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Dear Future Self,
I hope you are doing well in 2020. It has been a short journey in my married life but the most important as far as I’m concerned. We have been debt free since November of 2007 (but of course you know this) and you had still better be debt free as you open this (threat included). Right now we are going through some financial adversity. I thank the Lord everyday that we learned the basics of personal finance from Dave Ramsey. If not we would have to resort to credit cards to cover many of our expenses during this time.
As you are reading this my hope is that you have not forgotten the most important thing in life. I hope that through your financial adversity you have learned to hug your beautiful wife 🙂 a little harder and loved on your kids a little longer. I can’t wait to see how our lives are going to look in 2020. The steps that we have taken now will be so important when you open this letter. I don’t really have the patience for adversity at the moment. My hope is that we will see the end result of our hard work and self discipline by the time you open this letter.
More importantly than finances remember that it has been your relationship with Christ that has brought you to the point where you are today. You have been blessed beyond your knowledge and more importantly your family will be blessed through many generations because of the steps you have taken. Never lose sight of who sustains you and blesses your path. If you do let this letter be a reminder. You are NO ONE without Christ! Remember that your time line is not God’s. Your life will be a whole lot less frustrating when you realize that.
In the end, remember that communication is key. You will not win in life if you can’t learn to communicate in relationships. Your old self is going to be really disappointed if you have abandoned any of your top 3 pillars (God, Wife, and Family in that order). I have 3 instructions for you that you must do in the next week.
1. Open your bible and connect with Christ.
2. Take your wife on a date and do mention the budget ;).
3. Spend a full day with each of your children individually (Greyson 15, Ava 11, and TBD 10)
Do these 3 things amidst whatever victories or struggles may be going on at this point in your life. Never lose faith and never lose sight. See you on the flip side.
Yourself 10 Years Ago
P.S. Thanks Ninja for the idea. This is a really great way to reflect on the most important things in life. I encourage you to do this on paper or on your blog. Shoot me an email or a tweet with the link. I’m interested to read your letters to your future self.
I hope you enjoy my nifty new term for my Friday blog posts. I thought it was pretty creative (both start with F ;)). Every Friday I want to present a verse or passage in the Bible and try to dissect it in modern day personal finance lingo. Today we are going to start with one of my favorite verses (because this is my blog :)).
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
This is one of my favorite verses because:
1. It gets straight to the point. If you borrow money (or goats, cows, or wheat) from another person you are their servant until you return the full amount (plus interest). Debt leads to slavery whether it be bank or family member. Dave Ramsey says “Thanksgiving dinner tastes different when you eat with your master (not verbatim)”. Ever notice the air is different in the room with someone you owe money???
2. The wealthy rule the poor. It is my best guess that this was not some sort of hierarchal babble that was only useful during the time. I believe that wealthy people have different money habits than the poor. When I say poor I mean the person that is financially destitute and owes more to the bank than they have in the bank. Poor money habits will lead to a poor lifestyle.
Do you think God was calling out debt in this scripture?
I just finished reading a great book called Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck (review to follow). He first suggested that I needed define my passion when entering the world of blogging and personal branding. Since I am a virgin in the business of me I figured I would tell you a little bit about why I am so passionate about your finances.
As you can read in My Story page, I grew up in a pretty normal lifestyle. It wasn’t until I got out of my family shell that I really started to see the world. After college I was the regular bachelor. I spent mass amounts of money on my own selfish desires, which made it harder to be married but that is another story :).
It wasn’t until I agreed to only allow Death Do Us Part did I realize that life is hard. I used to check the online bank account daily wondering when more money was going to be debited (a hyper link is included if you don’t know what that means). Sweat beads would drip from my brow every time Target would appear on my statement.
It was then I realized that something had to be done. Back then I forced my wife to go to Financial Peace University with me. It was until recently that she (and our counselor :)) informed me that forcing her to do anything was not a good idea. It was during FPU that I began to open my eyes. I started to realize that financial strains not only affected decisions to go to Chili’s or Mickey D’s. People were hurting. Relationships were strained. The divorce rate is above 50% and one main reason is money problems.
It was through my own financial birth that I discovered that people need direction. So in a sense my heart is broken for you. God has burdened me with an unquenchable thirst to help the financially lost and misguided. Bill Hybels calls it a Holy Discontent.
So consider this a rebirth for this blog. I have a new direction and will be unveiling it soon. It’s going to be sleek and it’s going to be sexy but most importantly it will rock your world.
People always ask me what is one thing that I recommend, that I do personally, to anyone in financial distress. That one thing would be to K.I.S.S IT. As you can imagine I usually get very puzzled looks. So I say it a bit slower: K–I–S–S I–T. For all of you Art History majors out there the definition for the K.I.S.S. rule is:
The most important rule in your finances is to Keep It Simple Stupid. Do a personal finance search in Google and see how many different opinions you can get. It is mind blowing. It is impossible to wade through all the junk and find the most beneficial information. So if you are not a finance guru and you graduated with a gerontology degree keep this one rule in mind when making over or starting out on your personal finance journey.
What is your One Thing that you need to K.I.S.S?
I wonder where I would be if one day I could just get past my selfish wants. I wonder how much further ahead my family would be if I could look in the mirror and not first think of myself. Here are 6 important tips to getting over yourself and begin conquering the giants that hold you back.
1. Vision is key. You have to cast vision for your life journey. You need to write down a statement that will ever define you as a person.
2. Keep the end in mind. You will always here the token phrase “What do you want your epitaph to say”? The challenge is to live that out everyday. You must constantly strive to leave the legacy that you set out when casting your vision.
3. Check your pride at the door. Pride is a common killer to leaps of faith. You were not born to live life with caution. It seems the bigger the feat the more detractors you will have. Put the detractors in a sleeper hold (figuratively) and make your dreams happen.
4. Never go on a trip without a road map. Before you set out you have to make a plan of action. Be careful though not be paralyzed by analysis.
5. Don’t go alone. We were created for relationship. Find a partner whether it be your spouse or close friends. Always have an accountability partner. It is easy to lose yourself without outside perspective.
6. Dream big. A mentor of mine once told me to dream so big that others might laugh at you. Faith is what will help bridge the end of yourself and the beginning of a seemingly impossible reality.
Now GO take a good look in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see SLAP YOURSELF (figuratively) and start conquering your dreams.
Important Resources for Making It Happen: