Money

What Do You Really Deserve?

financial freedom road

I deserve.

Have you ever found yourself uttering those words?  We used to say them a lot.  We’d use them to buy takeout when we were tired at the end of the day.  We’d use them to buy a “pick-me-up” treat for ourselves.  We’d use them to get newer, better, shinier things.  In short, we used them to justify living a spending lifestyle that we had no business living, primarily through the use of credit cards.

It wasn’t until we had a huge paradigm shift in our lives that we came to understand the danger of that phrase.  When we left our upscale suburb for a home in the country, we took our tens of thousands of credit card debt along with us.  Honestly, we would’ve preferred to leave it at the old place, but unfortunately, that wasn’t an option (insert sarcasm here).

The lifestyle we had “deserved” to live for so many years was quickly becoming an ever-tightening noose around our necks, and we were finding it harder to deal with.  After a month or two living a life of “getting away from it all”, we started to learn that what we thought we deserved was the total opposite of what we truly deserved.

Peace

Life in the country isn’t for everyone, but one of the first things that people say when they visit us out here is “It’s so peaceful!”.  And, it is.  The quiet is mesmerizing.  No road traffic, no loud music, and no hustle and bustle of busy people going places and doing things.  Instead, when you sit on our front porch (the “settin’ porch” as they called it in the olden days, when our 1888 built house was new and shiny), you’ll not hear much besides birds chirping, wind blowing, and a whole lot of quiet.

Financial peace is much the same way.  When you’ve arrived at a place where you have or are at least working toward financial security, you have a sense of peace.  No more worrying about if you’ll be able to pay the bills, how you’re going to earn extra cash for groceries, or, if you’ve got that emergency fund built up, what you’ll do if you’re laid off.  Instead, you’ll have the peace of knowing that, through hard work and good money management, you’ve got it covered.

Freedom

Yes, financial security allows you freedom, and you deserve that freedom. What freedom am I talking about?  The freedom to make decisions for your life based not on whether or not you have the money, but on what’s best for you and/or your family.  Want to take a lower-paying, less stressful job, or start your own business? Have an opportunity to buy something fun?  Financial security allows that option to be on the table, whereas a boat load of debt takes those options off of the table because, after all, you’ve got bills to pay.

Security

Financial stability offers you a level of security in life.  When you have little or no debt, and an ample emergency fund, you’ve got the means to weather stuff like job layoffs, unexpected expenses and the ability to help someone in need.  You don’t have to worry as much about the market crashing, job layoffs or the need to move somewhere.  With financial stability, you’ve got the security of knowing that you have a back up plan for expenses that need to be paid and things that you need or want done.

When you’re thinking about what you deserve, I challenge you to think bigger.  Not in terms of material items, but in terms of what will bring you a joyful, fulfilling peaceful life from a financial standpoint.  Money surely doesn’t solve all of your problems, but a lack of it will cause a lot of trouble.

What is it that you like most about the idea of financial stability?


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Laurie

Laurie

Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

26 Comments

  1. March 19, 2014 at 6:40 am — Reply

    The freedom of choice is the big one for me…..The freedom to NOT have to make a huge debt payment each month and to be able to CHOOSE what it is we do with our money. I feel giddy right now just thinking about it. 🙂

  2. March 19, 2014 at 7:29 am — Reply

    I like the freedom that comes with financial stability. It’s like with pets. I want to be able to make the best choice for a sick pet and not have to factor money into the equation. That’s just one area where I think most people always have to factor in money when they really should (and likely want to) not have to factor it in.

    • March 19, 2014 at 8:50 am — Reply

      Exactly, DC!! And the same goes with kids. It’s no fun to have to make choices about what’s best for your beloved pets or kids because you have to factor money into the equation. That’s just one awesome reason to go for a goal of financial freedom.

  3. March 19, 2014 at 8:37 am — Reply

    The thing I like most about financial stability is the energy I can devote to focusing on other tasks/goals. When you are struggling or in debt, it requires a great deal of energy to crawl out of that hole. Once you have improved your position and have some financial flexibility, that effort can be transferred to other things. Granted, you never quit focusing on the financial picture, just not with as much intensity.

    • March 19, 2014 at 8:51 am — Reply

      Excellent point, Brian. So much time and energy can be wasted on working a debt problem – time and energy that is better spent on other, more enjoyable things. Great comment. 🙂

  4. Dianne
    March 19, 2014 at 9:32 am — Reply

    Financial stability for me is to no longer worry about my twilight years, of the thought of depending financially on my adult children to support me in the future, when they are trying to become financially stable themselves. I’m not there, and it worries me. But, doing something is better than doing nothing, so I do what I can.

