What is money?
Money is simply a means of exchange. A socially agreed tool that represents "value" for the time we exchange or what we purchase. Money conveys the importance that people place on it. Simply speaking, no natural substance has an inherent value aside from the value that human beings place on it. Money is energy.
As an example, the cost of living globally changes from $5,000 a year in developing countries to over $100,000 a year in developed countries like the USA. Yet everyone is working, trading their time, to make money so that we can all meet our seven basic human needs for survival. The harsh reality is that over 90% of people are living with some form of debt and when the books are balanced, most of us are below the line. In survival mode, trying to find ways to get our head above water and meet our basic needs.
Money is an economic unit that functions as a "generally" recognized medium of exchange for transactional purposes in an economy. Ultimately, we as human-created it and gave it value. The paper money in your wallet could one day be worthless if we agreed on a different form of exchange. Like it did in Venezuela due to hyperinflation.
To understand the history of money and its evolution, read our previous article.
ONE KEY MESSAGE
This means that most of us have not mastered the energy that is money and what it represents in our life. Which leaves us short on time, high on stress, and low on health. Learning this one skill will take you from living below the line in the red, to above the line in the green. When each of us is meeting our basic human needs and out of survival mode, only then is abundance truly possible. Be the person that changes the money story for your family.
STORY - THE VALUE OF MONEY OVER TIME.
Since the introduction of the first USD in 1914 and the evolution of the centralized financial system. The value of $1 of money has been decreasing every year since. More recently in 2022, the federal reserve printed another 3 trillion dollars out of thin air, on top of the 2.1 trillion dollars that was already in circulation. For those invested in the crypto space, it would be the equivalent of printing another 25 million bitcoin on top of the 19 million already minted in circulation. It is obvious that the value of bitcoin would decrease by 2/3 immediately. The same thing has recently happened in 2021.
The end result is hyperinflation. Where everyday goods start to become more expensive. Have you noticed that milk, bread, fuel, utility bills, rates, and other everyday spending has all of a sudden become more expensive by 5% or more? It's because the value of the working dollar is decreasing, not because these items are all of a sudden more scarce or valuable. As an example, living in Asia I can buy 4-5 avocados for $1, yet a local supermarket in my hometown of Australia can be anywhere from $5-10. Yet we are both buying the same item.
The other thing that occurs is that assets like houses seem to increase in value. Again, this is an illusion. The house price hasn't increased, the value of each dollar has decreased, creating the illusion of an increase in value. When it comes to owning a home. Food, water, shelter right? I can own a home for under less than $100,000. Years working wage for some, two for others. Yet in Australia, I would need $400,000 or more, not to mention a hefty loan that I will be paying off over the next 20 years. The "own a home" dream is a trap in many developing countries. In my home country of Australia as an example, the average family holds $250,000 a debt. This means that the bank owns their house, more than they do. If all of a sudden there was an economic crisis after the pandemic (which is possible), the banks have the power to call in their loans for payment. If you cannot pay, they have the power to seize your assets. Meaning they can sell your $500,000 asset, for $250,000 to repay what is owed to them.
One decision with the wrong mindset can tie you to a cycle of debt for the coming decades. One decision can change everything. In an ideal world, we could all work hard for 1- 5 years, save money and buy a home without needing debt. However, with the increased cost of living due to centralized systems that promote hyperinflation, many people that I care about are struggling to make ends meet.
The world is changing fast. We may have more balanced, transparent, and fair systems in the near future. With the evolution of decentralized finances and non-custodial wallets. But this would require the centralized points of control to give that power away and back to the people. Unfortunately, not everyone believes in a Positive Sum system (1+2=3), where every human being can meet their basic human needs for survival, without giving up 40-100 hours of their time in work each week.
TIME IS WEALTH
Imagine waking up to an empty calendar, with 168 hours free each week. A bank account that overflows each, non-custodial and positively geared investments that don't hold debt week and additional cash flow to meet your basic living needs, that is covered in less than 10 hours of "work" each week. This may sound like a dream, but I'm currently working with 20-year-olds that have already figured this out. Which means that you can too.
