The year is coming to an end. Some of you may receive a year-end bonus for a job well done. How are you going to spend your money? My advice is to buy your freedom.
Most of us live in a self-made prison. The prison door is unlocked, but we cannot leave. I am a typical case of SITCOM – Single Income Two Children and Oppressive Mortage. We have volunteered to put ourselves in prison in the name of family.
We are holding to a job that we dislike just because it pays the bill.
It does not have to be like this. The prison door is unlocked; there is no correctional officer. We can leave anytime. The outside world is scary, but it has wonders and dangers. I know I am too afraid to leave the prison.
Are you willing to rot in your prison cell while wondering about the world has to offer? The employer would want you to stay because you are eager to exchange five days of slavery for two days of fake freedom. When you are old and desperate, you receive your walking papers because your presence is not aligned with the company direction anymore.
I refuse to live my life in an unlock prison. I want to buy my freedom. Do not buy things. Buy freedom.
It is not easy. We are doing something that is outside the prevailing beliefs. Other prisoners, including your loved ones, will tell you it is a bad idea. They inform you that they love you, and you should not expose yourself to such risk. Please stay inside the prison, at least you are sheltered from the weather.
Hold their hands. Look straight into their eyes. Tell them that you will buy your freedom and you will show them how.
Invest in yourself. The investment that offers the best return is investing in yourself. I am a book lover. I would give up a meal or a piece of new clothing for a book that I think will change my life. Not all books are 100% useful. If one sentence inside a book can change my life, I think it is money well spent. Give yourself the gift of knowledge. Knowledge will change how you see the world and how you work. If you are feeling trapped in your work, education can help you to escape.
Cut back on buying material goods. I am not asking you to live like a monk. Instead, I am asking you to cut back on expenses that you do not need. If you enjoy an exotic meal over other materials goods, you should aggressively cut back on other materials goods and splurge on exotic meals. You will appreciate the experience of a good meal more than other things. There is no shame in admitting you enjoy something or experience that speak to you. The important thing is, you must know what you want and cut back on what you do not need. Freedom is not about having all the options. It is about choosing what you want.
I try not to spend money on things that I do not need. If I am buying something, for example, a piece of clothing. I make a point to throw or donate one clothing to make way for the new garment. This behaviour forces me to think deeper before I make any spontaneous purchase. Materialy speaking, we are living far healthier and wealthier than our grandparents. We do not need anything more to survive.
You buy your freedom by buying fewer things.
Volunteer your time for a useful cause. Spent one hour a week by helping out at any religious centre or community hall. These places always need excellent talents, such as you to help out. It is a perfect opportunity to practice your skill such as communication, coordination, budgeting and even cooking. You gain credibility through volunteering. You also make friends that will last a lifetime. When the time is right, opportunities will appear by itself. Sometimes freedom is not bought with money but with time and effort.
I have volunteered in feeding the homeless. No matter how difficult or frustrated I feel about my life or at my job, after each event, I go home and sleep like a baby. I did not change the world, but I know someone is not sleeping with an empty stomach. Having the ability to sleep well is freedom.
Manage your money wisely. When you receive a paycheck, immediately pay yourself. It is not by spending the money. It is by automatically putting the money into an account that you do not usually access. The cash is untouchable. It could be for your children education or your first house. You may think that the money you saved is insignificant. It is tempting to buy something or go on holiday. No matter how little amount, you should keep the money. Your money will grow over time.
You can use the money for investment to generate passive income. With a passive income, you will have a lower dependency on your regular paycheck. With that, you have more options with your career choices, and you may choose to walk away from a job that you dislike.
A millionaire in the United States on average has about seven different sources of income. You have worked hard for the money. It is time for the money to work hard for you.
The price of freedom is not low. You will encounter setbacks. It is tempting to give up and remain in prison. Stay in the job that you hate; at least it helps to pay the bill. Is this the life that you want?
You have to dig deep. Plan your escape and take action. Life is never meant to be easy. You will suffer, and you will cry. It is the journey to buy back your freedom and break out from your self-made prison is life-defining. I do not guarantee happiness when you finally escaped the self-made prison. What I can guarantee is a life that is more fulfilling than a nine to five hamster wheel grind.