Why is talking about money so taboo? People either hate it or love it, but it is not a comfortable subject for most people to talk about. The stigma about having money that is being taught by people who do not have it is often confusing. People with lower incomes are frequently espousing things like “some people are lucky” or “wonder who they ‘screwed’ ‘killed’ or ‘cheated’.“ There is this misconceived notion of luck, inheritance, or foul play that comes from those of us who have not achieved that financial level; which seems to come from jealousy or bitterness. Everyone wants to have money, everyone has to have money to live life here on earth. Still “wealth” evades most despite the fact that everyone wants it.
I believe it has a lot to do with a system that was designed to keep us poor. That is right, I believe that the system of education in our country (and I would wager other countries as well) is designed to keep you poor and full of hope of something better. It creates a hopeful work force who believe if they run themselves into the ground they will reach “the dream.”
Full disclaimer, I am not wealthy in a financial way by any means other than the cliché “Americans are richer than blank % of the world.” I am not going to tell you how to make money, there are far more qualified individuals to do so and I could gladly recommend a few.
I would like to discuss mindset and some basic concepts we don’t teach people in the “education” system. Please let me be very clear, when I criticize education I am NOT criticizing teachers. I have a deep love for teachers and I believe they do the best they can with what they are instructed to teach. They are in little more control of what they are allowed to teach than the weather man is in control of what he is allowed to report. (Or maybe you did not know they are required to report what the “national weather center” tells them.)
My interest in money is hardly new, but I have taken time this year learning to make up for years of ignorance. I am currently reading Gran Cardone’s “Be Obsessed or be Average” on audio book. (I will put in an affiliate link for the Amazon listing if you are interested.) In his book one of the things he addresses is the fact that people tend to get irritated when you talk about money. In fact he apparently pisses off a lot of people because he talks about it a lot. So let’s take some mystery out of money, shall we? Maybe if we understand it we can talk about it better without people getting mad and then maybe start having conversations that help us all reach our goals.
What we know:
· Everyone wants it
· Everyone needs it
· Most people are not educated in the subject
· Few people ever make as much as they want to
· It makes people uncomfortable that they don’t have it
· We like to vilify those who do have it
Now that we have established that we know very little useful information about the thing we are all chasing, let us see if we can establish some base knowledge about the subject to help us all get a better idea of where to start. In the rest of the article I will share some knowledge I have picked up recently that is starting to help me.
Here are some things that I had not known but that I have learned in the last several months as I try to improve my financial situation. Let’s start with the fact that there are basically 8 types of income (if you boil down the list).
1. Earned Income – Income from working a job
2. Profit Income – Income from buying and selling
3. Interest Income – Income from lending money
4. Residual Income – When you continue to get paid after the job is done
5. Dividend Income – Income from owning and holding stocks (not all stocks have this)
6. Rental Income – Income from renting a house or property
7. Capital Gains – Assets increasing in value
8. Royalty Income – Income from others using your idea
How many of these revenue streams do you have actively in your life? If you are like me, your answer is probably 1 or 2, then you might start looking at how you can expand this. People with large bank accounts don’t have only 1 source of income. I had no idea there are so many different kinds of income because I was never taught this fact, but that knowledge alone increases your options for starting to grow your own income.
With this knowledge you can start to examine your own situation to look for ways you can expand your income streams. I used this information to start reshaping my rollover 401k’s. I had never really spent the time to understand what happened to my “retirement” 401k’s after I changed companies. Turns out if it is a rollover, you may be able to roll it over into your new companies 401k. You also may want to let it roll into a money account so you can invest it yourself. Be very careful and take some time to educate yourself on stocks and other retirement options. You may need to seek a financial advisor if you are not familiar with the market and such. This is where I created “Dividend Income.” It is helping build my retirement.
We become uncomfortable talking about financial things out of fear of judgment that we will be found inadequate. We think other people judge us for not having more money (true fact, your financial situation is doubtfully unusual or rare). It is just like going to the gym is intimidating to most people because it is a different environment and people are afraid of judgment. As a long time gym veteran I can honestly tell you, I will only even notice your existence if you approach me or you are where I want to be and I am waiting. There are a$$holes everywhere, but most gym members are happy you are putting in the time to work on yourself and are glad to support you however you feel comfortable. We are all at different spots on our journey and we all have our own story and demons. Likewise, most people who know about finance and money started somewhere and then built their financial status. Statistics tell us that between 2018 and 2019 there were 675,000 new millionaires in the US. That means 675,000 people built their income from whatever point they started and however long it took. They will not judge or look down on you for trying to grow your situation or seeking advice. So learn!
"Ignorance is the beginning of knowledge; knowledge is the beginning of wisdom; wisdom is the awareness of ignorance." -William Rotsler
One of the things that has helped me the most this year is audio books, I have gone though 8 audio books since about April and am almost done with my 9th. (See the link above) I primarily listen to business and finance books. This has allowed me to grow my knowledge of subjects I had little knowledge or experience with thus creating new opportunities for growth. You can learn new skills to improve your “Earned Income” which will allow you to start building other income streams as you increase your primary income. I increased my earned income by transitioning from construction work to IT and if I can do it you certainly can. You can also combine audio books with other things like walking or exercising as you work to improve other parts of your life. Here is a link to get 2 free books when you try out Audible
Try Audible and Get 2 Free Books https://amzn.to/2FvWj3Q.
It is also important that we stop demonizing people who have more money than us. These are people who made different choices than we did and did the work. We often have negative views because we feel slighted that we do not have what they do. Take charge of your finances as a first step, people who have money know where it is and what it is doing for them. They also make sure that it is doing something for them.
While your working on it here are 5 Budget Friendly Date Ideas you can try.
Help yourself and help your kids by educating yourself. The school system will not teach your children how to make money and break the cycle of being just an employee. We just opened my daughters’ first business recently, they are ages 6 and 8. They may or may not make a lot of money, but they are learning how business and finances work. They are also learning about the different kinds of income. (See Investing 101)
By realizing that I did not know anything about finances and admitting it to myself I have been able to grow myself and help start my kids the right way. Being humble and realizing that you can get better is a good starting point. That’s my 2 cents worth.
The Fallible Man
Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!