The first step is to master your time. Many of us will be lucky to get 600,000 to 1.2 million hours in our lifetime. So we may as well start learning skills so that we can do what we love, create value for it, and cover our basic human needs in the shortest amount of time. Allowing us to truly live, give, serve and impact the people and causes we care about most. Why waste a minute, let alone an hour doing something that doesn't value you or light you up each day. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, anyone, anywhere can learn a new skill and start solving problems for people and businesses in the world. Even if you don't get super-rich, at least you will be fulfilled, out of scarcity and living a life by your own design.
HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND WORKING?______
LIFESTYLE ABUNDANCE QUADRANT
Although we are not all born equal, we do however have 168 hours in a week to make something of our life.
The first two quadrants are about SelfCare, self-awareness/growth, and self-mastery. The 12 universal laws, such as the law of attraction and receptivity. Reminds us that we will attract what and who we are. Learning to live in your highest vibration each day will enable you to see the world clearly and grasp any opportunity that is aligned with your true north.
The third quadrant is about cash flow. The question is how can you attract money into your life with ease and flow in the shortest amount of time. So that you can cover your daily and weekly living expenses to ensure that your basic human needs for food, water, shelter, safety, and security are met. Again, it is hard to think about the future, if we are each stuck trying to survive at the moment. There are many ways to master this quadrant. Start by living simply and not beyond your means. Many of us buy into a materialistic world to fill voids within ourselves. As an example, did we really need to buy that $30,000 car with $20,000 of debt? Or could we have bought a bike, got healthy, and used public transport to solve the same problem of getting from A to B? Whilst investing the $10,000 in something that may be an investment rather than a depreciating expense.
The fourth quadrant is about abundance. When you free your time, where would you spend it? Would you build a passion project, help others with social impact projects or simply spend quality time with the people you care about most. This is also the quadrant, where you can use the money to grow more money. Learning about technology, decentralized finances, Metcalf's law, compound interest, and any business that is solving meaningful problems for the world right now and into the future. Is a good place to start.
As an example with the rise of green energy and Tesla cars, as we move away from coal and fossil-fuelled systems. The world will require lithium for the batteries. Investing in businesses that solve this problem in a sustainable way with minimal collateral damage to the natural world, will be something to take note of. Similar to the people who invested in apple and google, when everyone thought that the internet was a fad. Some only invested $100 a week over 10 years and are now millionaires.
WHAT IS YOUR WEEKLY MONEY NUMBER TO COVER ALL YOUR BASIC WEEKLY EXPENSES TO LIVE (FOOD, WATER, SHELTER ETC)_____??
CASH FLOW QUADRANT WITH ROBERT KIYOSAKI
The second step is to determine what strategy you are currently using to attract cash flow and whether there are better sources and strategies out there.
EMPLOYEE: Over 95% of people are employees, trading time for money, working to help bring the vision of business owners into reality. It's ok to start here, but I'm sure that one day you would like to build your own dream too?
SELF EMPLOYED: Peter Diamandis shows that we have a rising movement. The rising billion, where over 1/8th of the world's population will be self-employed or running a small business thanks to technology and online opportunities. Simply notice platforms like Fiverr.com, where you can hire skilled people to solve any problem, from any corner of the globe. Many of the images you see on this platform have been created by my designer from Cambodia, who has now created her own business, after leveraging Fiverr as a starting point.
BUSINESS OWNER: Starting a business isn't for everyone either. Especially considering that 95% of businesses fail in 10 years and over 80% within 5 years. The main reasons are a lack of cash flow or poor financial management. The other factor is an inability to sustain growth or grow too fast. Where businesses rise and fall to the level of their systems and foundation.
INVESTOR: The investing landscape has changed thanks to the decentralized systems and crow funding applications. Where many people with dollars can combine to help build something special together. Investment is no longer about buying property and stocks. On a personal level, over 50% of my investment is in tech and decentralized systems. The other 50% goes into self-funding my passion and impact projects like SelfCare.Global. Seek positive-sum systems and fulfillment, not just money.
