You are reading this blog. By now you should know 1. How to get what you deserve 2. The impact that your cultural background has on you.
Now, I need my community to prosper. The more we are financially independent the more we will influence our collective future.
With this new section of the blog I want to share my journey towards financial independence. I will bring a unique perspective grounded in my Black culture background.
School forgets to teach financial literacy. TV series glorify a lavish lifestyle. Social media promotes fake happiness. You end up relying on luck to make the right money decisions. That is not a strategy to govern a crucial aspect of your life. I will never advocate obsessing about money. I aim to live my life by this motto “Money is a terrible master, but an amazing servant”
Now I sound financially mature. I am 40 and I have been blessed financially (and in my personal life). I am on track to achieve my financial target in the next 10 years. But it was not always the case. I only started one year ago. I was lucky that my mom instilled in me strong values against credit cards, and debt. So I have been debt free my whole life except for about a total of $100,000 in student loans that I always repaid in less than 3 years. You may think that this is pretty good. What if I told you that one of my colleague with the same salary, saved around $1 million. 4 times more than I. How?
- When his salary increased, he would not raise his lifestyle or spending. Same shared apartment.
- He optimized his life to cut his expenses. He lived in a state with low taxes, with a low cost of living and chose projects far away from home so he would live on professional expenses.
- He invested his money wisely. We never talk specifics, but I can tell you he was not worried during financial crashes.
It is that simple. And that hard at the same time. While he was living a frugal life, I was in London nightclubs from Wednesday night to Saturday night. I spent so much time in nightclubs that they would give me a free membership. No waiting in line, greeted by the club manager. And when I was bored of London nightclubs, my partners in crime would fly to NYC or LA and make it rain. My 30th birthday in Los Angeles was mad. Everything I had seen on TV, I wanted to experience. I Rented an Escalade, 5 stars hotel for my crew and I, table service 5 straight nights in a row. My bachelor party was even crazier. A trip around the world – NYC, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris – over 10 days. You get the gist… It is all good, it was a great ride. Yet, was this “ride” worth $750,000? It is not like I made it rain with 3 quarter of a million-dollar. But $100,000 today, is worth $259,000 in 10 years if you earn 10% every year. Every $1,000 spent on table service, is money that will not work for me in my bank account.
Bottom line. I grew up believing that to be “the man” I needed to spend to show I was getting paid. Meanwhile, real millionaires are frugal, drive inexpensive cars and do not look for external validation.
By the way, the friend I referred to. By now he must be worth about $40 million. How? Well he kept making his money work for him. Even as a millionaire, he still lived in the same apartment, for a long time would not own a car, and he would book his vacation last minute and stay at hotels offering big discounts on the day. Wealth is a mindset. if you are broke but have a millionaire mindset, you will become financially independent. If you are rich but have the mindset of a Floyd Mayweather, you will eventually be broke. This section of the blog is to nurture your millionaire mindset.