Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much of my life is evaluated through an “after divorce” lens. Have you ever had one of those life-changing experiences where everything else that happens is counted or measured in relation to that one event or experience? For example, do you find that everything correlates to the birth of a child, the year you began your new business, or the year you graduated college (for you young’uns).
As regrettable as it is for me, I find that my life seems to be measured back to February 2012 – the time of my divorce. So here I am now entering year AD 3 (After Divorce year 3). And while the experience was horrible in the moment, I can actually recall the events now with some element of humor.
Because you know what? As of AD 3, I am a better friend, a better sister, a higher-level executive, and a richer and overall happier person than I was in the 10 years leading up to February 2012. And speaking of richer, I want you to know where my focus is in 2014 – MONEY. Yes, money. The root of all evil, for those misquoting the Bible. (See actual quote/verse below.)
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 King James Version (KJV)
In fact, I do not love money; I don’t even really like it all that much. But I love earning it! I love trying to make as much money as possible, give away as much as possible, and overall live as if it grows on trees. Does that sound familiar, contradictory or just plain stupid?
Let me explain over the next few blogs how I have come to realize that AD 3 RefWriter wants to be financially free and live like she doesn’t need the money. I am going to take control of my financial future for my businesses and my life. I am seriously focusing on financial freedom and personal legacy. Every day, I think about this. I ponder it, work on it and discuss it to ad nauseam with my friends.
For example, I was sitting with a referee friend about a month ago at a Division I Conference Tournament site, and we were discussing retirement, security and financial freedom. This particular friend is a guy who has put away money through the years and has a very nice retirement plan in place. He said to me, “When I retire, I am going to set up a Quick Loans shop and only loan to referees, because they are TERRIBLE MONEY MANAGERS. I could make a fortune.” After listening to a few examples and stories he shared, I realized he was right. Referees, like many other independent contractors, are terrible money managers. So I have a challenge for you: Let’s get better together.
Over the next few blogs posts, I plan to discuss the following four money topics:
- Earning the most money you can
- Spending money to make a more successful business
- Saving money for your future
- Making your money work
And while I have always found ways to make a lot of money, I have never taken the proactive steps to put my money to work alongside me. I have been scared of the unknown and honestly, I have always found making money and spending it to be a lot more fun than making it and saving it.
However, I am breaking the chains of financial fear and I want you to do the same. I have found inspiration in this area from a few different books. So if you want to gain insight into where I am headed in my next few posts, consider reading these two books:
- Financially Fearless by Alexa Von Tobel, CFP.
- Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski
Here is an excerpt from the introduction to Financially Fearless:
“If this is the first time you’re thinking about this stuff seriously, you might think you don’t yet have a financial plan, but guess what? Not having a plan is a plan – just a really, really bad one.”
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Your blog got me to thinking a little more seriously about what to do with the income that officiating has brought in. I consulted with a friend/financial advisor and started a Roth IRA. While I already have a 401K started by my employer it never hurts to keep “stocking it away for a rainy day.” I also bought a car for my wife. Its all within the income that I’ve earned and (God-willing) will continue to earn working a schedule that is less busy than the one that I’ve kept for the last 18 months. I feel blessed to have this “hobby” that pays me to do it, while making new friends along the way.
First and foremost —- good job on buying the wife a new car!! 🙂 A happy wife is a happy life, right?
On another note – good for your for starting an IRA and taking the advise of a financial advisor/friend. So proud of you to be doing something for your future with the earnings. There is nothing more rewarding then to see this kind of feedback that I may have impacted you in a way to better your life and your future. Keep studying the game, striving to work the perfect game as a perfect partner, and save, save, save! Referees don’t HAVE to be terrible money managers after all.
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I think this is a great initiative to make all of us realize what is at stake if we continue down the same path we are currently on. One major injury in our profession and we are doomed. I look forward to the coming blogs on the steps you are taking to gain financial freedom.
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Thanks Doug! I’m really excited for this topic and think we can all do better to gain financial freedom!
Let’s not HAVE to referee when we are 80, right?
I’m really looking forward to reading these!!
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