Grab a cup of coffee, this is a long one. I’ve been trying to find the right words for a post like this for over a year. It’s time to tell you that I blew a lot of money this year.
There are lots of different schools of thought in the world of personal finance blogging. You have frugal bloggers, those who focus on financial independence, those who are trying to pay off debt and some who are a mix of everything.
For me, money has always been about living the life the way I want. I like having options. I like being able to do what I want when I want. Of course, you don’t start off that way. I started off like everyone else – 22 and broke. But, I still knew what I wanted and was willing to put in the work.
As such, I feel like I spent most of my 20s focusing on one thing – get a business off the ground so I wouldn’t have to work for someone else. I figured once I had that, I could live more intentionally because I was more in control of my own life.
There was a time when I was working full-time, working on a blog and taking classes for my coaching certification all at once. I was exhausted and my social life was practically non-existent. I had one romantic relationship during that time and ended up attracting a guy who was just as busy as I was. Not a surprise that it didn’t work out (but it was still fun ;)).
At the time, I had no idea about the amount of income potential I had. Did you know most millionaires in the U.S. got there through their own businesses? I didn’t know it could give me so much control over my finances. I didn’t know just how smart a move this was for my finances and my future.
However, I just wanted the freedom that came with not having a boss and I was willing to make the sacrifices it took to get there. I was (and still am) really young. Now was the time.
Fast forward a few years and my life looks completely different.
After many years of moving only in one direction – living at home to save money, not going out much, not really spending money on anything (except travel and even then I would travel hack it). I put my head down, worked my ass off, avoided big risks, saved money and repeated.
And so, it would seem as if 2017 was the year I did the exact opposite – I moved out, spent money on convenience, invested a shit ton into my business, took major risks, upgraded my wardrobe, started partying (don’t worry not nearly as hard as I used to. Even if I wanted to it’s physically impossible haha), spent more money on shoes than I have in my entire life, invested in MYSELF.
To be honest this actually started before the clock struck midnight on January 1st. It actually started around September/October of 2016 when a good friend from college passed away very suddenly.
He was only 32.
To me, he represented living life, not just merely existing. He was adventurous and very kind. My friend loved everybody in that conscious next level kind of way and everyone who knew him could feel it. He was also the life of the party.
In many ways, he was like an older brother to me during a very dark period in my life. Many philosophical conversations were had while he smoked his Newport cigarettes and I bummed one.
It was a devastating loss for anyone that knew him. The pain we were all feeling was palpable. And he wasn’t much older than me which made it worse because then I began questioning the frailty of my own humanity. After not having had a panic attack in years, I felt them starting to come back.
Because, you see, my biggest fear isn’t not having enough money. I know I’m not taking my money with me when I die. After many years of working on healing my own finances, I also now know I have the ability to earn whatever kind of money I want.
My biggest fear is actually the fear of wasting my life.
You can always make more money, but you won’t get your time back. That’s why I’m so restless. That’s also why I work so hard to live the way I want to live (which inevitably requires a conversation about money).
And so, by the end of that week when I found out he had passed, I had three plane tickets booked (Because that’s what I do when I’m anxious). I also slapped a fee to work with a mentor on a credit card.
Most of December 2016 was spent partying (and somehow still made pretty good money) and stopped depriving myself of the things I wanted – like a $200 custom made jacket or that $4 latte.
I moved. Not only did I move – I moved to a waterfront apartment.
I’ve started taking more risks in relationships.
I said yes to things that scared the shit out of me.
I also invested thousands in mentorship and personal development. From avoiding huge investments to making it rain on mentorship and systems, can you believe that? I also took opportunities when they presented themselves, like going to Tony Robbins: Unleash The Power Within. I didn’t plan for this and didn’t know how I was going to pay for it, I just knew I had zero time to waste an opportunity. Because it was time to stop playing small and I needed help getting to the next level.
So while I may not have as much money to my name as I did when I started 2017, I do feel like I started living again. Less sacrificing, more being present for the one life I have in this form.
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned since losing my friend it’s that money is simultaneously one of the most important and least important things in life.
The loss also hasn’t been all bad. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s watching over me. (One of my friends who is a medium actually felt him around me. It was trippy and wild.)
The truth is, I blew a lot of money this year, but I’m not in debt over it. I’m also not that far off from where I started earlier this year. I actually proved to myself just how much I can earn and I’m still responsible. My worst fear of losing control of my finances isn’t even close to happening in actuality.
Lots of good has come from it as well.
- I love where I live. I’ve always wanted to live on the water, now I do. (While I was on the way to meet management one of my friends’ favorite songs – aka a song we used to party to – came on the radio.)
- I’ve met amazing people in the past year. Like beyond amazing. My life will never be the same as a result.
- I had my first five-figure launch with a beta program (talk about risk!)
- I saw Tony Robbins live. By far one of the top five experiences of my entire life.
- I traveled – a lot. Went to places I’ve been wanting to visit for years and even manifested a trip to Austin with all expenses paid.
- I now have a sustainable business model with a full sales funnel. One that has given me major peace of mind because I’ve realized how
easy it can be to earn money while also showing up for my life. This alone has been a major mindset shift since I used to think it was
- I’m on track to earn more money than ever. The investments paid off 😉
- My personal relationships have improved significantly.
- I’m having more fun!
And now it’s all out of my system.
I’ve grieved. I’ve released, hence, I can write this now.
I did everything I wanted to do this year. I’m ready for a more grounded 2018 – starting with a break from travel (unless I get paid a shit ton of money, I’ll get on a plane for that ;))
So thank you, Jon, for reminding me that there’s more to life than sacrificing. Thank you for showing me I’m not a broke 22-year-old anymore. Thank you for reminding me to start living again.
I put in the work, now it’s time to start enjoying some of the fruits of my labor. It’s time to live.