episode 42 financial independence

financial independence… is it a mindset or for real for real?

we’re talking about MONEY, my favorite topic because maybe if i talk about it enough, some will finally appear.

hello hello familia of mine. i am somehow still alive, still navigating my way through this new post-apocalyptic world we’re living in. i’m constantly coming up with new episode ideas, but that’s the issue with my manic brain, i jump deep deep deep into things weeks at a time, then get distracted or discouraged and drop them for something new.
these days, i find myself caught in this weird limbo with this podcast and my follower base. 
i began this project as a means of self-reflection, and over time, my audience grew slowly but surely. they all seem to enjoy the same qualities – the authenticity, the rawness, the realness. people gravitated toward this broken shell of a woman, maybe saw themselves in me, or maybe they just wanted to root for the underdog in a cage match between mankind and undertaker.
but of course, this podcast evolved into van life related topics and i felt like i was abandoning my old listeners. and then new listeners popped up because they thought they were listening to a podcast about van life, but really all they’re hearing is some girl complaining about how she’s a wino.
so which is it? is this a van life podcast or a crazy person podcast?
a little from column a, a little from column b.
the truth is i have a lot of interests. my first love is music, so of course it makes sense i sometimes make music and that i have a radio station that also plays this podcast and also tons of awesome new music i promise you won’t hear on any other station. 
i love self-education in ALL avenues. i love technology, music, and i love love love sharing what i’ve learned with people.
it was my mom’s biggest pet peeve when i was growing up. as soon as i’d get home from school, “mommy mommy did you know that tornadoes are formed because…?”
i can still see my mom’s eyes glazing over as i say this.
but that’s why i try to keep everything as short as possible. i don’t know how some of you can listen to someone talk about one topic for 2 hours. it’s like being in a classroom lecture.
i love to learn, but damn, can i please learn in small increments so i can absorb what’s going on?
in conclusion, this podcast is for anyone. i tell you the topic in the episode title so you’re always welcome to gloss over it, i’m not gonna be mad about it.
i’ll probably be more mad if you decided to drop me a note about how much you disliked that episode.
people are diverse creatures. i’m not gonna pigeonhole this podcast OR any of you because the purpose of this podcast is to grow as a human, and my van was a product of this purpose.
with that being said, we’re gonna talk about financial independence.
i don’t like to talk about money because i don’t make a lot of it, but the truth is, money can buy security, experiences, opportunities that you might not otherwise have.
and that’s why i live in my van.
a majority of us are stuck in this rat race. you have to work to make money because you need money to buy transportation, food, a home, clothes, and all types of shit that you never asked to pay for.
banks who finance your home and car benefit from the interest YOU pay and you have no choice.
credit card companies put their hand out each month asking for extra money you have to ultimately pay in order to not fuck up your life.
none of these are one time payments. these are oftentimes lifetime commitments. 
and believe me, five years feels like a lifetime for those of us who are not sitting on stockpiles of cash.
when people talk about “financial independence,” it usually sounds like a pitch for a course or “business opportunity” someone is trying to sell you.
but the truth is, financial independence is attainable, no matter what the powers that be try to tell you. 
there are 3 things you need to make your way to financial independence – very simple.
you need money, resources. you need skills. and you need people and connections.
getting money is easy. most people have a job. but that’s also where most people stop. the other part of having money is minimizing your living expenses.
there’s a very simple formula for getting money slowly. money earned minus money spent equals money saved.
so the ultimate goal is to create a larger gap between the money you earn on, let’s say, a monthly basis versus money you have to spend on financial obligations. 
these obligations are usually home and car expenses, debt, food, anything that is required to keep you safe and alive. sustenance, shelter, etc.
if you earn 2 grand a month, and your monthly expenses equate to 2 grand, you will NEVER put any money aside.
so what, you’re supposed to get a second job?
hell no. i would never advocate for trading more time for money. we don’t have a lot of time. most of us already trade our time for money, and we honestly can’t afford to lose any more time. this is why we’re stuck in the rat race. this is where they want us.
i can talk to you all about having multiple streams of income, but that would be a completely different episode. let’s just say you’ve already done that.
if you’ve made as much money as you can, then you need to minimize your expenses.
when i say that, i mean beyond cutting the obvious things like cable and porn. you’re gonna need to really dig deep and see where all of your money is going.
this is why i use mint to keep track of all of my incoming and outgoing funds.
using mint, i could see i was spending way too much money on fast food, buying things i didnt need like shirts and drugs and hookers, all kinds of scandalous shit. 
once i got a grasp on my expenses, i was sure to put every spare dollar toward my debts.
if you have debts, you should be paying these off BEFORE you are putting any money into savings.
i’m not saying don’t have a savings account. i’m just saying don’t pour every extra dollar into it mainly because it doesn’t make any basic mathematical sense.
think about it a second. say you’re saving $200 a month in a high interest savings account. at best, your interest rate is 2% apr. this may net you several pennies per month.
now think about your $200 credit card balance. what do you think the interest is on that? you know damn well it’s more than several pennies.
so cut your expenses where you can, growing your income as much as you can, wiiiiidening that gap between the two.
and if you have high interest debts, tackle that FIRST.
the second part is having skills. you need skills to create value in yourself, to improve your quality of life, to problem-solve when it’s necessary.
this doesn’t just mean learn a trade like carpentry, though this would be an excellent skill to have.
you need to build skills that will help you evolve with the changes, roll with the punches. you need to find opportunity where you can fill a gap by teaching yourself how to do something.
this can be social skills, public speaking, learning how build a website, becoming emotionally intelligent, self-awareness.
once you are honest with yourself about your shortcomings, you’ll know exactly what skills you need to build. find out what’s holding you back and learn everything you possibly can about it.
there are billions of people in the world, and you’d be surprised what percentage of them are incapable of solving basic issues. the more you know, the more you thrive. building your skills is going to put you miles ahead of everyone else in the game.
lastly, you need people. i know, i know. i hear you introverts groaning about how you don’t need people.
“whaaaat? what people? i’m gonna live in my cabin in the woods isolated from the world.”
first of all, stop stealing my ideas.
secondly, yes. you need people. you can still have your cabin in isolation, but you’re not going to get your cabin if you don’t learn to network with people who have similar life goals to yours.
idk about you, but i wanna hang out with people who are at least somehow ambitious like myself. i don’t wanna hang out with no scrubs.
i wanna be around people who are doing it. i wanna be around people who push me to be as good as they are at something.
i wanna be around funny people. i wanna be around smart people, people who know money, people who travel, but honestly, most of all, funny smart people.
not too smart. and not more funny than me. 
but you will need people eventually. you can’t teach yourself everything, and you shouldn’t have to pay in money for all of your shortcomings.
because if you have limited skills and limited funds, you’ll need to rely on people more than ever.
but they are necessary. sorry, introverts. i guess we need to teach ourselves how to make like-minded friends, huh?
aight y’all that’s it for today. listen to this podcast on ramblinvanradio.com alongside awesome awesome music curated by myself. 
rate and subscribe, prove your love for me. otherwise, i don’t believe you.

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