Happy Sunday fellow dukes!
I have a topic that’s been on my mind all weekend and felt it would be worth sharing with the community. This is one of those freely written, not so much of a point, but more of putting down thoughts on a topic type of article. We want to get your mind churning and hear your thoughts in the comments below!
A Quick Snippet from ET The Hip Hop Preacher
Eric Thomas has been mentioned a few times on Duke of Dollars, and today I wanted to share a quick podcast snippet from the Secret To Success Podcast, episode 7, your willset.
To listen to the snippet, the starting time is 29 minutes, 40 seconds and ends at 32 minutes, 35 seconds.
“Why are you calling other people to make your dreams a reality”
“Why are you expecting someone to buy you something, or do something for you when they are the ones grinding!”
For many of the bloggers or readers in the personal finance community, it may seem like a normality to SACRIFICE part of your life to achieve financial independence or a debt-free lifestyle. We spend hours reading blogs, more hours writing blogs…and most of us have a full-time job! This doesn’t even convey the fact that we are side hustling at the same time or researching how to be a better blogger or managing our careers.
“I don’t know how to use Mint or I don’t feel like tracking my money or I don’t know what to do with my paychecks” are just not excuses to me anymore. Situationally, you may not be able to save much of your income or max out retirement accounts; that is totally OK. But my goodness, at least do your best to get there. We live in a capitalistic society where people have rags to riches stories. You have to start somewhere!
“I don’t have time to handle my money” – but you have time for social media, Netflix, and nights at the bar.
There are just too many resources and free places to access the internet in the US for an excuse of ignorance as the sole reason you have money challenges. Google returns search results in less than 1 second with the best articles on topics within the personal finance realm. Podcasts have episodes to explain in detail mindsets and strategies with money.
“The world of personal finance is confusing and it is really hard to understand it” – Life is hard! Personal finance doesn’t even come close to complexity as topics like organic chemistry, electrical engineering, or architecting bridges. We have the Rockstar Forums, many personal finance blogs in the community, and wonderful people who are here to help!
Why am I talking about sacrifices on a random Sunday in April?
Because a theory I conjure up after recognizing the following:
Those who actually take the time to read on money moves, make sacrifices for their future, place an importance on experiences over materials as they pad their bank accounts with emergency funds, and max out their retirement accounts are the same ones who are looked at in families to pay for those who do not make the same sacrifices.
This leads me to ask myself, are we obligated to do so?
Family & Money
This is what makes personal finance so interesting and by using thought experiments we can prepare for situations in the future before they happen.
Thought Experiment #1: Your Uncle has an alcohol problem and needs rehab, do you help pay for the treatment with no strings attached?
Thought Experiment #2: Your grandparents’ health is declining and your the only one of your siblings who can fit the bill as they head to a nursing home – do you help?
Thought Experiment #3: Your nephew or younger sibling has gotten into trouble and needs help paying lawyer fees – what do you do?
Thought Experiment #4: Your parents don’t have retirement accounts and you recognize they are getting older – do you work with them to start preparing now?
As you can probably tell, many of these questions really have an “it depends” type of answer. I would totally agree with you and your feelings towards money, your sacrifices, and role within the family really matters. It feels like to me the social pressures within our culture lean more towards helping your family, in fact, a friend recently even stated it to me: “They are your blood, and you have their back no matter what.”
Which is true.
It just makes me wonder, would they have yours?
That’s why I find the thought experiments helpful. The reality is that many in our world are better sayers than doers. The mindset of “we would always help each other” might be what we all believe in, but using credit cards to get into debt (and now needing help) are actions that show your real beliefs.
For example, if someone is driving a new Mercedes or other fancy car and has children, but doesn’t have a college fund for them….well their actions and balance sheet might just lead us to infer what is really important to them. Should you then help that child get through college when they need it?
We’ve mentioned in the past to find the”Why” for your motivation to make the sacrifices to build a financial kingdom. Making decisions based on priorities while keeping your own goals in mind becomes challenging as you can see with the thought experiments above.
A very common statement can be repeated as “You are your number 1 priority.” Does that mean it is moral to say no when you have money to help but are putting your own goals first? Should you help people with their challenges if it means putting your life goals on hold?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer, only a decision you must make for your own life.
Our Question to you:
Eric Thomas expresses that he is the one making sacrifices in his life and because of these sacrifices, he has gotten to the point that he can help but doesn’t feel that one should if that person isn’t even coming close to making the same effort. He’s speaking outside of the family (or at least my perception thinks so) for people who want help becoming successful in the motivational speaker game.
For personal finance, we can relate this back to the thought experiments above or real-life situations that require you to make a choice – we are interested in what you think.
If you are in a position of financial stability or strong personal finances, due to the sacrifices and effort you made to get to that point, are you obligated to use that money to help your family and friends freely when they may have made bad decisions or forgone sacrifices to need that help?
SN – we are not talking about people who have had life tragedies and are doing their best to get back on their feet. We are strictly speaking for those who have been lazy or haven’t cared that need help. For example, someone you’re close to who quit their job because they didn’t like it, but did so without an emergency fund and is asking for money so they don’t get evicted.