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What Is Money, REALLY?

If you want to gain early financial independence – in other words, retire well before the age of sixty, without needing multiple millions in a nest egg – one of the keys is to change your perspective about money.

In the video that follows, I talk about this paradigm shift in length. I also talk about it below the video, if you prefer.

(Please click on the video to get to its page on YouTube so that you can share it with your online networks. TIA!)

What people think money is

How do most people perceive money? Many see it as a means of social acceptance. If I make at least this amount, I will be accepted by the circle of people that I want to be a part of. I will be able to buy the material items that make me look good in front of others.

Some people perceive money as a source of power. The more money I have, the more power I can obtain.

Many – perhaps most – people also see money as a kind of security. The more money we have, the more secure we feel that our physical needs will be met, even some of our wants. We won’t have to worry about starving to death or sleeping on the streets.

Some religious people consider money to be evil. This is generally because for so many years, people have twisted the Bible verse to say, “Money is the root of all evil.” That’s not what it says. It says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” But some religious people persist in believing the misquotation, and so force themselves to live austere, miserable lives as a result.

What money REALLY is

Money is none of those things. Rather, it is a mode of exchange. We have agreed that this particular currency, these special pieces of paper and specific round pieces of metal represent a certain value that we can trade for the things we want and need. That’s all money is.

Money represents your life energy. The money that you earn from your job or business depends on the life energy that you expend.

Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin talked about this concept at length in their book, Your Money Or Your Life. In fact, they instruct their readers to sit down and figure out whether the money that they earn from their jobs really worth the life energy that they are putting out.

Most people’s immediate answer is, “Sure, the hours I put into my job is worth the money I get back.” But when they actually sit down and do some number-crunching, they are surprised at what they find. Once they make a list of all the expenses related to their job – including lunches and dinners out, the commute (time wasted, gas, extra repairs, hiked insurance due to extra mileage), sick days, day care, “decompression time” after coming home from work, paying someone to clean the house and/or maintain the yard, clothing – they realize that they don’t make nearly as much money as they thought they did. Instead of making $200 per day, they may be only making $150. That would be a decrease in salary of $1,000 per month!

Then they realize, “Whoa! If I didn’t have this job, then I wouldn’t have to make as much money as I do!”

At first glance, that might not make sense. And you might argue, “Well, I have to do something to buy groceries!”

I agree! But…do you actually need the job that you’re working right now? What would happen if you found a less stressful job, closer to home, maybe with fewer hours? Then you would not need the extra money related to a long commute, and you would probably have a lot fewer sick days, and you would have more time to take care of your house yourself.

You’ve got to make this paradigm shift if you are serious about achieving early financial independence. Money is a mode of exchange, an exchange of your life energy.

Once you get that revelation, then spend a month or two keeping track of every single penny that comes into and goes out of your life. Write down every single expenditure, and every single bit of income. Most people, when they do that, find that they are wasting a whole lot of their life energy by buying things that they not only don’t need, but don’t really want shortly after buying them. Or, they are items – such as a cup of coffee – that they could save a lot of money on just by getting up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning to make some at home.

Remember: you have to release your life to get money. Get in the habit of asking, “Is this thing I’m about to buy really worth my life energy?” You’ll be surprised at how the answer will become “no” more and more frequently.

To get all the step-by-step details of achieving early financial independence, click here for my book, Hatching The Nest Egg.

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