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Money and slavery. Why money is the burden.

Lorainfurniture

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Not to get too deep and philosophical on you guys, but I was/am trying to figure out the relationship between money and modern day slavery.  

Yes, I said it.  You are a slave, I am a slave, and likely everyone you know (there are some exempt from this) are enslaved.   I was free once, and at one point I believe that most of us were free, even if just briefly.  Ill get to that in a bit. 

First it was "slavery", then It was called "indentured servitude", now its  "career"

You are probably thinking "I'm no fucking slave! " but think about it like this.  What are you doing tomorrow? Probably working.  What would you rather be doing tomorrow? I can write a small novel about the things I would rather be doing other than working.  The issue is that you need money.  Why? because you have bills, and you need to eat/ feed your family.  Money today is as much of a necessity as food/water/shelter.  No work= no money= no food= no survival.   This applies more to people who work hourly or salary.  You work all week, and in return you are given X money. Wipe that taste of freedom out of your mouth.  You can not do as you please with that money (realistically), you need to pay your mortgage, car note, insurance, and food.  In the end, you are left with a few pennies to spend on something you might actually want.  You are encouraged to buy the bigger house, the nicer car, "keep up with the jones's" type shit.  Get yourself so far in debt that you literally will have to work until the day you die, and you still didn't pay your debt.   Pass it on to your kids.  Once you live within 90% of your means, you can't afford to take a single day off.  Lose your job? you are 30 days until your credit cards a maxed, and now you can't make your mortgage payment. " Not working" for this type of person is simply not an option.  

When you have no option, you are being compelled, or forced to do it.  How different is it from the whip? 

People have brainwashed themselves in to loving their "career". Its a coping mechanism. Your brain is trying to combat depression.   Sure, I like fixing shit, I get a sense of satisfaction from it. But let's not think for a fucking second that I would not rather be touring Europe, or laying on a beach somewhere. If you truly would rather do your job than anything else, Im sorry my friend, you drank all the Koolaid and I can't help you. 

When I was about 20, for a few years I was free.  I didn't really know it, or appreciated it.  I lived with my parents, I had no debt, and I was making a shit-ton of money as an antique/ furniture/ appliance dealer.(in that order)  I went to Greece every summer, usually for about 2 ish months.  I came back to a pile of cash, literally. In the early 2000's everything was basically cash or check, and I didn't really accept checks.  I didn't have to work.  I worked for the sport of making money.  I certainly was not wealthy, but my need for money was ZERO.   All of the cash I made was mine do with what I saw fit. 

Needless to say that gravy train started to come to a halt around 2004, when the recession REALLY started.  Antiques became worthless, and I had to pivot more to the appliances/ furniture.  I met a girl, bought a house, got married, had kids.   Slowly I find myself in need of more money.  I must go in to work more.    The burden started weighing on my shoulders. 

 Im at the point right know where I *think* I don't have to work, but really I do. My chains are not as heavy as most, but I am still shackled. 

When you make so much money that the thought of "paying bills" never enters your mind again. You don't have to think for a second whether you can afford to go out to a fancy restaurant and order a $100 bottle of wine to go with your steak.  The thought "lack of money" never crosses your mind.   You go to work because you like making money. Making money is exhilarating, and I can only begin to understand that.

 

So, now what?  How to break the chains? Release yourself from the burden of money/debt? Here is my easy yet impossible answer. 

 

1. Eliminate your debt.   The ultimate iron collar is your mortgage.  Borrow $200k, pay back $600k.  No shit.  $1500/ month FOREVER.  You are not going to stay at that house for 30 years, the banks figured out that you will move every 7.5 years.  Ironically that is the time it takes to pay most of the front end loaded interest they push on you with that mortgage.  8 years in to it you barely knocked a few grand off the principle.  You move and the clock resets.  30 more years.   Its not a mortgage guys, its rent, but you are responsible for all the maintenance.  Its what all us landlords hope for: A triple net lease. 

Credit card debt is just a bit worse, you can negotiate with them and change your terms.  Pay it off.  Car notes are simple interest. i.e., you pay a fixed amount of interest for the entire loan.  

