The Pondering Coconut
Browsing Category

Finance

How I became debt-free

By May 25, 2016 Finance, Something to ponder

Over the years, I had accumulated a large amount of debt and it always felt like a huge weight was around my neck pulling me down… that is right up until yesterday when I became debt free!!ūüéČ

Prior to this personal milestone, I would pay  down debt but build it back up faster than I was making repayments, justifying each purchase, subscription, contract or contribution to whatever initiative, as an investment into a better life. This lasted for 10 years!

I was wrong, the initial amount of happiness that came with each purchase eventually faded away and was overshadowed by the psychological burden of debt that outlasted my so-called investments.

Obviously, what I had done was rebrand my spending behaviour as investing, but there was no financial return from any of it. I tried to convince myself that the emotional return of these purchases was just as valid as a financial one. However, the emotional outcomes soon turned from positive to negative as it became apparent that without any intervention my debt would soon exceed my income. The stress of my financial predicament had a negative impact on my demeanour and my relationships as a father, husband, and friend

Upon that realisation, I ¬†started to seriously¬†buckle down and identify the causes of my spending behaviour. It’s not like I didn’t know, I knew the cause and I was ignoring what my better judgment was signalling out loud for me to avoid.¬†So one day I just started to listen to that inner voice and do.

I have long held onto a goal of becoming financially free to be able to spend more time raising my family and to pursue my personal passions, but my behaviour had been suggesting otherwise. So I asked myself “what do I¬†want more? to be financially free or to be appeased temporarily with the accumulation of tech gadgets, clothing, travel, eating out and careless spending?”

I answered this question and began a quest of lining up my behaviour with the goal of becoming financially free and began pruning undesirable quirks.

I resisted the tech calling me as I browsed about department stores during my lunch breaks. This lunchtime activity was soon replaced by running and reading, an actual investment that cost me nothing financially, but added more to me than any consumer purchase ever had.

Tracking my finances regularly became a beneficial habit and as each debt diminished I felt mentally lighter as well as physically due to the adopted changes.

There is evidence that debt is associated with adverse psychological health and going by my personal experience I can vouch for that, my behaviour towards spending and debt affected my relationships with the people I cared for most.

It’s been a long journey and it has taken me a little over 2 years to be debt-free. When I woke up today that weight that had been around my neck and on my mind for 10 years was no longer there. I finally feel like I have arrived at the starting line, I can now begin.

Although I am still a long way off of achieving financial freedom I am most definitely much closer to achieving that goal today than I have ever been.

 

 

You Might Also Like

Where does your treasure lie?

By May 3, 2016 Finance, Fitness, Health and Wellness, Something to ponder
IMG_4914[1]

How much time and money do you spend or invest¬†on your health?¬†I shouldn’t¬†expect a return on anything that I have not invested anything in, right? Well, your bank or credit card statements are good places to start looking if your wanting see what you are actually investing in. Your social media behavior;¬†Twitter news feeds, Facebook likes and friends¬†are also good indicators of the amount and types of content you allow to take up space in your mind, is that content conducive to a healthier you?

Start by identifying the transactions in your financial accounts¬†that¬†appear as though they would be beneficial to your physical or mental health.¬†¬†If you¬†find the names of¬†takeaways, bakery’s, bottle stores or caf√©s¬†appearing more¬†frequently than say health supplements, fresh produce,¬†fitness equipment, gym fees or training gears, it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t be expecting a positive return on your health.

Social media can exert varying degrees of influence¬†on our daily lives via images,¬†news, memes and advertising, so it is important that the content you consume¬†is conducive to improving your physical and mental health. The benefits of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter is that you can regulate some of the information that you read everyday and intern you are able to regulate the company you keep in cyberspace.¬†There is a saying that goes a little something like this¬†“You become the average of the six people that you spend the most time with”¬†Do a quick inventory of the¬†social media accounts that you follow and the friends that you connect with, what or who¬†is taking up the space in your mind? are they a reflection of the goals you are wanting to achieve. Are you liking and viewing images that contradicts the lifestyle you want.¬†Purge that which has nothing to do with adding to you physical and psychological wellbeing. Connect and follow only friends or¬†accounts that are relevant to what you are wanting to achieve. This purge¬†not only applies to cyberspace but also the real-world.Sometimes a branch¬†that produces¬†nothing needs¬†to be pruned in order to promote growth and higher yields on a branch that is productive.

So follow the trail¬†of money and your social media behaviour should reveal what is important to you.¬†“For where your treasure is, there your heart is also” – Matthew 6:21. Make the recommended adjustments to your financial statements and social media¬†consumption, and it will be reflected in¬†your physical and physiological appearance.

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Like

“what can be above a man who is above fortune?”

By April 24, 2016 Finance, Recommended Books, Something to ponder

Every letter and word that I write on this site represent the first units of time to be dedicated to myself, not for somebody else. Before now I had exchanged unknowingly my most precious asset; in exchange for this asset I have received a pittance of its worth.

The little I receive has quickly left my hands and intern a desire has grown to have them full again with this phantom-like substance that seems to be vanishing faster than my ability to acquire it. I have been occupied with the exchange of this asset and in doing so let my mind become full with another person’s ambition.

The asset I speak of obviously is ‚Äútime‚ÄĚ. When caught in the business of trading your time for money¬† you become preoccupied with that business, you are left with less time to be occupied with the pursuit of your own ambitions. This is an old tale that has perpetuated itself into the present with people choosing to trade their time for money via a job; allowing another to purchase the majority of real estate in their minds, left with the little that remains.

So occupied have we become working someone else’s ambition that we have failed to recognize the conflict here. What is your life worth to let another’s become your occupation? Do we place only little value on the worth of our lives that we let fritter away our must precious asset? If it is not new then someone must have figured out the dilemma in this exchange?

In fact, people have figured out this dilemma many lifetimes before ours . What is perplexing is that we live in an age where we have near unlimited access to this wisdom, yet many of us are still trying to figure it out? It’s hard to ‚ÄĚ figure it out‚ÄĚ when the majority of our time is not concerned with our own business.

‚Äú‚Ķno activity can be successfully pursued by an individual who is preoccupied‚Ķ-since the mind when distracted absorbs nothing deeply, but rejects everything which is, so to speak crammed into it‚ÄĚ. ‚Äď Seneca.

It was apparent back in ancient Rome and probably many lifetimes before then, yet the condition persists today. Why? because we are not minding our own business, we have sold off our time; our minds; and with the little that is left we squander it on another person’s business by way of consumerism.

I have realized that my consumer behavior perpetuates a cycle of poverty; an appetite for wanting more than I need to live. What I need to do is expand the little space I have occupied for my own ambitions, taking back space in my mind that I have ignorantly sold off to employers and retailers.  My want for more than I need and what I have, places fortune above what is most important and that is to be concerned with the business of living life fulfilling my own dreams and ambitions. Not enough of us are making our dreams and ambitions our  main priority.

“For what can be above a man who is above fortune?” – Seneca

Link:

On the Shortness of Life: Seneca 

 

You Might Also Like