SMS 185 – Accepting the lifestyle your income delivers

Accepting the lifestyle your income delivers 

Life is full of choices, where you live, how you live, where you work, how you work 

You can choose a lifestyle and then try to acquire an income level to support it or you can choose a career and then discover a lifestyle that that career will support. 

Life stress vs job stress 

If you had to guess which is more stressful — choosing a lifestyle then acquiring an income or choosing a career and then discover a lifestyle — the reality is that both have their own stressors.  

Choosing a lifestyle first: 

(Lifestyle can be defined as an expensive truck, boat, cottage, and yearly trips or cash flowing your children through post secondary and reaching early financial independence) 

  1. Prioritize where you live over what you do 
  2. You limit your career options 
  3. Most likely unfulfilling working life 
  4. May experience more job stress 
  5. Income replacement may become more challenging  

Choosing a career first: 

  1. Prioritize what you do over where you live 
  2. Flexibility in employment opportunities  
  3. Most likely very fulfilling working life 
  4. May experience more life stress 
  5. Sometimes a lower earning potential  

Can you have both? 

Neither of these are wrong, just don’t try to do both you will be chasing a solution for most of your life.  

  • Common thread among both:  
    • The requirement to make concessions or sacrifices, be okay with that 
    • Accept the lifestyle that the income delivers  

Why may one appear more stressful? 

  1. One is notably more important to you — prioritize family etc.  
  2. Society and relational influences  
  3. You might not have considered the nuances of prioritizing one over the other  

What if you want to choose lifestyle first (and want the perks that come along with that) but are having a challenging time digesting the type of career, job, or industry that is required in order to finance prioritizing lifestyle over career? Does that mean you simply don’t want it badly enough? Tips.  

SMS 184 – You Can Have Anything You Want….Not Everything You Want

You Can Have Anything You Want…just NOT Everything You Want 

Have you ever wondered about the people who look like they have it all? 

Tip on finding focus: have interests and hobbies the lead to related interests and hobbies – hobby matrix 

We often idealize people’s lives or situation but are not willing to make the sacrifice  

If you want something nobody else has have to be will to do something nobody else does so  

if you want something somebody else has you need to look for the sacrifice they are making 

If you do the 5 whys you can get you can get to the sacrifice 

Upgrades in live are an example have anything you want – don’t let stuff own you….you own stuff 

Your anything needs to be realistic given your income 

The sacrifice can be what you are not choosing – Artists are known for sacrifice. Writers, painters, performers – all of them choose their art over other things – security, comfort, leisure, even relationships. 

The problem with having everything you want: 

  1. Cost – unsustainable 
  2. Sacrifice – you will have to make some at some point 
  3. Contentment – you will always be chasing that next thing 
  4. Short-term benefit….long-term cost 

The benefits of having anything you want: 

  1. Avoid regret – if you know what you truly want 
  2. Focus – 10 feet deep rather than 10 feet wide 
  3. Quality over quantity 
  4. Time – you only have so much to go around 

SMS 183 – Avoid Lifestyle Inflation…….Until When?

Avoid Lifestyle Inflation…….Until When? 

What is lifestyle inflation? 

The Problem with lifestyle inflation: 

  1. It happens gradually 
  2. It can impact your future goals 
  3. The new normal will become normal 
  4. Undoing lifestyle inflation is painful 

How to Avoid Lifestyle inflation: 

  1. Avoid comparisons – you have different goals 
  2. Have a documented plan – this will remind you why you are doing this 
  3. Associate with like-minded people – people can drag you down or pull you up 
  4. Focus on percentages not absolute dollars 
  5. Embrace the process……of building wealth 

Avoid Lifestyle Inflation…….Until When? 

  1. When you have a positive net worth you can start 
  2. When the math says you can 
  3. Do you really need to…..in every aspect of your life 

SMS 182 – How to Escape Minimum Wage

How to Escape Minimum Wage

CERB – Canadian emergency response benefit was providing those affected by the pandemic $2,000 per month. A household of two working adults could expect to receive $4,000 which is $48,000 per year which is $24,000/year. A lot of the news stories, as well as people I know personally, say they could not live on this amount of money for very long and many of their bills will go unpaid.

Minimum Wage – In Ontario is $14/ hours x 40 hours x 52 weeks is $29,120/year, 2 working adults this would be $58,240/year

Statistics Canada annual income study from 2016

We have talked about the advantage of being able to live on minimum wage but that doesn’t mean that your goal should be to earn minimum wage.