If you need a bit of motivation, add up how much interest you pay every month.  it will blow your mind. 

This first step is where 90% of you will fail.  People feel the need to compete, whether its to have the nicer car, shoes, purse, etc.  The worst part is they want it NOW.  So that $800 purse you just charged on your credit card will end up costing you $2400.  Or, you will "consolidate" your debt and roll that purse in to your 30 year mortgage.  Brilliant thinking on a purse that is realistically only worth 5 bucks worth of leather.  The rest is perception.  This is a hard thing to overcome.  It took me a long time.  

2. Make more money.  The goal is to have an excess of money.  The more "extra" you have, the less it will weigh you down, and actually start opening doors.  If you work a salary job, you can't really change much.  Get another job.  Go scrapping, Uber, whatever.  Personally I can't understand how people can work for only X dollars per week, no matter how much you work? It sounds like a recipe for lazy.  Once you increase your cashflow, you can decrease your debt, and further increase your cashflow.  Its like a snowball of money.  

 

3. Adjust your lifestyle.  If you haven't made your first million by age 30, chances are you may never.  This doesn't condemn you to a life of servitude, only if you continue to ACT like you are rich.  I don't live in a rich neighborhood. I do not desire expensive clothes.  I don't care what kind of car my neighbor is driving.  I don't need to show my money to anyone to get some sort of acceptance or validation.   Everyone is putting on the facade of being well off, how many times have you been in that McMansion and they lose their mind over a $300 repair bill?  These are the same people that are a paycheck away from homelessness.  They just drive a Lexus in the meantime.  

 

You can live a really good lifestyle off of a minimal amount of money.  Think about how much money you would need if you had ZERO debt.  No mortgage, no car payment, no credit cards, no student loan.  Now imagine if you stopped buying those ridiculous Gucci bags, or Nike shoes.  Sure, buy the things you like, but don't buy things just to try and achieve social acceptance.  In the end, everyone is lying to everyone, and the only truly rich one is the guy selling the Gucci bag.  

 

 

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Preach!

Great post. You put into words several things that have been on my mind a lot recently. If you or anyone else is interested in some further reading, I feel obligated to mention Alain de Botton's excellent book on the topic, Status Anxiety.

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Clearly this doesn't apply to *everyone*.

We live in a 1200 sq ft home built in 1955 with a detached 2 car garage (for 26 years and counting)

Work van is a 2007---and paid off

We also have a shop (business expense) for $890 month

Wife drives a 1998 Chrysler Town and Country (no car loan there)

My wife asked me once: "What would you do if you won the lottery?"

I told her that I want to keep doing what I'm doing---even as a multi-millionaire. She said I was crazy. I told her that is how much I love my job---no joke:)

"Sometimes The Poorest Man Leaves His Children The Richest Inheritance"

 

 

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mikeyjd

Posted (edited)

We live in a 1500sq ft house which my dad and I purchased as a rental after the real estate bubble burst in 2008 for $18500. I sold my interest to him in 2010 and bought it back from him for $42500 on a land contract in 2013 and paid it off about a year ago. We have zero debt and are positioning ourselves to pay cash for a multi-family rental or a building for our business.

My appliance vehicle fleet (Just picked up the F150 for my personal vehicle, Putting both rwd up for sale this week):

1999 single cab Toyota Tacoma 2.4L 5spd with a custom flat-bed for 6 machines: $1000 (30+ mpg loaded)

2001 Ford Ranger super cab 4.0L 4x4 off-road pkg: $1850

2002 Ford Ranger super cab 3.0 rwd: $800

2002 Mazda B4000 Sport super cab 4.0L rwd: $2200

2004 Ford f150 Super Cab 5.4L 4x4: $2000

My wife's personal vehicle is a 1999 Chrysler Concord with heated leather seats. Budget Luxury* $1100

I'm 30 years old. I hope to be retired in 5-10 years. I think 5-10 properties would provide enough cash-flow for our lifestyle. Our yearly personal expenses come to roughly $40k living what I feel is somewhat extravagantly. This includes eating out at nice restaurants a few times a week and traveling to amazing places for 2-4 weeks at a time every couple years (Zambia, Uganda, Brazil, France, Italy in our 7 years of marriage).

