After yet another move a few months ago, I recently thought of a piece I hadn’t yet come across in my unpacking and went on to search (slightly obsessively) for it for days, and was relieved to finally find it, packed comfortably in with some fabric samples.
It was a gift my Dad had given me twenty-five years ago – a small piece of the Berlin Wall in a plastic enclosure. But while I treasure gifts from my Dad, and never want to lose them, I wondered if there was more to it with regards to why I couldn’t rest easy until I found it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what that piece represents – freedom – is why it is so significant to me.
When I started writing my book about stretching the dollar, it seemed more on a basic monetary level, as in, I wanted people to get more for their money and not be ripped off, etc. But as the years progressed, and the book got so massive that it had to be subdivided into six parts, I realized how significant it was for us to also look at the root of our relationships with money and not just the basics like the costs of items. Not just the final totals on our credit card bills but what we bought and why.
Most of us live pay cheque to pay cheque, but if you have enough to eat and a roof over your head, you are better off than millions of others. But even so, while physical freedom may not be a concern for most of us in the Western world, many of us struggle in different ways to feel truly free within our core, and we may try to fill emptiness with superficial things as we stumble down a gravelly road of debt.
While some things in life are out of our control, many things are within our grasp like how we spend and save. My books and blogs won’t solve all your problems, but my sincere hope is not just that you will be a wiser consumer, but that you will also be able to zone in on some of your monetary challenges, get to the root of the issues, and knock down barriers, or your own Berlin Walls, that are holding you back from success, so you can have a sweet taste of freedom.