Finance Frustration

Wednesday June 20th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   A lot of people don’t want to admit it, but money really does matter. I’ll be the first one to pipe up about how important it is to chase one’s inner life passion first – and I wholeheartedly believe it is – but with no financial net underneath to protect against a fall, disaster is almost guaranteed.

It would be wonderful if everyone had an emergency trust fund to go to in times of trouble, but that just isn’t realistic. Sure, credit cards can help rescue in a pinch but that’s a whole other topic. I’m talking about creating a source of steady income that tides a person over during tough times.

The sad fact is I am a complete walking financial disaster. Who wants to admit that? I couldn’t be more embarrassed about it, but that won’t change the fact that I blew it as far as setting myself up for whatever a ‘normal’ life may be. I had all kinds of opportunities, but I mangled them all.

Money management is a skill, and one that isn’t taught early enough if at all. We need to get it drilled into our psyches early so it can take root and become habit over decades. We are forced to sit through stupid algebra classes that few if any ever use after high school, but balancing a check book or saving for retirement never get talked about – at school or at home. This is pure insanity.

Maybe some people get it at home, but I never did. Home? What’s that? I’ve been living on my own since my senior year in high school. Scraping a living together has been a constant source of pain, agony and stress but experience should have taught me a lot more by now. I’m still an idiot.

I’ve been able to squeak by all these years doing what I really enjoy, but with a little bit of help and guidance I could be light years ahead of where I am now – broke and in a panic. I could have had a hefty retirement fund socked away by now, despite all the rotten breaks that came my way.

That’s not an excuse. Everyone has bad breaks to some degree – especially in my business. I’m taking full blame, as painful as that is. I’m ashamed of how I handled my finances, and I have the overwhelming task of trying to not only undo that mess and start over, but still create a nest egg.

Had I started in my teenage years, I would think I should be doing quite well by now. Even at a minimum wage income, saving 10% off the top of everything would have really added up after a lifetime, and my whole world would have been revolutionized. Instead, I farted around and spent what I made when I had it, thinking I’d get some big windfall payoff to make up for everything.

Well, I’m still waiting for that windfall. It may come, but it may not. I could sell a movie script or a book idea, or the King of Uranus could possibly generate some income in a short time. BUT, if it does happen it won’t be by accident. I need to prepare myself and have a solid plan in place.

Thinking like an entrepreneur is one thing, but executing the actual ideas is another. I’m a very abstract and creative thinker by nature, and nuts and bolts details like financial statements and all that kind of stuff is not my natural field of expertise. It will take extra effort to become proficient in these areas, but what choice do I have? I have to do something, or I’ll be living under a bridge.


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