Employment Equilibrium: Employers will pay just enough so you won’t leave and employees will put forth the just enough effort to not be terminated.

At some point in your working career you need to earn at least an average income to live a comfortable life and have some life experiences.

With the economy very uncertain and a recession likely you may be forced to make a career change and quite often there will be educational incentives, so this may be a great opportunity to make a change

Benefits of a minimum wage lifestyle:

  1. Income replacement is easy
  2. You have the option of job variety
  3. You can work your dream job
  4. Generally less stressful

The problem with minimum wage:

  1. Limits your what you can do in life – money solves a lot of problems in life
  2. Living close to the financial edge can cause stress

How to escape minimum wage:

  1. Education – a little can go a long way, accelerated programs, apprenticeships
  2. Experience – volunteering, maturity leave
  3. Flexibility – seasonal employment – being flexible can create opportunity
  4. Change – your organization does not value your skills
  5. Networking – knowing someone on the inside can make a difference

SMS 181 – Do Tough Times Make Tough People?

Do Tough Times Make Tough People?

Any physical growth will be lost when the comforts of life return, so most of this growth will be temporary.

Physical toughness would really only be useful if it is required in your future life. Maybe you were an accountant and because of these tough times you have become a farmer, then yes, you will have grown physically tougher because of tough times and the gains will be somewhat permanent.

As humans we got to the top of the food chain not by being Tough but by being smart. If we are going to grow from tough times then it will have to be from intellectual growth not physical growth.

Adversity does not build character it reveals character

Nine Ways to grow from tough times:

  1. Nothing worth having is easy – you learn what is important (wants/needs)
  2. You discover coping strategies 
  3. You develop compassion for others – there is something comforting about knowing you are not suffering alone
  4. You learn to ask for help – this becomes hard as you get older
  5. You discover who you can count on – one positive is you will learn you really cares about you
  6. Pain is part of life – leverage it
  7. Your biggest fears have just become your reality
  8. You are growing and learning from real life not theory
  9. The present is all you have to deal with

SMS 180 – Financially Sound During a Crisis

Financially Sound During a Crisis

Don’t count on government support to be there until this thing is over.

The societal transition from government supported to self supported will be a very uncomfortable period for many people.

Government Programs:

  • Employment insurance 45 weeks
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit $2,000 for 4 months
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit $1,250 for 4 months
  • OAS subsidy one-time payment of $300
  • Wage subsidy 75% of your earnings up to $58k equals $847/wk for 24 weeks

Will there be a “V” shaped economic recovery or will this be a long painful recovery, and what does “back” really mean.

  • Do we want everything to go back to the way it was?
  • Are there things that should not return?

5 ways to make yourself financially sound during a crisis:

  1. Make sure the work you do is invaluable and you’re indispensable — work from home or work for an essential service; make sure your role job is invaluable and you’re indispensable to your company
  2. Make sure to have alternative forms of incomes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket — side hustles 
  3. Keep an adequate and reasonable amount of food storage, don’t overdo it just enough to last you a month, that includes hygiene products, this is also valuable in case you lose your job
  4. Limit all expenses to the bare minimum, any excess that you do not need, cut it 
  5. The hardest to do, but have an emergency fund — two months rent/mortgage, two months car, two months bills etc

SMS 179 – Making a Case for Audiobooks

Making a Case for Audiobooks

If you enjoy podcasts you will probably enjoy audiobooks? – it depends on the kind of podcast you listen to.

Does listening to an audiobook count as reading? – if information consumption or entertainment was your goal then the answer is yes.

Do you get the same retention value with listening vs reading? – when you were learning to read, in the traditional sense, you had to develop reading comprehension skills.

Is there a learning curve to consuming audiobooks? – start with a book you have already read

Fiction vs non-fiction

  • Fiction is more like a theater for you mind
  • Non-fiction feels more like a podcast experience

Example: Malcolm Gladwell Talking to Strangers – when he referenced a news story or interview in his book he actually played the news or interview clip in the audiobook.

