Find Your Financial Freedom Inspiration

This past Easter Sunday at church it was so crowded half the people had to stand.  You had your holiday attendees, those who only attend church out of guilt on a major holiday.  Then there is the  devoted church goers who live their lives as close to the church as possible.   For the truly inspired this way of life is fairly easy, they won’t allow any outside influences to affect their behavior. For many church is a matter of convenience, for the inspired there will always be time.

This post isn’t about religion, instead it’s about the similarities between the lifestyle choices we make and how we handle our money.  Building wealth isn’t hard, spend less than you earn, avoid bad debt and invest the rest.  Our consumption and YOLO society  is the biggest reason why millions struggle to follow that concept.  When I struggle with wanting to buy into a nice condo building or having fancy things I often remember my inspirations, the main reason why I want to achieve true financial freedom.

Two events has shaped my inspiration for financial freedom.  The latest was in 2008 at the height of the recession when I was working 70+ grueling hours.  Employers had the upper hand, at a meeting a top executive at our company showed us the unemployment headlines.  He declared that we should be grateful that we had a job so we shouldn’t complain about the amount of work we had to do.  That moment reinforced the need that you can’t rely solely on your job for income.  In a company you’re beholden to performance reviews and the whims of your boss.

My other inspiration is my desire to pay off my first rental so that my mother can live in her dream home.  In Asian countries the wealthy and powerful owned homes and businesses.  Asians value home ownership as opposed to European countries where most people rent.  When I was in the Bay Area I went into a partnership with her to purchase that first property.  Owning property was important, it was a symbol of what she had to overcome.  Having her home and wealth seized by communists, leaving her country to be poor in another country.  She’s never made more than 30K, when we didn’t have a car for two years I used to hate Wednesdays.  Wednesdays was when the sale coupons would come out in the newspapers.  My mom was like the coupon whisperer, she knew where all the sales where.  We would catch the bus to two or three grocery stores (based on what sales they had) and lug those grocery bags all over town.  Thankfully within two years we were able to get a car. It’s ironic that I was embarrassed to be poor when I was young, today I wear that with a badge of honor.

In Hawaii with the high cost of housing many families will never be able to own. The ones that live in the expensive areas on a teacher’s salary is able to do so because a grandparent in their family bought a home a long time ago and passed it down.  (Think of the movie the Descendants with George Clooney).  Having a paid off home will allow her to leave a legacy to provide a home for future generations.  In order to pay this off in 8 years or less I’m paying extra towards the principle (the rental income covers the costs).  Once paid off she’ll live there for the rest of her life.

In order to afford paying extra and ensure I don’t over leverage in other investments I need to have my shit together.  Every invested dollar is another step closer to funding all my financial independence desires.  I will never truly understand her sacrifices, but I can pay her back by funding her dreams.

For some the inspiration for financial independence is to buy time to do what they want and spend time with loved ones, for others it’s to leave a legacy.    If you’re inspired you’re more likely to stick with your goals and not change your lifestyle.   What will be your inspiration on your path to financial independence?

Comments

  1. I love that providing for your mother is the ultimate motivation for you.

    Mine is just so that I don’t have to worry about anything. If I want to do something, I do it without thinking — gee I need to get a contract to make up for X amount of money I am spending.
    save. spend. splurge. recently posted…Would it be better if the government forced us to save 40% for retirement?My Profile

  2. That’s really cool that you’re doing that for your mom, Charles. I have to make sure my mom never reads your blog though, or she’ll get the same idea…

    My inspiration is to get my weekday back and split my time more evenly between the things I like.
    Done by Forty recently posted…Wait Till I Get My Money Right…My Profile

  3. It definitely is part of Asian culture to provide for your parents…especially since they sacrificed much for their kids and more often than not, they did not have much of a retirement plan. I give some money to my parents, but they’re doing okay in retirement…they’re frugal so there’s not much they need to spend on. It also is part of the cultural mindset that you must buy real estate. While I understand that to a certain extent…buying isn’t always the right choice. And living in NYC…it is difficult. Props to you Charles for being able to have that much real estate in a high cost area.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…My Journey to Financial LiteracyMy Profile

  4. Those are two really ‘telling’ stories. I can’t imagine what your Mom has been through and it’s really cool that you are helping her fund her dream. I want financial independence mainly to have be independent of my employer. I actually think I would be a better employee if I had bigger side income streams. It would motivate me to speak my mind and to influence positive change, without risking negative reactions and consequences.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…3 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Don’t Want to HustleMy Profile

  5. Great post!! I will never complain again about driving to the grocery store to shop as a major pain in the ass chore after reading that story. My biggest inspiration is to avoid financial stress, and make life less complicated. It’s not about never working again or having things, but I just want to never feel financially strapped.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Money and FamilyMy Profile

  6. Wow, both of those inspirations are great but very unexpected. I am glad that you are willing to do your mom a big favor like that, and I like the way you started the blog and transitioned. It was magnificent.
    By the way, why did you decide to include YOLO? Is it me or is everyone starting it up again?
    David recently posted…Is Global Warming truly happening?My Profile

