Eat, sleep, work, repeat… Does this rat race sound familiar? For many, the get-up-and-go-to-work routine this is the only way they know, simply trying to pay the bills and survive.
The result ends up being that you merely work for your money, rather than your money working for you.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged) Many individuals gave up the driver’s seat long ago, in hopes that hard work and dedication to the rat race would result in a better life, more money, and security.
The rat-race routine offers a semblance of comfort. It can feel like effort toward something fulfilling. However, in reality, it is only fabricated stability.
If you aren’t in the driver seat of your financial life, how do you know where you are going or where you will end up?
Does Your Money Work for You, or Do You Work for Your Money?
Anytime the money we work to gain becomes the focus of our every move, decision, hope, and wish, we put money in control and continue to volunteer for the rat race.
Taking control back of your money does not mean having an unlimited amount, as many may assume. While that is helpful, it is an unrealistic approach for the majority of people.
The rat-race approach is to work to pay for the car that we need to get to work, work for the house we need to live in, work for this, we work for that, and yet none of the ‘this’ or ‘that’ equate anything that adds value to our life outside of the ‘necessities.’
According to the 2012 census report, the median American household income is $51,000 a year. After rent, car payments, insurance (all types, health, rental, auto, etc.) standard household bills, food, etc. is there much left?
Ask yourself this: do you have enough to take a vacation? Can you afford a day or two off for an emergency? Do you have enough cash flow should you suddenly lose your job?
If you answer no to even one, then your money is working you and NOT working for YOU. At some point, the stuff you own starts to own you. You may own the car you drive, but the payments that keep you in the proverbial rat race are driving you.
How to Escape the Financial Rat Race
It begins with how you view money. If you only think “never enough,” “too hard to hold onto,” “if only I could save some of it,” then you are out of the driver seat.
If you worry that you don’t have enough money to take a vacation or if you lost your job, more than likely you won’t have enough to retire, or to care for your family.
In the rat race, often the motivation and goals are so focused on the everyday that future planning is difficult to comprehend. However, in order to be in control of your financial life, future planning is pivotal.
Taking Back Control of Your Financial Life
In truth, only YOU can free yourself from the rat race and the financial ties that bind.
How? There are traditional ways: pay yourself first, save every little cent, take out a loan from the bank to consolidate debt. However, there are immediate pitfalls to each of these options.
Paying yourself first from what you make is an excellent idea and should be a habit that we all adopt. However, it becomes too easy to forgo this ritual when financial emergencies come up. Anything that is easy to put off until the ‘next time’ is not stable enough to ensure full financial control.
Saving every extra cent is impossible if you rarely have any extra to save, and it only adds to the frustration of never really being ahead of your financial situation.
Bank loans are a temporary relief disguised by delayed grief. The interest alone can drown you in debt beyond what your monthly bills present.
The best alternative is whole life insurance. Whole life insurance puts you back in the driver seat of your financial life. Here’s how:
Whole life insurance allows you to not only provide for your future, but allows you to live and enjoy your life every day.
When you have cash at the ready, you can take that vacation and fund the things your family needs and wants. You can afford college tuition, to pay for a wedding, and other important life events that carry a hefty price tag.
When emergencies happen and you are able to simultaneously save and plan for your future (the cash value of your whole life policy allows you to handle both) you aren’t robbed of your savings or the last of your money. You have finally taken control of your money and made it work for YOU.
Stop running the rat race of obligatory routine that never goes anywhere. End the rat race, climb out of the back-seat, and get comfortable in the driver’s seat of your financial life. Schedule a free consultation with a Wealth Strategist today.