    • March 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm — Reply

      Love that goal, Dianne. And love what you said about doing something is better than doing nothing. If you keep this great attitude, Dianne, you will be just fine. 🙂

  5. March 19, 2014 at 11:05 am — Reply

    I love that you started this by asking what we deserve because so many people will initially think in terms of “stuff” but financially freedom and stability are so much better than any of the stuff we would have in our home. When I began my official road to financial freedom, I let go of the thoughts of stuff and I am so much happier knowing that I am working toward a state of being. It keeps me focused.

    • March 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm — Reply

      I can identify with that, Shannon!! It’s like this awakening when you realize that stuff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but financial stability is. 🙂

  6. March 19, 2014 at 11:17 am — Reply

    Peace is a very sweet thing. It is priceless for me.

  7. March 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    I completely agree with you on the peace aspect. I can’t wait to be able to wake up (hopefully sometime in the next two years) and not have student loans. I don’t mind having a mortgage so much but the weight of the student loans has felt crushing at times.

    • March 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm — Reply

      That will be SO nice for you, Liz. And once that student loan debt is gone, it will be easier to crush the mortgage debt if and when you choose too.

  8. March 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    One of my biggest turn off phrases is, “Go ahead and buy it. You deserve it.” I know people who say that are just trying to be supportive, but I don’t think I ever “deserve” to purchase something. My wife once said that to me when I was contemplating purchasing a used motorcycle. I decided not to buy the motorcycle because I didn’t feel like doing the work that would have been required to bring it up to my standards. But my wife didn’t know I was thinking that way, and she used the phrase, above, thinking I was hesitating due to price. Her saying that was the clincher for me to walk away from the deal.

    • March 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm — Reply

      Interesting, Bryce!! I know for us those words can be a real trap, so we’re extra aware of them now. I think of them more as a snare than a reward.

  9. March 19, 2014 at 5:17 pm — Reply

    Peace and freedom are great to have, and I think all of these go quite well together. I know I wouldn’t really be able to find peace if I was working for the sake of a check. I would love to have less stress knowing that we have the finances to face whatever may come. My parents were constantly worrying about money when I was younger and it was hard to deal with.

    • March 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm — Reply

      Yeah, E.M., I know it’s been difficult at times for our kids too. This is one of the reasons we’re working so hard to get out of debt: for the kids! I think it’s awesome that you are changing the family history and doing things differently.

  10. Marvin
    March 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    My mother in law LOVES that phrase and hairs stick up on the back of my neck every time I hear it. It literally is the best way for someone to rationalize any decision no matter how outrageous it may be. You don’t deserve anything you only earn it and we are making sacrifices that none of our family or friends are making so we can live the lifestyle we want 10-15 years from now.

    • March 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm — Reply

      Yikes, Marvin!! I love what you said about how it’s a great way for someone to rationalize a decision; that’s what we used to do. I love what you said about making sacrifices that none of your fam or friends are making so that you can live the lifestyle you want later. We are doing the same, and it’s hard sometimes, but I know that a decade from now we’ll be SO glad we did, and so will you guys. 🙂

  11. March 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm — Reply

    I hate that word! I actually circled it all the time on my students’ papers and asked them to find a new one lol. It just sends the total wrong message! I feel like the only thing people deserve is a paycheck after working an agreed upon amount or perhaps an award after hard work, but people throw the word around like, “I had a bad day so I deserve this drink” or “My boyfriend broke up with me so I deserve a spa day.” That’s when the word gets dangerous.

    • March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am — Reply

      Funny, Cat! But I totally agree with you: using those words to justify expenditures or actions can be a very, very dangerous thing.

  12. March 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm — Reply

    Thinking beyond the immediate “i deserve” gratification and thinking about the bigger picture is a great strategy!

    • March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am — Reply

      Yeah, it’s what has been the catalyst for our financial change, Stefanie. We’re thinking bigger picture now!

  13. March 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm — Reply

    This was my line in my past life “I deserve it!”
    Now I say I deserve peace and serenity more and I’m going after it, one morsel of debt at a time!
    We’re worth it! heee

    • March 24, 2014 at 8:16 am — Reply

      Oh my goodness, DD, we were SO there too. Isn’t it nice to know that you deserve even better things, and that you’re doing what needs to be done to achieve them? 🙂

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