For some reason, my journey in life has been a fairly frugal one.
I have consistently earned lower than the national average, occasionally scraping it, but never breaking through it. I cast my mind back and wonder if it’s always been this way? Have I always been so broke and lacking in prospects?
Ok, that’s a fairly harsh judgement of myself, lacking in prospects, but it certainly feels like I’ve been grinding away for an eternity now. I didn’t use to worry about my future, but I’m over 40 and haven’t got much in the way of backup.
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In fact, even my technology situation is looking a little rough. While I favour Apple products (taste is important! and probably saving my ass from stuff straight up dying on me) I’ve become quite adept at replacing batteries. My laptop is a MacBook Air and will turn 7 this year. My iPhone 6 will be 6 years old soon, and I think my iPad mini is from 2013.
If any of this gear outright dies I’ll be in a difficult situation to replace it. I depend on my laptop for my teaching work and writng, my phone for staying in touch with people, taking photos and doom scrolling. My iPad has all of my digital books on it and still manages to play Spotify and Youtube. (Update: Youtube is complaining about needing an update, but it’s as up-to-date as it’s ever gonna be!)
Of course, over the years I’ve also been reading books about my plight and trying to change my programming. I read ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill, I’ve been thinking, but I haven’t grown rich yet.
I got interested in NLP, Neurolinguistic programming, back around the early 2000s, and while the concept of reprogramming your brain using language is an exciting and compelling one, it doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on my actual bank balance.
Similarly, I read a book called ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth’ by T. Harv Eker
I understood my Money Blueprints, but I couldn’t seem to overcome them. I understand that it’s all about your early childhood imprinting and I’ve done my explorations and affirmations, but I’m not a millionaire yet, and neither is my mind!
My brother, on the other hand, seems to be doing just fine, back in New Zealand, running his own company and having bought his third property. I’m sure the bank still owns most of the houses, but he’s still three ahead of me.
My Dad recommended some old books by a guy called Wallace D. Wattles, apparently, Rhonda Byrne of The Secret (you have to whisper when you read The Secret) basically ripped him off when she wrote her book. I tried to read the Wattles books and found them hard to get to grips with, being written in the late 1800s or early 1900s. But the upshot was that it’s all in your mind. Still didn’t help!
I’ve got a number of other books that I haven’t had time to read yet, but one of the most valuable books I have read was called ‘Overcoming Underearning’ by Barbara Stanny. This one was mostly written for women, but I got over the female pronoun and found out that under earning is strongly linked to self-worth. I didn’t think I had an issue with self-worth, but if I’m earning as low as I am so consistently then I guess that I do.
I didn’t expect this post to go quite this way. I thought that I was going to write about my fledgeling forrays into investing and cryptocurrency. But I guess that will be in the next post. However, from the Stanny book, I did realise that I’ve only got myself to hold accountable for my financial success or failure. That if I can’t retire, I’ve only got myself to blame. And another thing I learned from her book, that I think we can all manage, is that if you invest an average of 50 cents per day (so $15 per month) in 20 years that will be worth $1,000,000.
Two caveats on that though. The first; I need to check that I remember and quoted this correctly.
The second; I haven’t done the maths myself! But I understand this is based on compounding interest rather than stock market speculation.
There have been a few other steps on the path. The most recent two have been joining something called ‘My Million Dollar Experiment’ with a lady called Joanna Walker. This is a year-long abundance and consciousness experiment where Joanna is taking a group of (mostly) women on a journey to see how many people can earn, make, manifest $1000,000. My wife and I joined up on a whim. And I figure that if I can simply double my income a few times then that’s still pretty good.
Joanna is pretty woo-woo, but she prides herself on it. She isn’t about the hustle, but she’s not afraid of talking about the courses she has on offer.
On the other hand, my wife got me listening to a free Mind Valley Abundance workshop just a week or so ago. I find the founder, Vishen Lakhiani, a bit too sales-y for my taste. And true to form, right in the middle of the meditation at the end of the online workshop, the lady running the session does a big upsell.
How do you write the sound of a needle being pulled across a record?
That’s what it did to both myself and my wife’s intention to go any further on that course, or any other, with Mind Valley.
Now of course this could be seen in a couple of ways. That I am not serious about overcoming my financial blocks and barriers. Or that it was a dick-move in the middle of what should be a sacred moment. I’ll let you decide. I unsubscribed from their mailing list, and did the same for my wife.
Next time I’ll share my baby-steps in trying to build my nest egg. Or maybe how I decided that become an unpaid writer was actually my road to riches!
Go here for the other articles in this series.
The next part of My Under Earning Journey – is coming soon!
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