Once we all have enough money to meet our basic human needs, I strongly believe that it is our duty to build longer tables, not just higher fences. I am disheartened to live in a world where 500 billionaires were added to the previous 2000, whilst 140 million people were pushed into extreme poverty and less than $2 a day in the same time frame. Any system that promotes this disparity, needs to change. Make sure you invest in the world you wish to see for your children and grandchildren, beyond money and numbers on a screen.
WHICH QUADRANT DO PRIMARILY OPERATE FROM? _________
For a more detailed explanation, watch this 10-minute overview.
6 PERSONAL MONEY BUCKETS WITH T.HARV ECKER
T.Harv Ecker has a simple model for understanding the amount of money and energy required to live the lifestyle you live.
As an example, living in Asia, I can cover all my basic living expenses for close to $2000 USD a month. If I lived like the locals, I could probably do it on $500 a month. This means that my annual income to cover my basic human needs would be only $6000 if I lived like the local, or $24,000 if I lived the way I do now.
What this tells me is that I would only need to "find a way" to make $24,000 a year to live debt-free and stress-free. If I worked at dominoes pizza for $10 an hour, like I did when I was younger.
- I would need to work 50-60 hours a week to cover the $2000 I would need a month.
- If I worked as a personal trainer for $35 an hour as I did in my 20's, I would need to work only 15 hours a week to cover my basic needs. Meaning that every hour worked after that is an abundance of money.
- If I worked for $250 an hour as a health professional, I would only need to work 2 hours a week to cover my basic needs. Maybe a bit more if I had student loans to pay for the investment in this skill.
- If I set up online courses at $47 per person with my unique skill set. I would only need to work for the time spent setting it up. Then attract 40 customers a month to cover my basic human needs. If I automated and systemized it, I could cover my basic needs in an automated way each month. Without doing more than 1-2 hours a week to maintain it all.
WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER?
TO LIVE SIMPLY?____________
TO LIVE MOR LAVISH?____________
After you know your number to survive. You can start to dream again and create a number that allows you to thrive and serve from overflow. This number is different for anyone. But, once you understand it, you can find different strategies to attract it. Just know that there is someone out there, just like you, who has figured it out. Even teenagers are making thousands by creating videos on youtube, gaming and buying NFT jpegs. Where there is an open mind, a passion and will. There is a way.
FLOW OF MONEY WITH BAREFOOT INVESTOR
The next piece of the puzzle is to take stock of how much money you earn and attract into your life each week. Then learn to systemize and automate it into the different areas of your life. Follow the next steps with the Barefoot investor to set up something practical, once you know your NUMBER to survive. Then simply find strategies to attract more abundance, but keep the percentages the same, until you master it for yourself and have your head above water, out of debt, balanced, and back in the green.
For some people it may take years, others weeks and days. Either way, having this organized and automated, allows you to focus on attracting new strategies and abundance to reach freedom and flow in a shorter amount of time. What we measure matters too. If you have a limiting mindset around money, then simply trust this process and let us know where you are in 12 months' time.
9 STEPS GET OUT OF DEBT & INTO THE GREEN
I'm not saying it's easy. It will require some work to get this started. Many of us have been avoiding this process for years. Some even decades. The key message is that no matter where you are starting, there is a way out and up. Be ok asking for support and finding the "who that knows the how". I'm sure there are already people in your proximity or people you can follow on social media channels that are already sharing this with you too. Have the courage to ask.
Many people who found a way, didn't do it by themselves and are more than happy to help the next person. If they aren't willing to help, then simply ask the next person. We are not taught these principles by our parents or even in school. This means that for most of us, we will have to look beyond our immediate social and family circle. Reading this blog is an example of you already doing that.
Step 1 is simply about setting up a weekly rhythm, in a fun way, to review and renew your numbers. It might be something you do with your partner or even your accountant/bookkeeper. If it's simply personal finances. It might be automating a reminder on your app to notice how much money came in and where it went out the week before. So that you can start to use your money more efficiently in the coming week. Without making emotional purchases and getting buyers remorse., days or weeks later.
Step 2 is about taking the time to set all of this up
Step 3 is about knowing your income: debt ratio, so that you can set up a plan to be DEBT FREE in the near future and be able to prioritize paying off the debts that create the most stress in your life first.
