What Motivates You to be Financially Responsible?
Enjoy this creative article written by Dave Mateer at Money In The 20s where he writes about investing, personal finance, and life after college to help 20 somethings plan now so they don’t pay later. The post is part of a collaborative endeavor by members of the Yakezie Network, the world’s largest network of personal finance and lifestyle blogs. This month’s, topic for our blog exchange is “What Motivates You to be Financially Responsible?”
When you’re done reading this article, head over to Money In the 20s and check out my article on the same topic.
This is an interesting topic because it truly made me reflect on my past and ponder my future. After taking some time to think this topic over, I came up with two key reasons that motivate me to be financially responsible. These two reasons are PAST FINANCIAL MISTAKES and RETIRING YOUNG.
Past Financial Mistakes
As I reflected on the past, I wanted to see if there was a specific moment or event that made me want to be financially responsible. There is one point in my past that clearly sticks out above all the rest. During college, I grew somewhat addicted to gambling. My friends and I started playing poker once a week. However, as time went on, I had the urge to play more often. As a result, I began to play online poker nearly every night.
When I got bored with playing poker, I would start playing online casino games.
When I got bored with playing casino games, I would start betting on sports.
I think you get the pattern… I’m not sure of the exact amount of money that I lost, but if I had to guess I would say $4,000 over 2.5 years.
I started to see why so many people struggle with an addiction to gambling. It truly can ruin your life if you don’t get it under control. However, I never felt the need to seek profession help, and luckily never needed it. I was able to rationalize what I was doing and where it would lead me if I kept gambling. That was all I needed to kick my gambling habit.
That is by no means my only past financial mistake. Check out my post Financially Stupid Decisions After College – Buying a New Car to read about one of my other past mistakes. I hope I can help others avoid this mistake!
These missteps truly motivated me to get myself under control financially.
Now, I can proudly say I no longer gamble and haven’t for quite some time. I’ve matured well beyond my college years!
I can’t bear to think about working until I am 65. Currently, I am 25 years old and working for another 40 years just isn’t in my plans. To be honest, I just don’t know that I will even be alive at the age of 65. I can’t imagine saving for retirement the next 40 years only to never get a chance to enjoy it. I don’t want to be the guy that saved his whole life and died on a giant nest egg.
I want to retire young so that I can enjoy retirement to its fullest. I can think of quite a few things that I would like to do in retirement.
First, I would like to spend a substantial amount of time traveling internationally. The only places I have traveled internationally to date are Canada, Mexico and Argentina. However, Argentina was for work and I didn’t have much time to explore. I would really like to spend some time in Europe and go visit the town in Italy that my Grandma grew up in before immigrating to America.
Second, I would like to get more involved in community service. Third, I would like to run a full marathon. Running a marathon is something I couldn’t even fathom doing right now. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to train for one. I could go on with a long list of ideas for retirement, but I won’t bore you with that.
I struggled while writing this post because I wasn’t sure I wanted to discuss the gambling issue. However, it actually feels good to share because it’s not something I talk about often. I’ve found that sometimes you just have to make mistakes to learn a lesson.
My mistake taught me a valuable lesson about financially responsibility that I will never forget.
Barb’s comment; Dave’s disclosure is certainly a reflection of growth and strength. Acknowledging a mistake, dealing with it, and moving on is a key trait of successful individuals.
For a quick overview of Investing Strategies, pick up my FREE eBook; 20 Minute Guide to Investing (top right of the page). If you like what you’re reading, sign up for my RSS feed or email subscription and follow me on twitter so you get the word immediately.
What are your reasons for being financially responsible? What obstacles have you overcome in your financial journeys?
image credit; MJ’s photographs