Twenty years, ten months and twenty seven days ago I looked up into a star filled night sky and I was overcome by feelings of regret, fear, loss and embarrassment.
Eight years earlier I had graduated from one of the most prestigious and expensive schools in Australia “The Kings School”, won a National Swimming Title and was the “golden child” in the eyes of my family and friends. Aside from average academic ability had a choice of any career I wanted.
However by my twenty fifth birthday I’d dropped out... no failed university; burnt countless relationships, partied way to hard, had more casual jobs than I could remember and was living week to week, often borrowing from family and friends till my next pay.
I didn’t like where I was, what I had become and what the future would hold if I was to continue down the same path I was on. I also remember thinking massive change only comes from massive action.
I won’t bore you with the emotional details however on my twenty fifth birthday I decided to commit to a savings plan of $100 per month. I soon calculated that this would never be enough to be rich “financially free”. So I reassessed and upped my savings to my maximum possible commitment of $250 per week, which was about 60% of my income.
I also defined how much investment income I wanted to be “financially free”, back in 1996 this was $50,000 per year. In my projections I also estimated how much this would require in investments and long this would take. Using a 10% total return and then a 5% income I estimated needed $1,000,000 of investments, and this would require a commitment of twenty two years to achieve my “financial independence”.
At first saving 60% of all my income was horrible. I had to change my priorities and attitude. In hindsight my drive probably came from my desire to punish myself for my earlier failings, prove to myself I wasn't a failure and to feel some sense of worth when I was around others.
After three month's my motivation was less emotional. I'd learnt no trained myself to do more with less and at the same time started to relish this new commitment, in a similar way I had previously when training in the pool for my swimming. I also realised the only control I had was my savings amount and my regularity i.e. my goal will be achieved as long as I simply do the work.
With greater confidence came higher goals and I decided to set myself a stretch goal of $15,000, saved by the end of twelve months and the reward being any money saved above this I could spend however I wanted and with this as my reward I took on extra shifts and threw myself into learning more about investments and finances.
More than making a commitment, I found that it’s the doing that moves you forward. This "doing" gave me focus again in life and self confidence that had had gone M.I.A. between finishing school and my twenty fifth birthday. It also opened doors of opportunity for me, transitioning from casual bar worker, to bank teller, financial adviser to establishing my own boutique financial planning business, where I now have the privilege to help others also become financially independent for themselves too.
The following are some insights I have discovered on my journey to be “financially independent”
If you are stuck in a funk or you’re lost in a cloud of complexity feel free to contact me. Most often in life we just need someone to talk things through and to lighten our load a little. The following articles may also be of help.
7 Ways to be Instantly Free and Start Living Your Dreams (ideal life) Now!
From Little Things Big Things Grow
The Story of Four Horses: Excellent Ones. Good Ones. Poor Ones and Bad Ones
What's Important To You?
About Peter Horsfield
Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.