Complacency Is Your Biggest Enemy Towards Financial Independence

Complacency Is Your Biggest Enemy Towards Financial Independence. And the reason why you rarely hear a middle-class to riches story, despite intuitively being easier to do - and therefore can occur more commonly - than a rags-to-riches story.
I never had a problem with my savings.

And to be honest, the mantra "a part of what you earn is yours to keep" rang true to me but did not really impact me that much. I was already saving a nice portion of my money before I heard it. And I didn't really need additional motivation to keep saving.

But after getting married, and having to pay our own utility bills, groceries, etc. I started saving less. Before I could live on 50-70% of my income (easier to do when single, I found out first-hand). After getting married I saved less than 10%. On some paydays, I couldn't save at all.

What's worse, I started using the same excuses I heard before.

That 70-20-10 rule is daunting. I should start small. I should just try to work my way up to living on just 70% of my income.

But fortunately, something great happened.

For the first time I listened to Jim Rohn tell his story. It's an old, outdated video and was probably made on VHS. But the lessons are still so true today.

And he was talking about keeping a part of my income for myself. If I didn't like what happened before, then I should do something different in the future. And if I wanted to change my life, I needed to change myself.

And I found myself often saying "that's true." And I began to wonder, if it's so true, then why don't I do it?

And then I realized, just like Jim Rohn said, if I wanted to change - and I did - then I needed to change myself. I shouldn't just rely on what came easy to me. I had to get out of my comfort zone.

And so from then on, I resolved to keep 30% of my income for savings and charity and just live off the rest. And true enough, despite thinking it was so hard, I managed to do just that. Sure, I had to forgo buying some of the more expensive grocery items, and I've been even more conscious of electricity usage. but for the most part what I thought would be so hard was relatively painless and rather quick.

And that brings me to a strange thought. There's a lot of rags to riches story in the Philippines - Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, and John Gokongwei, are just some of the well-known ones.

But there's rarely a middle-class to riches story. Manny Pangilinan seems to be the only one. At least I consider him middle-class because he went to Ateneo.

If you think about it, jumping one-notch on the social scale (middle-class to certified rich) should be easier than jumping two notches (poor/lower-middle to certified rich).

It could be that I just don't hear it because it's not broadcast as much, which is probably because it's not as compelling a story. And that's certainly very plausible.

But I'm thinking maybe it really is harder. For one, it' easier to take risks when you have nothing to lose. It's easier to work harder than most when you know that's your only way "out." It's easier to live modestly when that's what you've been used to. In short, it's easier to strive for change because staying where you are isn't an option.

But growing up middle-class, you're already living comfortably. And there's a reason to hold on to what you have instead of risking it for more. And wanting even more when you already have a good living can seem like plain greed. In short, it's easy to be complacent with the current situation.

It's not something I can prove. And it may not really be what's happening out there. But I know that's what happened to me.

I got complacent with my way of living, my way of saving. I didn't push myself enough.

How about you?

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