Mind The Gap: Part 3
Part 3: Align the Gap
Money really is just what we use to trade value, and with the internet we could propose trades around the world in previously unimaginable ways.
If you have a skill that can reduce friction for other people you can probably find those people online and charge for it. Additionally, if you’re creative enough and utilize your network there could be an opportunity to make a deal to reduce someone’s friction for something in return, that would otherwise have cost you money.
For example, freelancer Lucy Handley was able to turn cat sitting into a subsidized vacation, while also getting an article out of the experience for CNBC; “Cat-sitting to save on travel costs? I looked after 5 and got a free place in Spain for two weeks”[i]
Think about this for a second, she was able to find a mutually beneficial scenario that allowed her to vacation on the cheap and allowed the homeowner to make sure her cats were looked after. They exchanged value without the use of money. On top of that, as a travel writer she was able to get content from the experience too!
Sorry, there’s no “magic secret!”. You probably need more coming in than going out.
But, as stories like Lucy’s show, we are at an inflection point where flexibility to align your spending, and your “income”, with your values is increasing in new ways.
There have never been as many location-independent ways as there are now to earn a good income. That trend is likely to not only continue but accelerate and be of the most benefit to those with the best skills and creativity to solve problems. The pandemic forced us to really see what we could do remotely and there are huge opportunities coming soon to really take advantage of this.
If you really want more control over how much “income” you need, you need to reevaluate what’s important to you. There have been a number of movements in recent years, like F.I.R.E.[ii] and its variations or “Tiny Houses” etc. and obviously if you’re planning a completely different lifestyle the financial needs will be completely different.
There are also ways to potentially lower expenses in novel ways like Lucy did. If you have a sizeable portfolio or get creative with trades there are ways to spend it down strategically over time that may not involve as much income producing investments as you would think.
With more options than ever the future can be bright but also overwhelming. Trying to narrow down your focus to design your ideal lifestyle takes planning. One of the things I am most excited about over my career is helping people navigate the changing landscape of how we spend our time and money as the global economy evolves.
It is never a bad thing to grasp how much you’re spending and how sustainable that is at any given time in your life. For most people the goal is to have a period of time where your income exceeds your expenses where you save and invest for the future and then use that accumulated wealth to fund the rest of your life. You’re not most people though, you’re you, and if you need help figuring this out now or in the future that’s why I’m here.