Does your mind burst at the seams
with all kinds of great ideas? Do you feel like there are not enough hours in the day for you to make your mark? Are you confident the investors on TV’s Shark Tank would be lucky to have you? Or, do you feel your goals, dreams and plans are too far from reach, and what’s the point really?
How can you tell if it’s financially too late for you?
I had planned on becoming wealthy. Quite wealthy, into the multi-millionaire status. I was perfectly content to work like crazy and save like a miser. When I started my Electrolysis practice in 1987, I freeloaded off my parents, and saved every penny I made. In 3 years, I saved $30,000. That was a lot of money back then, especially since I started my business from scratch.
While becoming wealthy was still my goal,
my plans changed when I got married. My late husband came into the marriage with a lot of debt. That’s not a judgment, just a fact. We immediately purchased a home we could not afford. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking back, it was stupid!
Prior to buying a house, I had increased my savings to $1000 a week. Afterwards, I had to borrow money from the credit cards to make the mortgage payments.
My sole reason for wanting to be wealthy
was so that I would never have to worry about money. I never wanted to go without necessities, or worry about keeping a roof over my head. It was not to live an indulgent lifestyle, eat bonbons all day or bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower. I simply never wanted money to be an issue. I thought if I had lots of it, it wouldn’t be.
I have a list as long as the sky is high of things I want to do. I want to travel, specifically for genealogy research. I have yet to see the Orkney Islands in Scotland, or Latvia and Lithuania. My ancestors were from those countries.
For years I’ve had a desire to rent an apartment for a few months in Scotland so I can fully scope out the country, and do additional family history research while I’m in the neighborhood.
I still carry a hefty mortgage
on my home, and a savings account in the low four figures! Under normal circumstances, I can’t financially take a day off work, let alone a few months to look at kilts, bagpipes and the North Sea. With the current world pandemic, I have not been allowed to work for over five months and counting. My finances have taken a severe beating, and that is an understatement.
I am far from my goal of financial independence. Each birthday reminds me that I have less time to reach that goal. This invisible virus has slowed my progress to a crawl. I’m not looking for world domination, just a larger buffer between me and life.
While it is discouraging to be so far from the finish line, I do have words of encouragement for myself. I’d like you to eavesdrop on my pep talk:
It is never too late.
That may just sound like happy talk, but it’s true. As long as you are still alive, and are willing to do something about it, it is not too late.
I spent over 20 years researching the unknown birthplace and real name of my grandfather. (you can read the story “Finding Grandpa” here). He was born in Latvia. My 89 year old mother and I were planning a trip there this summer. Mom wants to cover my costs as a thank you for solving her lifelong mystery. She doesn’t think it’s too late to make a big trip like that, and neither do I. We’ll have to push it out another year because of virus related travel restrictions. I don’t want our time overseas spent in quarantine!
There are a few people you may have heard of
who made their millions later in life. Does the name Henry Ford ring a bell? He became wealthy at age 45. Charles Darwin wasn’t wealthy until age 50. Colonel Sanders (founder of KFC) was 73 when he finally became a millionaire. About 99.7% of Warren Buffett’s wealth was earned after his 52nd birthday. Even though I would have preferred to amass wealth earlier, it’s nice to know I’m in good company with the late bloomers.
While I’d like to reach my financial goals today, or even yesterday, I still have time.
I live on a budget,
and spend less than I make. I still have a lot of catching up to do, and I try to speed up the process whenever I can. Living under a shelter in place order has certainly slowed my progress, but I know it has slowed everyone else’s progress too.
If you want to win financially, you have to be willing to make some short term sacrifices. Looking ahead to your end goal will help you make better choices. Good choices will speed up your progress to financial freedom. Having a realistic budget will lead to good choices. All of the components to ditch debt and build savings are intertwined.
Where there is life, there is hope.
Never give up, no matter how weary you become. Rest, and start again. Repeat as necessary. Do keep in mind that though there is still time for financial freedom, there is no time to waste. The very best time to start your journey is 20 years ago. The next best time to start is right now.
If you’ve risen from the ashes, I’d love to hear your story on my Facebook page at Elaine’s Lane. It is important to remember there is a community of support available. None of us are alone on this journey.
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