For me, I would reverse steps 5 and 4. I would focus on positively gearing my money before buying a house I can't afford. We can all achieve shelter in a leveraged way. Even if it means living at home for a while or shared housing. Some smart people even rent a house and sub-lease the other two rooms on Airbnb to cover their living costs without doing much at all. I'm just saying there are simpler ways to achieve basic needs, without buying debt from a bank. This also, negates step 7 too, because the banks aren't ever on your back if you have no debt and positive cash flow.
If you figure out the first 7 steps and build by 1% per day. You will be 37x ahead of where you were the day you started. Compound that by years and you may even be able to buy your own home without needing any debt at all. What you do next, well that's up to you.
I dream of a world where we all meet our basic human needs for survival and immediately start building longer tables, not just higher fences. But, that's me. You do you.
3 PERSONAL MONEY BUCKETS
Once you have money in your bank from the work or value you have exchanged with the world. The next step is to make sure you don't just blow it. SAVE it and GROW it too. If at the end of each week, you don't have even $10 left to save or grow. Then you need to take stock of the lifestyle you are living. The hard truth is that you are living beyond your means, or simply not working to attract money and value into your life.
Even if you only have $10 leftover each week, you can still run this process. Learn by doing and play the game of Zero. One week it will be $10 leftover, another it will be $100 leftover. One day it may even be $1000 or $10,000. Personally, I don't believe in simply saving money either. It's always good to have a buffer for rainy days or unexpected expenses. But this is a very limited mindset. As an example last year, I taught this process to some local friends who invested an extra $10 a week into crypto. They started accumulating BNB and SOLANA at $30 and $10, respectively. Binance token grew from $30 to $650 and Solana grew from $10 to over $260.
The point is that $10, might not seem like a lot, but it's a great place to start. In the process of doing, they learned the power of force multipliers, future economies, and compound interest. Principles that they are now sharing with their family and friends. On this foundation. The amazing thing I saw here too, was that my local friends didn't blow the money or fancy watches or cars. They used it to consolidate family debt, finish building their houses and even help their local community during the pandemic. There is something special in this story for all of humanity.
BLOW account: The everyday bucket (4 accounts)
100% of your income enters here. This bucket is to run your day-to-day life. It pays your rent, food, bills, debt, and saves for holidays, big purchases, and fun activities.
The Blow bucket consists of four accounts and covers your everyday expenses, fun times spending, saving for bigger purchases, and paying off your debt. Each of those accounts looks like this:
Account 1: Daily Expenses
An everyday transaction accounts with a debit card that gets 60% of your income. Use this account to pay for your regular daily expenses like rent, utilities, regular bills, and groceries. The trick here is to keep all your expenses under 60% of your income.
Account 2: Splurge (or Fun Spending)
An everyday transaction account with a debit card that gets 10% of your income. This is your account for fun purchases and social activities. Use it for social meet-ups, nights out to the movies, or save it up to buy a new pair of shoes.
Account 3: Fire Extinguisher (or Debt Reducer)
An online account that gets 20% of your income. This money is for fighting financial fires like any existing debt or bigger non-regular bills such as repairs and maintenance. Money does not sit in this account. It moves through on its way to paying the bills you have. If there are no debts or bills to pay, the money spills over to the Mojo bucket.
Account 4: Smile (or Adventures)
An online account that gets 10% of your income. This is long-term savings account for big purchase goals such as a holiday, a new computer, or updating your car.
MOJO - YOUR BUFFER ACCOUNT
Most people, if they lost their job tomorrow. Only have access to enough money to survive for 1-6 months before being pushed into poverty. I'm sure many of us have experienced that during the 2-year pandemic. In Asia, where I live. Many local people haven't had cash flow for nearly 2 years. However, they worked together as a community to share resources and lived together in order to get through, minus the luxuries. I imagine if we could all work this way in the absence of money, even when the pandemonia finishes.
This bucket is your safety money or emergency fund. The idea is that it will replace your need to take on more debt or a credit card. This bucket gets its money from the Blow bucket, and with time it overflows to the Grow bucket.