If I won the lottery I would buy land in a sub-tropical climate and establish a self-sustaining permaculture system that would allow us to live without the need for much money or inputs in order to thrive and live an abundant life.

Edited by mikeyjd

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Ya'll want some cheeze and crackers with all that whining? :boohoo:

Quick

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Mrs. Samurai

Posted

A very interesting blog post and follow-up comments! Thanks, Eugene.

As far as I can tell, very few people are raised with this type of financial / lifestyle advice. Many people, I think, start to realize some of this once it's basically too late - they've become enslaved without noticing, and the way out is very difficult. 

I think if folks aren't taught these things by their parents, they are unlikely to hear them. 

If you add the average student loan burden that millennials have, their outlook is even more dim. 

Interesting thoughts, Eugene and others - good to hear from people who are trying to live free!  

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted (edited)

Eugene, I think you missed your calling as a writer! The way you present  uncommon wisdom in a natural, conversational style is very engaging. I really think you could earn at least a partial living as a writer. You should submit articles to magazines (both print and internet) to get published. Get a few published articles under your belt and you're on your way-- writing articles on the beach while sipping ouzo in Crete or Cabernet Sauvignon in Côte d'Azur. Just a thought. 

Edited by Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Lorainfurniture

Posted

18 hours ago, john63 said:

Clearly this doesn't apply to *everyone*.

Totally doesn't.  I would say it applies to 95% of people

 

11 hours ago, mikeyjd said:

I'm 30 years old. I hope to be retired in 5-10 years

LOL, I said that when I was 19!  Even if you make enough to retire, It will be really hard to walk away from your business. You will start to  look at it like a being, like a child of sorts.  

 

10 hours ago, Quick said:

 

Ya'll want some cheeze and crackers with all that whining?

 

I think you took this entry the wrong way.  Im certainly not whining.  This post was more of an observation of money/ debt, and the effect it has on someones life.  

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12 minutes ago, Lorainfurniture said:

LOL, I said that when I was 19!  Even if you make enough to retire, It will be really hard to walk away from your business. You will start to  look at it like a being, like a child of sorts.  

 

I already feel that way to a degree, but I do want to live a more sustainable lifestyle long term. Maybe I'll figure out how to incorporate appliances into that as time goes on.

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Ah heck guys. Even Abraham had to take care of goats for a living. Work is not a nasty word. Work not eat not. 

Want some good advise on financial matters. NEEDS AND GREEDS. Know the difference. Debt can help you, debt can hurt you. NEEDS and GREEDS. Know the difference. 

One day at a time. Life is great!

Quick

 

 

 

 

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I worked for the sport of making money.

That's the secret of life, when you see it starting to accumulate you want more and you find a way to accumulate it. You build your pile and become free-ish. When you have enough in the pile you are free. I wish I would have figured that out 15 years ago instead of 5. Things would have been much different for me but you live and learn. .

Something we miss out on is SAVINGS. I can't emphasize that enough. SAVE SAVE SAVE. Even if it's $100 a month start saving, build your pile. You'll see it starting to accumulate and you want that pile to get bigger. You can invest. I opened a simple savings at edward Jones for Jr about a year ago. In 17 years it is projected to be about $70,000 at $150 a month. I have another at $130 a month for a 529 that should be closer to $40k. That's $300 a month, 3 service calls on a shit day, per month that's it.

Personally I have a house that will be paid for in 7 years, 3 trucks (2 for fun) and a modernish service vehicle, the wife drives a 2011 xterra that we owe on. The interest rate is about 2% so it doesn't make sense to pay it off. The house rate is about 3% so we've saved the bulk of it by going with a 15 year loan. It's not what you make but what you can keep. You have to be smart with money. When we refinanced our house to a 15 year vs a 30 year we saved about 120K. So in a week I made 120,000 by changing the loan. You have to look at things this way, they'd like to have you just look at a number and be comfortable with it not seeing the details and repercussions of the choices you make financially. 

