Money Mindset | Mental Health

If I had known what I know now…

Do you ever hear or read about someone who already accomplished what you are trying to do and think to yourself “If I had known what I know now, I’d be there already”?

I was having a conversation with a friend about this the other day and thought I’d share.

I know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, etc. They say you should focus on your own journey, but I am human and I cannot help to think about it. I won’t pretend I don’t feel jealousy or regret because I do. Again, I am human.

The whole point of learning from others is to compare your situation and see whether it would make sense to apply what others have done.

There is nothing I can do to change the past and I am now in control of my present and future and that is what matters today. I get that.

However, what about our younger generations? I see them falling into the same trap, continuing the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, not saving, not investing and just hustling away indefinitely. The thought that my siblings will look back one day and feel the same way I feel today worries me.

I want my siblings and younger family members to be better than me. They already look up to me because they see me as someone “successful”. However, my “success” is not what I want for them. I mean, if I had to do it all again, I would do things differently.

I could tell them what to do, but would they listen?

The problem is that there is no replacement for firsthand experience. My actions today are a result of my experiences. I fucked up financially and now I am fixing it. The only reason I know to fix it is because I experienced the pain and then I searched for a solution.

I don’t have older siblings, but I have a feeling that I probably wouldn’t have listened to them if they came to me talking about “you have to save”. My motto is lead by example. All I can do is let them know there are options and it’s up to them to make the decision.

More often than not, we are not even aware that we are a financial mess. We live in a world where being financially okay is represented by what you own or where you live. If you own a home, you made it. If you own a nice car, you’ve made it. If you have a good paying job, you are set. Yet, you still have to continue working until you are 65 so that you can maintain the “great life”.

Before I started my financial “rehab” journey, I checked all the boxes: ✅ Good Job ✅ College Degree ✅ Homeowner Boom! Set for life… nope 👎

Back when I was in my 20s, no one told me I could retire early without coming up with a multi million dollar idea. It seemed impossible, so YOLO.

If I knew I could potentially become a millionaire by just living below my means and investing, I probably would have done it or at least tried. I feel like nowadays we are more exposed to this knowledge, but still not enough.

Investing and saving always seems optional. Whatever is leftover goes to savings/investing. Instead of making savings and investing part of the required expenses and then whatever is left is “fun” money or discretionary spending.

Think about it, we do whatever it takes to pay rent or mortgage. If we viewed investing the same way we view our rent bill, imagine what we could accomplish?

Even as I write this, I can’t help to wonder what my life would be like had I started early.

I can’t change my past, but I would like to be able to help change someone’s future.

I share my journey with hopes that I can inspire my younger and future generations to start early.

Don’t care what I have to say? That’s okay. Thankfully, I am not alone on this one! You can listen these podcasts where hundreds of other people share their financial independence journey.

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