The Mojo bucket is where you hold your safety funds and save up reserves for the Grow bucket. It consists of one bank account, with a minimum of $2000 in it. It acts as a replacement for your credit card in unexpected or emergency situations.
It is highly advised that you have this account with a different bank to prevent you from spending the money in it on things covered by the Blow accounts. However, you can choose to keep it with the same bank as your Blow accounts – you’ll just need to practice a little more discipline.
It’s important to open this account with the $2000 minimum. You might have to pick up a side hustle or sell a few items to get the funds. It will prevent you from taking on future debt. The rationale is that without debt, your Mojo bucket will keep growing.
Account 5: Emergency savings
Online savings account held at a different bank with an opening balance of $2,000. Any leftover money in your Fire Extinguisher account spills over to here. The intention is that over time, the amount in this account grows until you have three to six months of income, which in turn then spills over into your Grow bucket.
GROW - PLANT SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE
This is where you will build your long-term wealth and increase your net worth. The money for this bucket is the overflow from the Mojo bucket. Remember to learn by doing. Start with $10, then play the ZERO game, repeating with $100, $1000, and even $10,000.
The barefoot investor suggests that you invest in property, super funds, and superannuation. However after the 2008 GFC and understanding the state of money after the pandemic in this review. Plus future trends like Defi and evolving ecosystems like Solana and Matic. I would suggest that there are better strategies right now, as mentioned above.
There are 6 key principles to learn in your own time for the investment quadrant that has helped me greatly
- Positive Sum Systems - Positively geared, not negatively geared.
- Metcalf's law - how tech systems gain value
- Force Multipliers - How to 2-10x
- Compound Interest - How to build wealth by 1% per day to 37 x in 12 months.
- Warren buffets rule number 1 - Don't lose money.
- Don't be greedy - If you invest $50 in a poker game and you are $100 up. Pocket the initial $50 investment and play with the rest. A never loose strategy.
Once you have reached your lump sum target in your Mojo bucket, use that money to invest in your net worth. Your investments can be anything of your choice. A good place to start is a retirement fund but you should also consider long-term savings accounts, shares, currencies, and property investments.
The goal of The Barefoot Investor approach is to generate long-term wealth. To get there, your money needs to flow through the three buckets by filling the first two until they overflow into the Grow bucket.
- Money overflows from Blow to Mojo when there is no debt or bills payments for your Fire Extinguisher account to make.
- Either the full 20% of what is leftover moves to your Mojo (Emergency fund). That continues to collect in your Mojo account.
- Sometimes you’ll need to use your emergency fund and it will reduce. That’s okay if it means you’re avoiding taking on any debt.
- Your Mojo bucket overflows when it has built up three to six months’ worth of your income. Y
- ou can choose what you want this point to be. From there, it moves into your Grow bucket and you can put it towards investments and long-term wealth.
EXAMPLE: EMPLOYEE EARN $7K PER MONTH
The average Australian as an example earns between 50-75k per year. This individual has done his homework and realized that ING has better rates than the other banks. He has linked his bank to PocketSmith (AUS) or Mint (Europe) so that he can get a weekly overview of his income and spending. He has set up the 5 accounts to model the processes above.
EXAMPLE: SELF EMPLOYED, BUSINESS BUILDER
This is an example is what I use currently. It's an example that may be relevant to those that are self-employed, start-ups, small business owners, big business owners, and even investors. Also for anyone with multiple streams of income, from different global sources.
I use WISE as my personal banking system. It enables me to receive cash flow from any currency with the lowest fees and costs per transfer. It also enables you to set up the same buckets above and automate what percentage. of your money goes into each bucket when money comes in. I personally love simplicity and automation. It enables me to focus on cash flow.
I use PocketSmith to review and renew my numbers each Monday over breakfast. It helps me take stock of where money is coming in and going out. Which enables me to adjust my behaviors from week to week.
I use Revolut as my MOJO bank account and rainy day fund, ensuring there is always $2000 available at any time. If it's ever used. I simply top it up again in the coming weeks. Any money that I want to GROW, I also send to revolut, because it enables me to move money easily between the Centralised (FIAT) and decentralized (cryptocurrency) ecosystems with minimal fees and maximal flow. I use 50% of overflow to self-fund my own passion project Selfcare.Global. This enabled me to build a business with a vision, that isn't dictated by investors or external influences.