2 hours ago, Lorainfurniture said:

LOL, I said that when I was 19!  Even if you make enough to retire, It will be really hard to walk away from your business. You will start to  look at it like a being, like a child of sorts.  

Well yes. It's your baby. You raised it from nothing and it's become your lively hood, reputation and your source of your lifestyle. I can't imagine walking away from it ever. 

 

Work on being free, the free-er you become the free-er you learn to be. 

Great blog again btw. 

 

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1 hour ago, AlboGator said:

That's the secret of life, when you see it starting to accumulate you want more and you find a way to accumulate it. You build your pile and become free-ish. When you have enough in the pile you are free. I wish I would have figured that out 15 years ago instead of 5. Things would have been much different for me but you live and learn. .

Something we miss out on is SAVINGS. I can't emphasize that enough. SAVE SAVE SAVE. Even if it's $100 a month start saving, build your pile. You'll see it starting to accumulate and you want that pile to get bigger. You can invest. I opened a simple savings at edward Jones for Jr about a year ago. In 17 years it is projected to be about $70,000 at $150 a month. I have another at $130 a month for a 529 that should be closer to $40k. That's $300 a month, 3 service calls on a shit day, per month that's it.

Personally I have a house that will be paid for in 7 years, 3 trucks (2 for fun) and a modernish service vehicle, the wife drives a 2011 xterra that we owe on. The interest rate is about 2% so it doesn't make sense to pay it off. The house rate is about 3% so we've saved the bulk of it by going with a 15 year loan. It's not what you make but what you can keep. You have to be smart with money. When we refinanced our house to a 15 year vs a 30 year we saved about 120K. So in a week I made 120,000 by changing the loan. You have to look at things this way, they'd like to have you just look at a number and be comfortable with it not seeing the details and repercussions of the choices you make financially. 

Well yes. It's your baby. You raised it from nothing and it's become your lively hood, reputation and your source of your lifestyle. I can't imagine walking away from it ever. 

 

Work on being free, the free-er you become the free-er you learn to be. 

Great blog again btw. 

 

Bad to the bone idea:)

 

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"Think about how much money you would need if you had ZERO debt.  No mortgage, no car payment, no credit cards, no student loan."

$2,800 is what my family spends each month.  No Debt.  No Car payments.  Credit card is only used for the company fuel which gets paid back each month.  No Mortgage-(yet, but soon).  You'd be surprised how much money gets put into savings when you live in a 8'x16' tiny house.

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6 minutes ago, micabay said:

"Think about how much money you would need if you had ZERO debt.  No mortgage, no car payment, no credit cards, no student loan."

$2,800 is what my family spends each month.  No Debt.  No Car payments.  Credit card is only used for the company fuel which gets paid back each month.  No Mortgage-(yet, but soon).  You'd be surprised how much money gets put into savings when you live in a 8'x16' tiny house.

How many people in your 8'x16'?

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Lorainfurniture

Posted

On 10/7/2016 at 8:03 PM, Samurai Appliance Repair Man said:

Eugene, I think you missed your calling as a writer!

Funny you say that, I have been told that a few times.  Maybe Ill write a book. 

On 10/7/2016 at 8:03 PM, Samurai Appliance Repair Man said:

writing articles on the beach while sipping ouzo in Crete or Cabernet Sauvignon in Côte d'Azur. Just a thought.

There are a lot of people who basically don't work, and make a good living on some sort of residual/ passive income.  They aren't exactly divulging their secrets.  

Im convinced that once I get to a couple of million, with somewhere near half of that being liquid, It will be easy to make even more money.  Its really easy to make money when you already have it. 

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I must be in the very weird 5% this doesn't apply to. My wife and I have no debt, and don't spend hardly anything on frivolous things. I just don't make enough. We rent our condo from my brother. We're trying to get a house, but all the houses around here are super expensive. 

I think my problem is mostly that I like spending time with my wife and son too much, and that leads to me not working as much as I should. 

Apparently not too many people have this problem! :P

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