Guest post from Brother FI – Brotherly Advice on Life and Money
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Hello everyone welcome to episode 13.
Over 32 years ago my parents emigrated from Ethiopia to the United States of America. During that time the people of Ethiopia were facing many hardships and challenges many fled to escape in hope of finding a place of peace and opportunity.
Many traveled by foot to Sudan, including my parents where they would receive sponsorship to come the US in the early 80s. The US is where they met and would begin their lives together.
They came to this country with nothing, but the memories of their past and hopes of a prosperous future.
Since coming to the US they achieved citizenship, had children, learned as much as possible and are now on their own path to financial independence. They may not be retiring early, but you can bet that they’ll be financially independent living respectable lives.
I share this story:
- To inspire. We often think financial freedom as this distant and hard to achieve status. My parents were African refugees who barely could speak the English language, yet they found a way to become educated, become citizens and contribute to society while building a life suitable for them and their kids.
- To help you see that financial independence does not discriminate. Whether you’re Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, male, female, young, not so young or whoever from wherever in the world, let me say this without getting political. You can achieve FI if you want to. I’ve seen and read too many accounts of people from all kinds of backgrounds who have successfully reached the financial status many of us are working hard for. Around 1997 my parents divorced and I remember at one point since the divorce my mother working 3 jobs just to support me and my sister. To give us the opportunities to be successful that she wasn’t afforded.
- For you to realize the choices you make today have generational affects. I understand there are many impoverished communities where the path to FI is much more difficult to achieve. My sister and I grew up in government subsidized housing shortly after our parents divorced. I could see then that the life we lived with subsidized housing and food stamps was not going to be how I lived my life in the future. This was a motivating factor for me to do well in school. Please try not to let your present circumstances dictate where you end up in the future.
I know some of you listening may say well my upbringing was much worse, more dangerous, more challenging. I have no doubt about that. I just hope that some way, somehow you can find the means to overcome your circumstances, your hardships and change your future for the better.
try not to let your present circumstances dictate where you end up in the future
Financial independence, financial health is just one part of a better future for you. You’ve also got to take care of your physical mental health and physical health.
What’s the point of financial independence and financial freedom?
Because it matters. That’s it. Financial independence should matter to you. It should matter to our government. It should matter to our education system. Unfortunately, our K-12 education system as a whole doesn’t do enough to prepare our students for the practical life, like balancing a budget, saving and investing for the future, understanding interest and proper use of credit cards.
- Business Insider article noted as of October 2017 that only 5 states required high school students to take a personal finance course. 5 states out of 50!
First 12 episodes we’ve laid a pretty solid foundation to build upon. I highly recommend you go listen. You’ve heard a little of my story in this episode and I want you to take one action item for the week.
only 5 states required high school students to take a personal finance course
Define your ‘why’
Why do you want to be financially independent? Why are you on this path?
If you can answer your ‘why’, then you can begin to lay out your how.
For me and my wife, our why is our family. We’ve seen how our parents struggled financially and with a lack of complete financial literacy. My wife, my siblings and I have made some financial mistakes that we could have avoided.
At least if we had the knowledge and capacity we could have possibly made choices to avoid some of those mistakes. We want different for our children, our communities and the generations to come. Plus who doesn’t want to be able to secure their financial future by 40 or 50?
Even if you’re past this age you still need a ‘why’ if you’re even remotely interested in pursuing financial independence.
So let’s figure out your why? Once you do that figuring out how WILL become possible.
Ready to become financially independent?
- Sign up for your FREE Personal Capital account and start tracking your net worth. It’s what I use and happily recommend to you.
- Download this FREE spreadsheet that I use to budget our money and expenses each month.
- Listen and subscribe to the BrotherFI podcast on your favorite podcast player.
- Don’t forget to subscribe to the BrotherFI newsletter and receive your FREE financial independence checklist.