follow the white rabbit to financial freedom

Trinity: Please just listen. I know why you’re here. I know what you’ve been doing… why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You’re looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when I found him, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, reader, just as I did.

What is the secret to financial freedom?

If you are deeply in debt, or spending more than you earn to acquire stuff, you are living in a world that is less than what it could be. Corporations and consumer society have constructed an elaborate world that is filled with shiny things and toys and useless items. In this false world, you are told that true happiness comes with the acquisition of things, that your attention should be focused on today, that tomorrow will take care of itself. In this Matrix, it’s always Black Friday and it’s always the Presidents’ Day Sale.

Morpheus: What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.

But just maybe, while making a call on your iPhone, driving your leased car wearing your latest fall fashions on your way to the mall on your one day off from your crushing commute and your boring job, you had a sudden thought. Maybe the world isn’t supposed to be like this. Maybe we weren’t all meant to be shopping units in the corporate world’s vast consumer Matrix. Maybe our happiness doesn’t come from owning CDs, or watching American Idol, or buying a Wii. Maybe there is another world – the real world – where your work and your life are one and the same because you love them both, where you can do what you want, when you want, where you have time to give to people and experiences, not just to commuting and working for a faceless employer. No, it’s not possible. Your neighbors look like they are doing fine, and they have lots of stuff, right? This is how it has to be. This is how it has always been.

Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it. There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Maybe you’ve started reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad or Dave Ramsey or Your Money or Your Life. Other people are trying to show you the way out. The trouble is, you set down the book and remember “I need a new belt! I want to rent “Wild Hogs”!” Only you will start the journey out of the Matrix, and it will be difficult – there will be roadblocks everywhere: pricey restaurants, bigger homes, newer cars, fancier cell phones. The Matrix will do everything it can to keep you, because its existence depends on your continued function as a shopping unit. Without shopping units to generate power, the consumer Matrix will weaken. You have to stop, today. Put down your credit card. Stay away from the store. Cook a meal at home. Turn off the TV.

Neo: Why do my eyes hurt?
Morpheus: You’ve never used them before.


When you finally leave the consumer world, you’ll notice that your old behavior is now awful to consider.
You’ll see credit card debt, still-functioning cell phones gathering dust in cabinet drawers, barely-worn clothes in the back of the closet, half-empty rooms never used in your house. Your eyes will hurt looking at all of this STUFF that you valued so much, because you never really SAW before.

Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

The dream is the 9-to-5 world. The dream is a 3000 square foot home for a family of 4. The dream is a $400 per month car lease. The dream is an iPhone, a Wii, digital cable, the latest fashions. And the dream is a nightmare. You have to wake from that dream and realize that in the real world there is VERY little you need other than shelter, food, friends, family and basic clothing and entertainment. In the dream you have no time – but you can have all the time in the (real) world if you just wake up.

Neo: I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

(with many thanks to The Matrix)

  • SavingDiva

    Very creative post!

  • GoldnSivler

    like SD said – Very Creative post, I like it.

  • t h rive

    It’s true my friend; follow too long what others call a dream and you’ll find yourself in a financial nightmare – or 60 and still breaking even.

    Sometimes all it takes is 4-6 months of the year where you’re really putting away as much as you can – the rest of the year one can only do what’s realistic.

    I like how you ‘drive’ home the point of not really needing to have a car. Especially a lease that mostly serves to make you look good in the newest model. Ditch the car! Don’t buy gas! (as much as possible).

    …that being said – up for some virtua-kung fu?

  • http://www.thewealthycanadian.ca the Wealthy Canadian

    Very well said!

  • http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/ FourPillars

    Awesome – the Matrix is one of the greatest movies ever.

    Will you be e-mailing blue pills to the top commentators? :)

    Mike

  • http://www.bripblap.com bripblap

    Mike – I am doling out blue pills to everyone. We need all the help we can get to fight the Matrix :)

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  • http://plonkee.com/ plonkee

    You are awesome. Wow, this is such a lame comment. Sorry.

  • http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com glblguy

    Agent Smith “Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.”

    Great pf article and based on my favorite movie…it doesn’t get much better :-)

  • http://www.bripblap.com bripblap

    Thanks everyone – since I’m a fan of the movie and thought this was a funny idea, I’m glad to hear you all like it :)

    @Plonkee – not lame at all, I’m flattered :)

    “The Matrix is a system. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it. ”

    It’s amazing how closely it all fits, isn’t it?