For GROW over 50% of my overflow money goes into crypto investments, investing in the ecosystems and utilities above. Timing is important. I often hold money in my revolut account as it grows and buys when the market is. in a dip, selling in the hype cycles. Knowing that what goes up, will come down. Sticking to the principles above. Even though the Defi ecosystem as a whole is on an upward trend growing by5-15% each year at the moment. Long term, I am simply aware that the market has cycles since the wall street guys entered the market. Playing money games, shorting the market, and promoting fear and panic selling.
Ultimately, the end goal is. to accumulate tokens (like shares) in the 5% of projects that may one day be the apples and googles of the internet and tech boom. Rather than following emotion,n, I follow principles like Metcalf's law, looking for projects with increased users and developing utilities that are solving big problems in the world. Exodus is a good wallet to use and link with the FTX exchange. Because it is non-custodial. Meaning that only you have access to your money. Even if the other systems failed, you would still control all of your money and investment.
The end goal I see for everyone is to master their own money and control it without relying on third parties. Unbanking themselves, living a legacy, and having a positive social impact along the way. To account for taxes etc, speak with someone in your country of residency to account for this too.
When it comes to financial success, control is the key. Over 95% of relationships break up over "money" in one form or another. From the stress it creates, the lack of safety and security, the conflict that ensues, and many other forms of what money represents. When the connection is the elixir to longevity, it makes the energy that is "money", an important foundation for personal and community health. I can't imagine that we are moving towards Jacques Fresco's vision for a resource-based economy, where the basic human needs of every individual are met anytime soon. So, for now. We will have to learn to play the hand we were dealt until new systems evolve and make the old centralized systems obsolete.
Money doesn't grow on trees but starting your own permaculture garden might help feed your family and save money.
CALL TO EMBODIMENT - MASTER YOUR MONEY
- HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND WORKING?______
- WHAT IS YOUR WEEKLY MONEY NUMBER TO COVER ALL YOUR BASIC WEEKLY EXPENSES TO LIVE (FOOD, WATER, SHELTER ETC)_____?
- WHICH QUADRANT DO PRIMARILY OPERATE FROM? _________
- WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER?
- TO LIVE SIMPLY?____________
- TO LIVE MOR LAVISH?____________
- SET UP THE SYSTEMS SHARE ABOVE
- SET UP THE ACCOUNTS (BLOW, MOJO, GROW)
- REVIEW AND RENEW EACH WEEK USING POCKETSMITH ETC.
Simply take the time to set up these processes and systems. Focus on building by 1% per day. Be open to new strategies for cash flow. If you only have $10 to invest, start there from a young age or any age. Learn by doing and keep the processes as the $10 turns into $100, $1000, or even $10,000 + as you learn to increase your value by solving more meaningful problems for people and the world. Especially as you attract more cash flow into your life. Ultimately we will all rise and fall to the level of our systems. Money is simply energy, so measure what matters to free yourself, live your purpose and build longer tables. Not just higher fences.
The Barefoot Investor approach is a financial plan that will help you structure your accounts and improve the way your money flows from income to investments. It's a good place to start. Live within your means, cover your basic human needs first. Avoid debt that you can't pay off quickly and enjoy a life free of financial stress. With more time to do what you love, with the people you love. That's the meaning of life after all right? We weren't born to pay bills, live in debt, and die.
Personal finance management software like PocketSmith helps you run your financial plan smoothly, saving you time and giving you control over your money.
If you need more guidance in the HOW TO's, I will be creating step-by-step guides in the membership area. Feel free to join and explore at your own leisure. Get what you need and you can cancel any time. OR feel free to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter to get more information like this, as I curate it and express my passions with the world.
We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, HIGHLIGHTED IN THE TEXT.
We also understand that most thoughts are not our own and there is a collective unconsciousness, unconsciousness, and universal mind stream of energy that is always at work. How are references are sorted and filtered is here.