The benefits of audiobooks:

  1. Reading when you can’t read
  2. Two stage entertainment value – author/narrator
  3. Gain perspectives you might miss otherwise – narrator emphases
  4. You will take on subject matters you otherwise would not
  5. If you sign up for an audiobook service it will force you to consume
  6. You can listen with someone else

Audiobook challenges:

  1. The wondering mind – increase listening speed
  2. You don’t get the retention value – were you actually going to read it?
  3. You need equipment to access the audio – low cost to entry
  4. Some books just don’t work for audio

Audio File magazine is a great resource

  • Print subscription 6 issues $19.95 1 year, $26.95 2 year
  • Digital subscription 6 issues $14.95 or $2.95/issue

Reddit is a great resource

  • Sub-Reddit: Audiobooks
  • Sub-Reddit: Audible

Where to get audiobooks:

  • The library with Overdrive or Libby
  • Audibile.ca $14.95 CAD
  • Kobo.com $12.99 CAD
  • The Great Courses $19.99 CAD 50% off a quarterly subscription

SMS 178 – Breaking Down Boredom

Breaking Down Boredom

What is boredom?

Bored | Adjective | feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity

Boredom is often viewed negatively, however is boredom inherently bad or something to be avoided?

The global shift of acceptance

Boredom was once a frowned upon feeling or experience and not readily embraced before this current crisis; productivity has long been championed

We are existing within a time where society embraces and normalizes boredom — (we’ve reached new heights on digital consumption, influx of digital streaming services, social media trends)

Polarizing views from those who are at home vs. working during this pandemic?

Bored vs. content? What if we overcompensate and move from boredom  to overloaded?  (the overcompensation approach)

Why we experience boredom:

  1. It’s comfortable, easy, habitual 
  2. We don’t have strong enough goals and values 
  3. We don’t have passions 
  4. We don’t know how avoid or combat boredom 

Boredom’s negative impact:

  1. Online, mindless spending 
  2. Mindless consumption 
  3. Reduction in self-growth and learning 
  4. We can jeopardize achieving our goals and upholding our values — life will just happen if we let it
  5. It’s more challenging to start back up 

How to avoid or get out of the boredom rut?

When the looming temptation to give into the idea of boredom:

  1. Reframe the boredom — what does your current circumstance present you with? Ex. Time, energy, focus etc.
  2. Embrace the boredom — what projects, tasks, undertakings etc. does your current circumstance allow you to take on? 
  3. Act on it and stay committed to keeping the boredom at bay 

SMS 177 – Is Misery is better than Mediocrity?

Is Misery is better than Mediocrity?

What is misery?

• A strong feeling or sense of being unfulfilled, hopeless, discontent, or unhappy due to perceived or real circumstances

• Strong doesn’t mean negative or bad however we perceive it as bad because it is a strong, extreme emotion that makes us uncomfortable

If you let it, life will happen to you, not for you

Without goals or a value system you are wandering aimlessly with no direction or end in sight, which can retrospectively result in misery

Where does misery come from?

Misery stems from circumstances that are either:

  1. Perceived inequity 
  2. Real inequity 

Why we should embrace misery?

  1. A force for change
  2. A realization and identification of what you do want (opposite of what you currently have) – strong emotions of any kind need to be listened to

How to embrace misery?

  1. Recognize – the associated feelings/thought patterns and the situation, environment, or circumstance you’re in
  2. Realize – and understand why you’re feeling such unpleasant, strong emotions in relation to any external/internal circumstances may be an influencing factor 
  3. Respond – harness your unpleasant, strong  emotions to evoke change; it’s okay to feel misery, it’s what you do with that feeling that matters

SMS 176 – A Shift in Thinking

You should upgrade to solve a specific problem or to get a specific outcome

What adjustments are you making within your lives?

What are you doing to combat this?

We want to to have a conservation about you and encourage you to let us know how you’re dealing with it. 

The shift from comfort and convenience to safety and security 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 

Why is this shift important?

  1. Our needs have become more important then our wants
  2. Comfort is a cage (and you will trap yourself if you don’t let go of it)
  3. Innovation vs. reliability — designed to cater to comfort and convenience 
  4. Resourcefulness 

Areas of your life to deploy this in?

  1. Food
  2. Shelter — buying large homes is built on comfort and convenience; having a home that can’t be taken away from you; owning your home has never been more important which is highlighted more then ever 
  3. Relationships — build relationships that facilitate comfort and security not comfort and convenience (shrink social circle as you 
  4. Employment — this might be time to take risks as there is the possibility of losing our job; the comfort and convenience is making a job with more money 

If you have debt you are dealing with solving yesterday’s decisions, never before has it been more important to be nimble