The rules of the game have changed. If you’re like me, you learnt most of your financial knowledge from your parents who come from a completely different era. You can’t count on good old-fashioned hard work like your parents did. Your perspective needs to be a fresh one. The voice in your head guiding you through your financial planning shouldn’t be a harsh, judgemental or pessimistic voice, nor does it need to be an overwhelmingly stressed one. But this doesn’t mean to say that you need to work harder, you just need to work smarter.
This entire epiphany began when I was studying in the Philippines and heard that there was no way to protect my money from fraud on my debit card. Had someone gotten a hold of my card I wouldn’t be reimbursed – all my hard earned money could potentially disappear in one swipe. Could you imagine that after years and years of paying bills and making purchases, none of it could create any type of beneficial turnover? I had been living comfortably and ignorantly, with my particular spending habits and means. I had encountered no problems using a debit card and this caused the tragic mistake of not looking further.
I had always thought that the one way to be safe with your money is to not take any risks with it. For me that meant not ever owing anything and only spending my own money – something like not counting your chickens before they’ve hatched. Well, was I wrong. Had I ventured out of the familiarity of my parents financial advice, I would be able to not only save my money from any risks of being stolen or wasted, but I would have built up a good credit rating and earned a decent interest rate. Whether it’s your son’s birthday and you’re shopping for toys online, or it’s time to make a payment on that car you always dreamt of, do it while building your credit. Don’t just spend money, get something in return for spending your money too.
If you are looking for a path to financial freedom but feel like you keep meeting dead ends, or like all the solutions you’ve heard of seem too far out of reach, then I feel obligated to share that the most effective solution is also the most accessible one. It’s time to change your perspective. Debt is not always a bad thing! Taking out a credit card is not a bad financial move, unless you make it one. Treat your relationship with your finances as you would with a spouse. Take care of it and it will take care of you. Don’t take it for granted and always give it the attention it deserves.