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Financial Freedom February 13, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Less IS More, Life Balance.

When I stopped practicing law, many of the attorneys I had worked with over the years expressed a desire to do the same.

Around the same time, an ABA (American Bar Association) survey reported that 70% of all attorneys would quit practicing law the next day . . . IF they had the financial means to do so.

But, by living the American Dream, they had mortgaged their future by spending more than they earned and running up debt that chained them to their desks.

In another stellar book, Simplify Your Work Life ~ Ways to Change the Way You Work So You Have More Time to Live, Elaine St. James addresses this issue in the section on Being More Efficient with Your Money:

Unfortunately, our culture has operated on the belief that the appearance of wealth is more important than actual wealth.  As a result, we have a nation of consumers up to their eyeballs in debt for products and services that make them look great but feel poor. [p. 162]

Most people have bought into the popular cultural conditioning that tells us we’re not successful ~ we haven’t achieved the American Dream ~ unless we live in a big house, drive the latest cars, wear the hottest fashions, and own all the other “necessities” credit card debt can buy.  We’re indoctrinated by television, magazines, movies, billboards, and advertising to believe not only that wealth equals worth but also that by appearing wealthy, we are wealthy. [p. 164]

The fear of what one’s neighbors or family or friends might think often keeps us living beyond our means.  . . . Consider the insanity of allowing your financial decisions to be based on the opinions of someone whose regard for you is ruled by the number of square feet you occupy.  [p. 197]

True wealth has nothing to do with the clothes we wear, the car we drive, or the size of our house.

True wealth means having enough money . . . AND TIME . . . to do the things we love . . . with the people we love.

When we spend all (or more than) we earn . . . we can’t get off the  merry-go-round no matter how dizzy we feel.

If your financials are in a shambles, if you are weighed down by a crushing mountain of debt, if you are too busy “making a living” to have a life . . . consider investing in your future by learning to live within your means.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  One Mistake People MakeTake Charge *  I Need A ThneedYou Better Stop Shopping Around *  Those Alluring Lures * Annie Leonard & The Story of Stuff  * Between The Wish & The Thing *  How I Found The Courage To Quit My Job (Think Simple Now) * Guest Post (My Light Bag)