Achieving Financial Freedom is a tough ordeal, there are distractions from the moment you wake up until you rest your head at night. Everywhere your brain is bombarded with “purchases we think you might like,” before you even thought of it. If not that, social media or websites (like this one?) telling you how your friends are living a good life you can only dream of. You peek into their lives through a small window of carefully curated feeds.
It feeds within you the perception of having what you “want” is the key to it all. You chase this longing by buying things, bringing jolts of happiness that eventually fades away. Until you realize that the life you want was designed by powers who don’t know you at all, and essentially wanting what you “have” is answer to your quest for happiness all along.
Our 5th podcast guest is not immune to the emotions that govern the way we earn and spend money. Although he works in finance, Jaime Zulueta recognizes the influence emotions have on his financial life. Everybody handles (or mishandles) their money differently. It is personal and based upon your upbringing, money experiences, and a whole lot more. No matter how logical, sound, or rational the choice is, emotions could unravel smart decisions if we are not careful.
With regards to investing for retirement, another emotion takes over. Fear. Fear that investing is gambling our lives away, and that it makes more sense to enjoy the money now rather than in the unforeseeable future. One thing that Jaime mentioned is that in investing you will make a lot of money but will lose some too. You must be upfront with your goals before going in. Are you investing for the long haul, or you want to make a quick buck tomorrow? What lifestyle do you want to be able to afford at retirement? Are you confident that spending now is not robbing your old self in the future?
Managing Emotions Behind Money
Knowing that emotions could sometimes derail our path to financial independence, we asked Jaime how he still manages to do the right thing.
He said, Be Less Human! Although ideal, I don’t think most of us would be willing to become cyborgs just to become financially independent! Kidding aside, there are ways to take emotions out of the decision matrix related to finances, like automating investments and savings goals, developing a simple budget or writing down personal investment rules early on.
Financial independence is a personal journey. Nobody is going to tell you that you must quit your job or live in the mountains cut off from the world to be financially free. You set the parameters for your own life. Be it spending winters in the Bahamas or working on something you love beyond retirement age. It’s your journey. You decide!
Final Questions and Insights
What does a Financial Independent Jaime would look like?
If it comes to FIRE, I can really do that right now because I have enough from a Net Worth perspective. If I choose to make it easy, I think the passive income could pay for my expenses, but I am aiming for family lifestyle if I have a child or get married so that’s what I am planning for.
What have you learned recently and how do you apply these in your life?
The financial markets are innovating and there are other places where we can maximize our returns to achieve FIRE even faster. I think you know I invest in cryptocurrency, and it provides more than the typical returns you would get from the FIRE teachings. These types of investments, they are alternatives to what we’re typically taught in the FIRE movement, but it’s helping me and it’s helping others achieve Financial Independence.
What recent expense no matter how crazy expensive had brought value and joy to you in the present?
I would say it’s more investment in learning. For example, part of the cryptocurrency market is what you call NFT (Non-Fungible Token), it’s an emerging space. If I want to remain relevant in my career, I better start learning about this thing now. I brought my first NFT 6 months ago that cost me around $300. It’s now worth $0. If you think about it, I lost $300, but the wealth of knowledge that I gained then is much more valuable.
Reach out to Jaime and know more about career management, personal finance, and adulting topics in his YouTube channel.
We are a Pinoy Physical Therapist duo living somewhat unconventional but intentional lives. In this podcast we want to learn how Filipinos all over the world in different industries and walk of life earn, spend, save and invest money to achieve Financial Independence.
We are NOT certified financial advisors, analysts, or CPAs. Investing strategies shared in this article and the website are not financial advice, but our own opinions that are for educational purposes only. We want you to treat our content as a preview to do your own research so you can make smart financial decisions.