Faith and Financial FreedomEver since I came across the idea of "f*** you" money from my graduate school professor, Prof. Andy Ferreria* the idea has consumed me like a burning fire. Haha! I just LOVED the idea of being financially free, of NEVER having to work once I'd established excellent passive income streams. My entire perspective on earning money changed -- it's not for buying clothes, shoes, or bags. Instead, its purpose became for the building of income streams (and then using the money from those income streams to buy clothes, shoes, bags and whatever else, hehe). The drive to someday own a good, solid business became not so that I could shop and buy the nice things I wanted, but so that I could have enough wealth to let it work for me. It made me dream my BHAG (that's Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of retiring at age 35** and waking up at 11 am and having lazy breakfasts everyday for the rest of my life, yehey!!!
I also came across this quote and since then it has really stuck to me: "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." I've held 9-6*** jobs that were not sales-related and had zero commission, so this quote really stuck to me. The 9-6 jobs helped me begin to see things not as things that brought pleasure but as things I exchanged my life (my time, which could be spent doing things I really loved) for. ****
I also read Bo Sanchez's book about investing in the stock market, My Maid Invests in the Stock Market..., and it got me to enrol myself in COL Financial (something I wrote about previously). That also changed my perspective on money -- it made financial freedom something I could monitor and already begin working on. Financial freedom stopped being a faraway dream that began in real estate; it became something I could build NOW, by buying affordable stocks in companies whose management and ethics I trusted.
My mom also lent me this book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and it further strengthened my then-growing sentiments about money and shopping. The book discusses how material clutter in our homes is directly correlated to mental and emotional clutter. I've always believed that whenever my room is really clean I lose weight (hahaha! it's true, I promise) and the book further cemented the ideas, going on further to say that we really have more mental clarity when we dispose of the things that we do not really need. Read the book, and you'll be in fear of accumulating things that do not bring you joy. The book made it so clear to me that I had to focus my income on financial freedom and not random things that would clutter up my space.
So this idea of financial freedom really ate me up and I was so consumed by the idea of it. When sales of my sideline were bad, I would always claim God's promise that he would be my Provider, just as He has always faithfully provided for me. I would also always pray that God be my partner in my sideline. At desperate times I would really beg and plead, "Lord, please please please give me benta (sales), have I not tithed faithfully, did You not promise that my 'storehouses' would overflow? Please be faithful and provide."
These few weeks have been really tough; the income I expected to earn from my sideline was only a fraction of what I had expected... sales really went significantly down (taking my self-esteem with it, haha). This evening I really couldn't sleep again for the nth time because I was thinking so much again about what businesses I could engage in when I was done with school, what I could start doing now, what opportunities I wasn't seeing. My eyeballs were near popping out, what with school stress from the daytime and this self-induced stress I would wallow in at night, hahaha.
Then God impressed on me that He is not only my Provider but He is also my Treasure. True wealth is not a number in the bank account. We do not have to wait for financial freedom, for "f*** you money," to have peace of mind. God has been holding my hand day in and day out, not only in terms of business but in all aspects of my life. I think of how the Bible says that God is a jealous god.... He's a jealous lover that does not want to be second to money; He wants to be First in every aspect of my life. He does not want money to be what makes me feel secure; He wants to be the one who makes me feel safe, secure and provided for. I realized that He is my present Treasure, something that has already been given to me, not something I have to constantly work for and stress over. My freedom is already here, it has been here and has been provided for me before I even realised it. I don't have to keep working and keep going until I achieve financial freedom -- this Freedom He has given allows me to rest, to be at peace, to feel safe, NOW.
In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD will be your treasure.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
*he happens to be a self-made millionaire/billionaire and is a consultant for BDO as well as one of their endorsers/speakers for why taking out bank loans are smart, if I remember correctly
**on more ambitious days, it was at age 32 HAHAHA
***yes, it's not 9-5 in the Philippines, haha.
****Don't get me wrong, I STILL LOVE TO SHOP, I'm no non-shopping saint here hahaha, hehe but my priorities and habits have changed a lot -- I try to buy a FEW really nice things that I REALLY like and can see myself using forever, and that's it. No Zara sale hoarding. I can also help you pick out beautiful things to keep and love for a long time at @curatedmanila on Instagram, hehehe