If you have made it through the first three posts, congratulations! If you didn’t read them, you didn’t miss much.
What is this Wicked Good Life Stuff? It’s a state of mind and a way of living your life that Rowena and I are still figuring out how to share, but we’ve got a ton of knowledge between the two of us and we’re sharing with you the best way we can. Most of our content is and will be framed towards creatives as that is the realm that we play in, but the Wicked Good Life goes far beyond a life that just creatives can and should live.
In an idealistic framed scenario you will retire early from a job that paid you more than you are worth based on the good education experienced or you were born into a wealthy family and you’ve never experienced a day of working a graveyard shift you hate just to scrape by. For the rest of us, we are going to have to put in the work, live frugally and limit the mistakes that we make.
Life is Hard
Each generation deals with new and unique challenges. It also gets razor sharp criticism from the generations that came before them. The world is in an ever-evolving state of flux and the mistakes of the past resonate forward as the problems of today. It’s not a unique situation to hear, “Your generation doesn’t know how good you have it! When I was your age we had to…” Each generation deals with some of the issues of the past while not knowing or understanding the context of how the successes and failures of the past roll forward. They are also saddled with the successes of the past not being attainable for them or those successes of the past no longer being the desired outcome.
The world can be a dark place where all hope seems to get ground into nothing under the wheels of progress and the almighty dollar can take the wheel and drive the car off a cliff at any moment.
Aren’t I a ray of sunshine today?
It can be easy to feel helpless in a world where so many things are negative, which leads to desperation and poor decisions. I’m here to tell you what lots of other people can and should be telling you. It doesn’t have to be. Yes, there are things that you cannot change. Accept that. The past is written, but your future is a world of possibility. So, in a world where anything is possible all you have to do is grab it right? Just go get what it is you want! If you want it, take it.
Those are cliches. Just as much as the self-defeating prophecies we set for ourselves such as I’ll never do anything with my life. I’m a victim of the circumstances of my life. Let’s be honest with each other here. Most people don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions. They don’t want to be held accountable for the mistakes they made in the past, they overemphasize the successes they think they had and they sure as hell don’t want to look to the future as it scares the hell out of them.
It’s easy to make a goal, but when you start working towards that goal things start moving fast, often too fast and it gets scary and real quickly.
You need a plan
While the future is an ocean of possibilities, each choice we make limits the possible futures we may attain. So the best advice is to make well-informed decisions and have a plan and a backup plan. Takes some time to figure out what it is you want in life. It’s easy to toss out, “I want a million dollars!” Great! What’s your plan to create a million dollars in value? How are you going to provide enough value to be compensated a million dollars? If you plan A) is to win the lottery you need a plan B). Plan A) is based entirely on chance which you have no control over. Plan B) needs to be a multi-point destination grounded in smaller attainable rest stops.
Using the million dollar scenario as an example. Your first step in your plan would be to get a complete look at your financial situation. Do you have more money coming in than going out? If you don’t, you’re on the road to bankruptcy, not the road to being a millionaire. It’s not luck that some people have money saved and others go bankrupt. There are a lot of factors for sure. when I was a financial planner I saw a lot of ways people planned to not be able to retire comfortably. You need to start with your first mile-marker being a balanced budget.
No matter what your plans are in life you need a balanced budget. If your budget isn’t balanced, you need to figure out a way to make that happen. We’ll be going into this in a lot deeper detail in coming posts, so don’t look for all the answers right here right now, because there isn’t enough time to cover it all right now. For today we are going to operate under the assumption that you are breaking even. That you actually bring in more money each month than your baseline financial obligations. You’re checking account may still be going down each month, but that is entirely due to your financial irresponsibility placing your wants over needs.
Step one on your path to a million can be as simple as saving $20 a month as a starting point. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but you do need a starting point. I’ll be covering this on a series of posts called your path to a million.