How absurd this is, I thought when I sat down with my laptop and started writing this first article of mine for under30finance.com, to write about finance simultaneously as I knock the door of my bank account and all I get back is the hallow sound of emptiness.
I read over a couple of articles about savings, debts and money management to get the right feeling. I agreed with them, and not only did I agree with them in general but I also had followed all “the rules”. I did the savings. I never have been in debt. I manage my money, and have always done so, and as the excel-freak I am I do have a financial plan.
But how come then that I don’t have any money at the moment? How come that I don’t worry about it? And how come that I’m writing about it?
Time Value of… Everything?
The truth lies in the definition of the word finance according to Wikipedia: “A key point in finance, which affects decisions, is the time value of money, which states that a unit of currency today is worth more than the same unit of currency tomorrow.”
The same applies to all other kinds of values, such as experience, education and health. It’s called investment. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today already!
Just as for the 100$ you pay for today you pay 105$ in a year with 5% interest, you will be worse off by not going out running today because you will have a lot harder time getting your ass of that couch in a year. Or if not writing down the notes immediately in the classroom you will have a hard time keeping up with all the material at the end of the term.
And what about that dream of yours that you always tossed on the shelf because now was not the right time? Where lies the value in it couple of years later when you are done with all the things you told yourself that you had to finish before chasing your dreams?
Just Do It
It’s now 2.5 years since I took the first step. The first step was a small step but still so big. It was about changing the mindset, and that mindset created freedom. It’s roughly 1.5 years since I used that mindset to reject a great job offer, and good salary, to follow my heart and go for my dream. And it’s only 7 months since I got rid of all material belongings to prove upon my belief that impossible is nothing as long as you put your mind to it and give all you got to make it happen.
During those 7 months I have experienced more than I thought was possible to experience in 7 months. I biked alone through 9 European countries in 120 days, met over 100 random people who explained to me why they do what they do, paid 18$ for accommodations during the whole journey, got robbed, slept on mountain tops in the French Alps, fell in love, ran spontaneously a half-marathon and gathered resources for the tech-startup I’m now building.
I could continue but my point is following: There is always a way and money, or the lack of it, is never an issue because, as Paulo Coelho wrote so beautifully in his book The Alcehemist, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
..but it’s not given
It doesn’t though mean that you can be a slacker. It requires a whole lot of discipline and sacrifices (but then again it’s a matter of priority) to get where you want to go, and to be bold enough to make the decision to jump out of your financial secure comfort zone is not easy at all.
So if you are young, a student or a young professional, and you have a dream that you want to realize I would advice following:
Know what you want and what you are willing to skip to enable you to reach your goal financially. By doing so you can save plenty of money over time. Simple yes, but effective.
Buy only what you afford –and be free
Don’t buy stuff with a VISA card (unless it’s pre-paid) or take a loan for material things. By really owning your stuff you are free to make spontaneous actions when the opportunity comes.
Use today’s technology to be informed about your possibilities. There are plenty of ways to do things cheaper, such as going to a dentist for only 30% of the regular price via Groupon, volunteer to get a free ticket to the show/event you want to go to or keep your eyes open for special offers via social media. The ways of creating financial opportunities online today (you know of crowd funding? And now the equity crowd funding?) are increasing day by day and by staying informed you are increasing your possibilities big time!
Do what you love
Why? Because passionate people always do more than they are paid for. Passionate people always find ways to tackle the obstacles they meet to reach dreams. Passionate people are confident, because they are good at what they do; because they won’t get tired of trying and experiencing within their field –and that’s why I, and so many other entrepreneurs I know, go through times with an empty bank account but still call themselves successful and more importantly: Happy.
Kristín Grímsdóttir, an Icelandic entrepreneur and adventurer based in Sweden, is the founder of Possunt, a newly founded tech start-up focusing on “they can who think they can” and the Community Manager of Young Entrepreneurs of Sweden. She recently gave up all material belonging and biked alone through Europe with the mission to meet 100 random people, learn about their why’s in life and gather resources for her start-up. Follow Kristín on twitter via @kristingrims or connect via LinkedIn
Category: Money Basics