if only our finances were taken care of and under control.

That’s huge!

Does any of these sound like you?

  • You’re an artist trapped in the working career of an accountant.
  • You’re an entrepreneur that can’t afford to take the risk of failing.
  • You’re a parent that can’t afford to stay at home.

Powerful stuff. You’re not alone — I’m in the mix, too. I’m a blogger that can’t afford to blog full-time.

How to Radically Change Your Financial Life

Some of you are thinking this is too good to be true. That life will always be like this. That you will always be burdened with debt and never able to get ahead.

This is sadly true for some of you. You won’t take the few simple steps to get across the chasm. You won’t look for the rope bridge leading to the other side. You will willingly be stuck, permanently.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

— Anthony Robbins

I’m going to let that quote sink in for a good bit. I’ll be back later this week to show you how to radically change your financial life for the better.

In the meantime, share your thoughts on this article in a comment below.

(Learn how to subscribe to my blog — it’s free — so you won’t have to remember to come back. My articles will come to you!)

Photo by sociotard

{ 3 trackbacks }

The Online Investing AI Blog » Weekly Wisdom: Tips For A Smart Holiday
December 20, 2009 at 4:15 am
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{ 3 comments }

Wojciech Kulicki December 14, 2009 at 7:14 am

We share your enthusiasm about moving away from consumerism and gift-giving and into actually doing something good for others through charity and other means. I think it’s a worthy goal and a much-better use of everyone’s money.

As to the topic at hand, I think you’ve presented a very interesting point. I think financial freedom has a lot to do with gratitude as well, and the idea of being happy with what we currently have (while finding the right balance of drive and motivation to excel and get ahead).

Something @garyvee said in a recent keynote struck me–we’ve all gotten kind of soft–instead of being happy with a 27″ TV, we think a 52″ is a necessity. I think this perceived “lowering of standards,” which in reality is just a return to sanity, is an important first step in the road to financial freedom. As you rightfully point out, it has enormous long-term benefits.

Kevin December 14, 2009 at 8:38 am

Being satisfied if a big part of not wanting to run out and grab everything off the shelves.

There are so many different angles you take with this. Being satisfied, not having to deal with more stuff (or getting rid of your old stuff!), and wanting your money to do greater good elsewhere.

Thanks for stopping by!

George December 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Great post! I agree 100%. In fact, our goal is for everyone to achieve financial freedom.

Also, great quote by Tony Robbins. He has done a lot to help many people achieve financial freedom.

I think it’s all about deciding what we are committed to. Most people are committed to going to work each day and paying the rent. If we are going to be financially free in the future, we have to commit to making it happen now.

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