David and John, better known as the Debt Free Guys, went from living fabulously broke to living fabulously. They now share their wisdom writing in their blog and through their Queer Money Podcast. Their energy is contagious and will have you making better financial decisions.
About two and a half years after David and I started dating, we realized that we were financial messes. We were as we like to say, living fabulously but fabulously broke. During a time when we went to visit a friend, we wanted to have a vacation home.
We had this marvelous idea of buying land and building a modern home. After discussing it further we realized that we were financial messes and shouldn’t be purchaisng a second home. We knew then that we needed to reverse this and wanted to start living the lives we truly wanted to live.
This comes up regularly. It’s not necessarily something that is unique to our community, but unique to how we are as human beings. If you’re a young straight couple, the norm is to graduate from school and get a high-paying job.
For gay men, we’re supposed to be fabulous. We’re supposed to dress well, have nice cars, and take amazing vacations. The problem is that it’s not possible for everyone to afford the same kind of lifestyle based on their income. Instead of conforming to other people’s expectations put forth the effort to prioritize your needs.
The first tip is to figure out what’s truly important to you and not what’s important to your friends. The reality is we don’t have an income problem, we have a spending problem. Do a spending analysis to determine what things you’re spending on aren’t giving you that long-term happiness.
Saving for retirement has been our biggest investment thus far.
At the time we were hearing everyone tell us, “You can spend 3, 4, 5 times what your annual salary is when buying a home.” But, we didn’t want a large mortgage, so bought a condo that was one and a half times our salary instead. Having a small mortgage allowed us to contribute thousands of dollars every year to our retirement.
For those who are not big personal finance readers, who aren’t money geeks, I love the book “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason. I like it because it’s simple and story-like–showing you the importance of setting money aside eeach paycheck.
Another great book is “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He talks a lot about how we’re born with certain beliefs and adopting them in our lives. Often, these are limiting beliefs that don’t allow us to live our fullest potential.
We’d give 10% back to our LGBT community, 30% would go into some form of retirement, and 60% go towards a vacation.
if you’re feeling hopeless, there’s a good chance that there’s somebody out there that has or has had that feeling of hopelessness. Nowadays, there are countless blogs and podcasts with people having the same struggle as you. Use these people as your guide to overcoming your struggles.
Also, just take one step toward progress. There are people who have lost everything and have become millionaires. It really comes down to being persistent.
Money is a tool that I can use to make my life and the lives of other people better. Having a lot of money is worthless if aren’t going to make your life better or somebody else’s.
Chris writes personal finance and productivity articles for software companies. He gets fresh ideas through continuously investing in himself and interviewing successful entrepreneurs.