Financial freedom is the holy grail of all those out there who are financially inclined. To be financially free, one generally has the cash, savings and investment to live a life that he or she wishes to. There are different school of thoughts on how much is required but one thing is for sure – it is heaven on earth for those who have attained financial independence.
If there’s heaven, there is also hell
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a financial purgatory that no one wants to live in. The financial prison is not engulfed in flames but filled with sweaty, hard-labouring slaves in shackles. There is a rumoured escape route out of this place that we called financial prison but after 15 straights hours of hard labour, who has the time and energy to look for it?
A financial prison is a place whereby one has no freedom to abandon his primary (and often only) source of income without having a huge, adverse impact on his life. You expect people working as menial labourers there, struggling to make ends meet. More surprisingly, you also find some folks who are earning a good income but yet still shackled to their current jobs with little other options.
We all have a friend or a couple who are living like that.
They kept complaining about their jobs and lives but never ever did anything to change their fortune.
One possible reason for that is that they are in financial prison whereby they cannot afford to be unemployed and thus, complaints are their only outlet.
For those of you who are reading this and feels that you are currently trapped in your job, have you ever wonder how you get there in the first place?
We have some answers and let’s see if you are truthful enough to reflect upon yourself.
Having no savings
The entry criterion for financial prison is not hard to figure out. To have the liberty to not work for at least a while, you have to be able to maintain a basic living. It looks simple enough if you are single and living with your parents. However, the equation is much harder if you have dependents and debts to service.
When you are not working, your expenses continue to run – your housing loan, the bills, your kid’s school fee, your parent’s medicine for her chronic illness. These expenses shove you towards the doors of financial prison UNLESS you have the savings to help cushion the impact.
This is where folks in low paying jobs are stuck in a poverty cycle. They can barely make ends meet, let alone save. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones. Many in high paying occupations can’t afford any financial elbow space because of precisely the next point.
An over-extended lifestyle
The problem with the proliferation of social media is that we are exposed mainly to the good news of each and every friend that we know. A brand new luxury car, a swanky new condominium and amazing photographs of overseas trips are what we see every time we check into Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
As a result, we are unconsciously trying to keep up with the Jones and overstretch our income so that we can also own a new house/car/trophy wife too. We may look happy on Facebook but we face a massive debt as a result.
This, my friend, is a straight ticket to financial purgatory.
Get-out-of-Jail prison card
The lesson here is clear – it does not take a rocket scientist to work out whether you are living your life in a financial cell. If you are unable to afford to be jobless for a few months without derailing your life, you are more than likely in a financial prison. Moreover, this is not a prison that you can leave after serving your life because it is a life sentence.
The good news is that you can act upon it. If you exercise simple common sense and save up diligently, the way out is just around the corner. Get your income protected against illness and accident too is one way to keep yourself safe when calamity strikes.
And get out of jail.
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