  7. It’s nice to have such a strong inspiration to pursue your dreams. I think that having the right motivation gets you halfway there and the other half will be easy to complete. In my case, I hope to achieve financial freedom or at least to better in life for my child. I too grew up as a poor child and I remember how difficult it was (although I am sure it was way harder for my parents). In the end, it appears that it’s the loved ones that provide us with the required inspiration. :)
    C. the Romanian recently posted…Romanian Foods: Eat Like It’s Easter EditionMy Profile

  8. I love it when you say that you wear being poor when you were young with a badge of honor now that you are older. I can relate so much to the feeling. Being poor is not a reason to feel down or be put down because that is where one learns to battle life really good.
    Jen @Sprout Wealth recently posted…How to Start a Side Hustle While in a Day JobMy Profile

  9. I love it when you said that you wear being poor when you were young with a badge of honor now that you are older. I can relate so much to the feeling. Being poor is not a reason to feel down or be put down because that is where one learns to battle life really good.
    Jen @Sprout Wealth recently posted…How to Start a Side Hustle While in a Day JobMy Profile

  10. My inspiration is all the condescension and rudeness I’ve encountered during my “survival jobs”- restaurant work, tradeshow hostessing, etc. I work hard to avoid having to return to those ways of earning extra income.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Success and Failure: What Are You Afraid Of?My Profile

  11. I think that’s so sweet that you’re helping your mother. I’m sure she appreciates it more than you’ll ever know.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…All We Have Is TimeMy Profile

  12. We call ‘em CEOs: Christmas and Easter onlys. :-) I truly love that about the Asian culture; your commitment to caring for your parents. Seems the days of honoring parents are largely gone here. Our inspiration is both to provide stability for our children and to be able to bless our parents, all of whom make very little. It’s what drives us each and every day to do what we do.
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Protein Packed PancakesMy Profile

  13. Really nice story about your desire to help your mom in this way. Also a great church analogy. Same is true about exercising. It’s either a part of your life or not.

    Church on Easter is like a gym on January 2nd.
    Chattanooga Cheapster recently posted…Cheapster Challenge – Hypermiling UpdateMy Profile

  14. I think having a child inspired me more than anything else. I want to make sure and set a good example and show her thing it took me well into adulthood to learn.

    I love hearing stories about your Mom. She must be really proud of how you turned out!
    Kim recently posted…6 Things That Are Cheaper on Amazon Prime than at Wal MartMy Profile

  15. Invest as much as you can, as soon as you can. Interesting to note that your mother came from a communist country. I think the USA is slowly turning that way… Take from the rich, give it to the ones who do not work.
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted…Tenant Turnover, the Landlord’s Dreaded MomentMy Profile

  16. I really admire how you plan on keeping property in your family and the financial aspirations you have.
    Marvin | Brick By Brick Investing recently posted…Why are bonds a good investment?My Profile

  17. I totally understand this, and I hope you pay it off in 6 years. We all want to speed up the goals, as to continue improving on the bottom line. Financial freedom is the thing everyone should strive for, I don’t understand why people don’t see the ultimate goal of life.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted…How Greed can take over?My Profile

  18. I think what you’re doing for your mom is really great Charles. She must be really proud of how far you’ve all come and she sounds like an incredible woman.

    I’d love to be able to help my own parents out more and make their later years more comfortable. I definitely want to give my daughter a good start in life too.
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…Debt Success Stories: Michelle paid off $40,000 in student loan debtMy Profile

  19. Excellent article! This is something I think of everyday and it provides my motivation to get my business and side hustles flowing so that I can eventually be financially free from debt and having to work a day job.

    My inspiration is my love for travel and wanting to explore the world with my family!

  20. That’s exactly what it is for me: time. My inspiration is time. It is why I’m changing jobs for less hours, paying off more of my minimums on loans and buying less junk. All of those actions give me more time and freedom to do the things I really enjoy: family, friends and hobbies.
    Scott @ Youthful Investor recently posted…Newlyweds if you Put off Budgeting at First, It’s Going to Hurt LaterMy Profile

  21. I’ve always said that my primary motivation for Financial Freedom is to have the time and flexibility to do what I want…but after reading your post, I realized that a part of me is also doing it to leave a legacy. My parents always told me that they want us to have a better life than they did. And I too want my kids (and their kids) to live a better life than me. So I guess I am sort of motivated by both. :)
    A Frugal Family’s Journey recently posted…Lending Club P2P Account (Update) – May 2014My Profile

  22. Financial freedom inspiration for me came directly from the numerous “getting out of debt” blogs and “dividend growth investing” blogs. So much so that I started my own blog and have listed my own portfolio of stocks and any purchases I have made. I really love the financial blogs out there because almost all are very transparent which makes is more real as you can follow income and expenses in real time from real people.
    DivHut recently posted…Frugal Living Using Free SoftwareMy Profile

  23. I need to make a list of my “Why” that’s not written down in head. The simple answer is I want to have options, I want to take a month and play golf with my dad every day, I want the option to live in Miami in the winter and Chicago in the summer, I want options.
    Even Steven recently posted…Are Your Parents Rich-Small Town LifeMy Profile

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