#157 – Personal Finance: Get Rid of Debt, Get Your Freedom Back
Matt and Scott have received numerous emails about personal finance questions, many related to Scott’s philosophy on investing. While these are good questions, investing could be considered the “intermediate” phase of personal finance, and Matt and Scott would be remiss to skip over the “novice” phase: gaining freedom from debt and freeing up cash flow for other productive uses. This episode focuses on their thoughts about debt management, and why paying off debt is the first step to gaining freedom in your life.
We have often referred to strength training as a sort of physical 401k, a process of banking strength for the future when you really need it. Productive training relies on a few basic things (besides the training itself): food, sleep, rest, and appropriate weight progression. Without these things, the novice program still works for a time, but progress falters well short of the lifter’s potential. We can draw some analogs to your real 401k. Early in life, your ability to be productive is high, so the goal is to bank excess productivity in a retirement fund that you can draw on when you aren’t able to work (or simply don’t want to work) at the same capacity at an older age. Cash flow is the lifeblood of savings. Just like food and sleep, without it there is nothing to build on, no resources with which to construct the nest egg. Debt is a major drain on cash flow, and therefore a drag on savings.
There are many good resources on right-sizing your expenses and paying off debt: Dave Ramsey, Mr. Money Mustache, and You Need A Budget(the creator of which, Jesse Meacham, is an BLOC client). While there are many strategies and approaches, the important thing is that you do it, so you can free up your time, reduce your stress and anxiety, and focus your attention on more important things… like squats.