  • Bubelah

    Darling, great post! Even though I liked Matrix I couldn’t watch it more than twice unlike you. You even quote from it ;o)

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  • lalita

    Love your post !! just landed here because of a link put on http://millionairemommynextdoor.blogspot.com/

    Like the info and also you reminded me to go see the matrix thats been on my to watch list forever.

  • http://www.financeandfat.com Finance And Fat

    Dude, well done! And it’s so true…

  • http://mevsdebt.blogspot.com Amanda

    You couldn’t have been more right on with this post. The world isn’t supposed to be like this. We get so infatuated with shiny gadgets and infused with advertising that we fail to see that the best things in life are free…

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  • http://www.greenpandatreehouse.com/ Laura

    I love the post! My husband is a Matrix (I) fan, so I’ll pass this on to him. Thanks!

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  • http://www.bripblap.com bripblap

    Thanks for the comments so far – I guess I need to write “Financial Freedom Reloaded” now. Or maybe, like the producers of the Matrix, I should just stop after the “good one” :)

    There is no spoon.

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  • http://www.thefinancecastle.com Xias

    Great post, love to see creative twists on a seemingly boring topic for some :)

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  • http://feeds.feedburner.com/CommentsForMillionDollarJourney MillionDollarJourney

    Great post BB, very well written.

  • Tezza

    A very entertaining post. Reminds me, I need to go and watch the Matrix series again =)

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  • Tim

    I’m fed up of the cold, and eating the same gawdam goop everyday…
    We don’t need cars, we have public transport. We don’t need designer clothes we have lidl/kmart. We don’t need to live in the lap of luxury and debt and work 9 to 5; we could live in a trailer park, hacking the social security system.

    We just need to use our brains.

    We won’t live like kings but we don’t need to, to be happy.

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  • http://livingoffdividends.com Living Off Dividends

    phenomenal post!

  • http://www.moolanomy.com/ Pinyo

    Wow. That’s an awesome post. Phenomenal.

  • http://www.bripblap.com Steve (Brip Blap)

    Glad you both liked it!

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  • http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=2855 Chuck Bartok

    Outstanding…
    We have such a common Bond.
    Someday (whenever time allows) visit
    The Focus Society of Overachievers on TalkShoe.com
    Many of my listeners took my challenge in Decemeber 2006 and
    “quit” TV for 6 months…
    Almost all had Increase in net worth

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  • anon

    amazing post. as a recent college grad. trying to find my way in the world, i realize that the ‘sick’ feeling i get while in the corporate world is real. i literally get physically sick because it’s all about ‘what car you’re driving, where you buy your clothes, where you vacation, etc etc’

    good post. great point. but you still need to pay your bills so i think it’s unrealistic to sacrifice a big paycheck.

  • BillinDetroit

    I just Stumbled in today. Most good.

    I have a couple aphorisms to leave behind:
    “Never chase another mans dream.”

    “Never gauge your insides by someone else’s outsides.”

    If ‘everybody’ is doing it, there’s some money in it. If nobody is doing it, it’s either a rat hole or a gold mine. You’ll know as soon as you start digging a little deeper.

  • http://www.stjohnsrealestateonline.com Steve Winters

    Very interesting comparison on day-to-day living/spending and the Matrix.
    I never pictured the Matrix to be financially educational in meaning but there it was all along. Great twist on the subject to get your point across.
    Just discovered your blog and will continue to read it daily.

  • http://krazology.blogspot.com/ Joshua

    wow, great post.

  • Akera

    Whoa.

  • http://firstgenerationwhitecollar.com/blog/ moneymonk

    “The trouble is, you set down the book and remember “I need a new belt!”

    So true

    We have all the available information within our access in the libraries, bookstores and the internet.

    We are consumed so much we forgot what it takes for discipline.

    Do not get comfortable in being broke. Change your life

  • neimanmarxist

    i'm getting to this party late, but- fabulous!

  • http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/current-accounts Current accounts

    I can't agree less.The world we live in isn't supposed to be like this – “live and let die”. We get so obsessed with shiny gadgets and infused with advertising @amanda that we fail to see that the best things in life are free…”Whatever you can't afford can be acquired cheaper somewhere else”
    ]
    Thanks OA

  • home goods

    hi I think this is a nice and differ article of others.thanks for have a nice post. I am very glad after read it.

  • http://www.thelivingsacred.org Gabriel

    Bloody brilliant!!!! My wife emailed me a link to this post today, thank you for writing it! very, very inspiring! [and quoting one of my favourites films.]

    Our family is about to become location independant – we are selling home and car and going to go roaming for a while. Living comfortably with the absolute minimum is high on our agenda as well as having financial freedom.

    Thank you!! I look forward to reading the rest of your site.

    Gabriel