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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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3 Steps to Overhaul Your Relationship With Money

Posted on October 5th, 2014

Source: JamesAltucher.com

Source: JamesAltucher.com

 

Step 1: Know The Enemy, Define What You Control

 

What explains why are there 9 different kinds of ketchup in a supermarket in Canada and no running water in Kenya? What contributes to rising divorce rates, falling birth rates, and over-population? What has incentivized America’s widespread consumption of processed foods? What stands as a barrier to healthy and well-educated children worldwide?

 

The answer is money, where virtually every injustice, senseless government policy, or frustrated human being has its roots. When the realization hits that we live in a world full of blatant, destructive inefficiencies and inhabitants driven to the brink of insanity by some sacred colored paper we invented, it begs for further analysis.

 

One of the roots of the problem is that we are not fundamentally taught how to save, manage, or think about money. Given its importance, why do we not learn much more about money itself? Why are Financial Management, Stock Markets 101, and Banking for Dummies not mandatory courses in our universities and high schools? If we study concepts like physics and chemistry and psychology, why do we not study something just as abstract and complex, and arguably far more important in our everyday lives?

 

We cannot control the capitalist system our society has conceived, nor can we rely on it to educate us about one of the most important elements of our material universe. Therefore, we have no choice but to educate ourselves and determine our own money mentality. We have to remember that we are the ones who attached value to money in the first place when it was invented in 5000 B.C., and as individuals, we can dethrone the thing that society at large has made king.

 

We dethrone it by focusing on what we can control, which is how we earn our money, how we spend it, how much we think we need, and who we let talk to us about it.

 

Source: Kickvick.com

Source: Kickvick.com

 

Step 2: Awareness is Not Enough, Physically Dethrone Your Capitalism Parrot

 

Yes, we are powerfully and unconsciously shaped by society, but we are not held prisoner to it. We are dynamic human beings who can change our own behavior. Once we are aware of the ways big business lures us into its consumerist traps, we can teach ourselves to need less of what “they” tell us to doggedly accumulate. We can fundamentally re-evaluate the role of “stuff” in our lives according to how it serves us best as individuals, not as mere subjects of international industry forces.

 

Like you, I am aware that our consumerist society is fueled by promoting the idea that what we own changes and improves who we are. It tells us that things make us better, smarter, wiser, kinder, and sexier. Like you, I admit that new pair of shoes and a fabulous dress can make someone feel more confident, and a new car can provide thrilling joy-rides, but money cannot tame our demons or win the battles waged deep within us. When you pull into your garage in that new car, or slip out of that slinky gown, you are still simply you.

 

We may all “know” these things, but to really take power back into our own hands, we have to be ready to act on this knowledge. Two years ago, I burned the association between my “stuff” and me. I sold everything I didn’t need, started traveling for my job, and chose to live out of no more than two 32kg suitcases. I also clicked off the TV, threw out the magazines, and turned down the volume of what I allowed to enter my intellectual diet. I empowered myself to purchase fewer things overall, leaving things behind when I travel, donating what I didn’t need, choosing fewer, but higher-quality possessions. As a result, today I feel feather-light. The association between physical clutter and mental clutter is real.

 

For me, because I consciously choose to buy less, I need less money. And the longer I’m away from “stuff” and the voices telling me I need it, I find I don’t miss it at all. Money and its messengers plant seeds of obsession that spread fast and quickly consume our consciousness, barging down the doors of our lives if we let it. But we have the ability to shut out what we don’t need to hear and let our values provide the individual frame of reference as to how much money we really need, answers that cannot come from the outside.

 

Indeed this is a dramatic example, but the important lesson is that I went from awareness to action in my own way. You have to discover yours.

 

Step 3: Don’t Just Stop Spending, Make Value-Based Investments

 

If you are questioning your relationship with money, or concerned about not making enough, I challenge you to conduct a value assessment and identify concrete ways to invest vs. spend money (ie. eliminate engaging in strictly tit-for-tat exchanges) that is directly in line with those values.

 

Investing is putting money into the intangible areas of your life; spending is exchanging it for the tangible. Intangibles produce a direct impact on long-term well-being that continues to increase after the purchase; tangibles provide a short-term sense of satisfaction that quickly diminishes after the purchase. Consider the difference between treating a friend to dinner versus using that same $75 on the shoes you wear during the meal. Consider the difference between spending $2,000 on a trip to Brazil to learn Portuguese and make memories with a loved one versus spending that amount on a top-of-the-line Macbook Air. By doing the former, you actually multiply the value money produces in your life.

 

For example, one of my most sacred values is freedom, and I have strategized how to use my money to “buy freedom.” I purchase minimally, save a high percent of my monthly salary, and purposefully live below my means. This behavior allows me to harbor a larger cushion in the bank, thereby “buying” me the opportunity to walk away and change course at anytime for the rest of my life. I live without the nicer shoes and the Macbook, but the returns I see on where I allocate my money are much higher.

 

I don’t know about you, but tomorrow I want to be smarter, funnier, wiser, and kinder than I was today. Despite what the advertising industry tells me, I have a well-defined value system that reassures me that things don’t actually make me better. In my own process of self-education about money, I re-framed what matters in my life, turned awareness into action, and now use money to invest in long-term returns in what I deem most important to me: my relationships, education, travel, ideas, and experiences.

 

We don’t control the money-obsessed system, but we do control how we earn, how we spend, and who we listen to. Turn off anything talking to you about money from the outside, turn up your inner voice that knows what matters irrespective of the latest fashion, trends, and technology, and use your money, no matter how much or how little, to feed the intangibles. Then watch yourself become rich.

 

Source: Revlizz.com

Source: Revlizz.com

 

—-

 

Do you feel controlled by money? What do you do to put things in perspective, feel richer, and actually BE richer? Please share ideas and good links in the comments section below.

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

img_6015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Step into my office!

 

Five years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don’t know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what’s ahead?

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

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Follow me on twitter

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