Leveraging your finances to make the most out of life
What is the point of making money?
For some, it is to buy a home, support a family, or raise oneself on the economic ladder.
For others, it can be for freedom and time to live their lives outside these conventions.
A main motivator for some people making money is to eventually have enough time to do whatever they choose with their lives. That is why so many people try to start a business even though it may be more work — at least they get to dictate their own time.
Working for a company can feel overwhelming. Some people have all their time micromanaged.
People keep working in these positions with the hope that they will eventually gather the expertise to start their own company or eventually have enough money to have economic freedom.
As Robert Kiyosaki said, true wealth is not how much income you make, but how much freedom you have not to have to work.
Many people believe that a company will solve their problems. They crave authority and morality to dictate their lives. A world that is empty and meaningless is too scary to face — and creating that meaning is an even more daunting task.
So they stay salaried. There is nothing wrong with that and it is the reality of what most people have to live with.
The average U.S. worker clocks in about 1,804 hours per year at work — the highest output in the world
56% of Americans report doing work from home
20% report doing it every day of the week
25% didn’t take any time off last year
43% took less than a week off
Those numbers represent a 400% increase in productivity since 1960 — and a lot of tired, time-constrained Americans chasing the almighty dollar (Kiyosaki).
But are Americans wealthier?
In fact, in 1968, a person working for the minimum wage would be above the poverty threshold for a three-person household.
Now, a person working for the minimum wage is below the poverty threshold for a family of two!
The $1.60 minimum wage back then equates to an inflation-adjusted rate of $10.75 today.
So Americans work harder than ever and have seen a decrease in pay. Obviously, paid employment may not be a great option for many Americans.
So then how do you make money?
For this, we can look back 2,000 years to Marcus Tullius Cicero of Rome.
Cicero writes about how he looked down upon those selling their labor for money.
“The cash that comes from selling your labor is vulgar and unacceptable for a gentleman… for wages are effectively bonds of slavery” (Cicero)
While a little elitist and attacking of the poor and less fortunate, Cicero does make a point.
Why hustle and work harder than ever, if you have the knowledge and option to make money passively. This is how the rich make money.
Just like today, the Roman rich made money through their estates.
The Romans valued something called “otium” which means the state of being in control of one’s own time.
Back to the present.
Robert Kiyosaki makes the point that while the poor trade their increasingly difficult labor for money, the rich have a different mindset.
The rich work for assets. These are investments and businesses that give you steady cash flow.
Instead of working for money, they make money work for them through financial knowledge.
The higher your financial IQ, the less you have to work to acquire high-quality assets. These assets then provide passive income, even while you’re sleeping or playing.
So work to understand how you can rent properties, create businesses, and invest your money by gaining more financial knowledge.
As seen on The Personal Finance Guide. Follow for more personal finance content!
Work for Freedom, Not for Money was originally published in The Capital on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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