Financial Independence

You know today’s essay is about something that I think about every single day but that I never talk about with other people. Today I want to talk about financial security.

See one of my few personal goals is to become financially independent. By this I mean that I don’t depend on an employer or any one job for my sustenance. In other words, I can live off my savings and investments. There are honestly few things that I want in life and today I did some soul searching as to why that is the case.

After thinking about it for a while with a friend I realized that I don’t necessarily want a ton of money. I just want enough so that I can live in a nice place and not care about how much I spend on food or travel. I know this can mean a lot of different things but I have a clear picture in my mind of what that means and for now that’s all that matters.

Once I internalized this I started to wonder if different people have different motivations for wanting to make money. I came to the conclusion that the desire for financial independence stems from a form of insecurity that we feel. I was able to come up with two different types of insecurities:

  1. Need for external validation: I think that some people want to become really wealthy because it gives them a lot of social capital or material possessions to numb the pain caused by some insecurely deep inside them.
  2. Fear from childhood experience: I think that some people want to become financially independent because they had some financially insecurity or “money problems” growing up.

In my case, I fall in the latter category. While I was growing up my dad lost his jobs and for many years he struggled to a find a new one. Although we never suffered and my parents did a terrific job at keeping the same lifestyle for their kids, I definitely felt that we had money problems. Every time that they had to pay for the tuition of my sister and I I would hear comments on how hard it was. At one point I remember my aunt giving my mom some money in an envelope to help pay for our extracurricular classes so that we wouldn’t stop taking swimming lessons, playing soccer, or dance flamenco.

For some reasons those memories are deeply engrained in my memory and they my stomach turn every time I think about it. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that a lot of my drive to become financially successful stems from this need to turn the page on these memories. It’s a pain that I want to relief.

So far this is a rather bleak essay but there are a couple of good news. First, I am aware of why I want to make money and I know that the reason is not to fulfill some deep insecurity driven by external validation. Second, this is a problem that can be solved. There are ways to make money and if I dedicate myself to it I should be able to solve that issue relatively soon.

In this case putting a name to this issue should help me address it and this is why I am writing this essay.

Now back to work.