Aw, the weekend. I love my weekends. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do on weekends. I can live the way life is supposed to be lived. It’s treacherous out on those Minneapolis streets this afternoon from freezing rain and now a fresh coat of snow, but I don’t mind. I have plenty to keep me entertained and occupied right here in my cozy, clutter-free apartment.

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Feeling the day, and weekend for that matter, slipping away from me, I’m once again pondering why we all do this to ourselves. Why do we only get 2 days out of 7 each week to live our lives on our terms?

We’re Taught that Spending Drives the Economy

Spending. It’s what we all have to do if our economy is to make it. If we want to keep our jobs, we must get out there and buy, buy, buy. If we want the stock market to go up, we must spend, spend, spend. And if anyone even tries to say we shouldn’t, shame on them. After all, we MUST keep our precious economy going.

But have you ever stopped to think about it? Why do we need all this crap? Why do we need to have all the conveniences we have come to rely on? One thing we seem to all forget is the effect that this has on our quality of life. It’s not positive. It’s negative. To be able to buy all this crap, we have to sell the majority of the prime of our life (our 20’s through 60’s). In case you didn’t pick up on what I meant by that, we have to go to work. Sometimes, we like going to work everyday, usually 40 hours or more per week. But many times, we grow to dislike doing this. The thing we too often aren’t thinking about is that most of it is self imposed. We are forced to go to work because we keep on spending all the money we make.

I Value My Life More Than The U.S. Economy

Sorry U.S of A., but I value my life more than I value the GDP of our economy. I’m sorry if you’re not able to generate nearly as much money in revenue from taxes as you spend each year. I guess you just don’t have the money to do the big things you’re trying to do. I’d love to help, but I don’t want to live in slavery my entire life, as I’m under the impression that this is a free country. And since it is a free country, I’m free to save my money instead of spending it. I care about my future more than your economic indicators.

And I care too much about all of you to see you keep buying into this whole mindset. The thing is, we don’t need all this junk. We don’t need to consume like crazy, just because we can. It is hurting us. Every dollar we spend today is a dollar we could have used to build financial independence with but will now have to go earn back. Our lives are ticking away and ending one day at a time. Each dollar you spend instead of investing in your financial independence, is a dollar that you’ll have to go earn again. Don’t you see the correlation between this and a rat in a wheel? Anyone who is consuming like mad and thinks that their spending will bring them happiness is like a rat in a wheel. You’re going round and round and round. Eventually, you’re going to fall over and die. The question is, are you going to stop running before that happens?

First, Stop Running. Then, Get Off the Wheel

Fortunately, I stopped running a few years ago after only a couple years of running. I’m challenging you to stop running too. You may be running the rat race if:

  • You are not financially independent and are not saving a HUGE chunk of your income
  • You spend more than you earn
  • You think nice things will bring you more happiness than financial freedom

You’re not on a path to financial freedom if you’re not saving a HUGE percentage of your income. My question to you is, why are you not? Do you know that you’re like a rat in a wheel, burning time, spending your life’s energy and getting nowhere?

Are you buying a new car because you need something “safe” and “reliable”? Are you buying a new house because you don’t want to “throw your money away” on rent? Did you get the new iPhone because you “need” a super high-speed data connection? If that’s true then I suppose you also “need” your satellite TV subscription, that new Coach purse, those new boots, that new 70 inch LED TV and that new dining room furniture set for Thanksgiving this year. Remember, when you buy that new Nissan, Honda, Toyota or Acura, you’re signing yourself up to run many, many miles on the wheel in the future, instead of jumping off that deadly course.

Let’s Let The Economy Worry About Itself

The economy can worry about itself. If we all stopped “needing” these unnecessary waste-of-money gadgets, sure those companies would go out of business, but companies that offered value in ways that we did need would thrive. Oh no, there just may not be enough jobs available to employ every adult in the country for 40 plus hours per week. But if we were all spending less than we made and either were at or striving for financial independence, we wouldn’t need to work that many hours anyway.

After all, if we bought half the crap we buy now, why would we need to work the same amount of hours? Exactly, we wouldn’t. Just think of how much our quality of life would increase if we could spend more time with our family, spend more time with our friends, cook more home-made meals, grow a garden, walk a lot more, exercise, and enjoy the nice days but stay in on the icky days. Just imagine how different our great country could be and how happy we would all be if we stopped playing this game and stopped running in circles, like rats in a wheel. As Mr. Money Mustache says, WAKE UP DRONE PEOPLE!!! There is a better way to live.

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