Can financial freedom provide us a happiness? This is one of the question that I always have in mind but I have not found any answer yet until today. Well, although my heart and my brain say YES most of the time, I kinda doubt it!
I believe that everyone have their own dream and their own desire to live their own life. Of course, in order to reach their dream, everyone need to work hard for it with their own way. Some people will pick the shortest way to reach their dream because they simply have the support to take the shortest way (i.e: power, money, skill and intelligence). But, there are also some people will pick the longer road because they simply do not have the express ticket to achieve their dream as quick as they wish so (i.e some smart people might have the intelligence and skill, but if they do not have the money support, they might have to take the longer way to achieve their dream).
Does it actually matter if some people take shorter or longer path to achieve their dream? I do not really think so as long as we can achieve our dream because we have the willing to reach it, to get it and that is enough.
When I am alone and doing nothing, sometimes I am just questioning myself what would I have been doing now if I never left technology of agriculture and moved to the communication journalism faculty? Well, I might get a job in a company, which work with food security or something like that and I might earn plenty of money. But, is it money all I am looking for? will my job be as interesting as my current job? Well, who knows! I have made decision to be a journalist and I am so happy with what I am doing because so many people say that it is better to do something that you like than you don’t.
Some people also say to me that it is better to earn less from the job that you love than you earn more from the job that you do not like. But, do you really want to live your live with an average condition if you can live better than that? Don’t you want to have the latest gadget? Don’t you want to live your dream house? Don’t you want to drive your dream car? Don’t you want to wear a fancy fashionable outfit sometimes? Don’t you want to travel around the world? It would be crazy to say NO because I am sure that what everyone wants. It is just the matter on how we earn those dream stuff.
Again, one thing that I always ask to myself: how easy is it to link between money and happiness? Can money really buy happiness in some ways as we have the financial freedom? I do not know. I have not really found the answer.
But, here I am sharing some stories that I got from those people who I met
Story 1: A Conversation with Taxi Driver
One night, I had a conversation with a taxi driver. He told me how thankful he is for the job that he has and the income that he made so he can provide his family a place to live, food to eat three times a day, clothes to wear and education for his two kids. Apart from that, he sent more than 50 percent of his salary to his parent in West Java.
“I used to work in a taxi company, which only pay me Rp 300,000 per month. You know as well as I do that Jakarta living cost is very expensive. You might wonder how a family consist of four members can live with Rp 150,000 a month.” he continued,
“My wife does not work. She takes care of our children.But I got a lunch allowance for as much as Rp 15,000 per day for 25 days a month and I save it for them. Still, it is not a lot of money to live in Jakarta.”
“But, because I am being grateful for what I have, we can manage those money to live our life and provide my children a good education so they can have a better life than what we have right now.”
“Keep in mind that I do not regret the life that I have because I do not have a better job in the office and earn more Rp 2 million per month. I am quite happy with this. So, instead of complaining, I am trying my best to my children a good education for them.” he said.
“Believe me, whatever amount money that you earn per month will be enough for you if only you are being thankful.” a Jakarta taxi driver said.
Story 2: A Conversation with Kressy
Last weekend, I caught up with Kressy and we had an interesting conversation about career, financial freedom and partner.
Kressy told me that her boyfriend asked her to move to Singapore with him but she refused it.
“I do not want to do that because I do not have my own career yet. If I have to move with him, what will I do there? I do not want to be jobless and earn no money,” she said.
“Apart from that, I do not want him to give me the so-called enough money because it has never been so fun to spend somebody else’s money because we are going to be controlled. I prefer to work my ass off to earn my own money and buy my own things.” Kressy said.
“As a woman, you must know that we have a desire to buy some brand-name stuff. Let’s say a handbag! Of course, I am not going to buy those stuffs every month. Right?” she added.
I am smiling and I totally agree with her.
I said to her that as an independent woman with an ambition, I would manage my own money better when I have to spend it because it is all my sweat and tears to earn it that’s why any one, who give us money will control us.
“It aint no fun at all to be controlled to spend every penny. So that is why, I want to earn as much money as I want because we have desire, we have need and we are women, who have so many needs from the head to the toe.” I said.
“Basically, I want my own financial freedom!” I added.
Story 3: A conversation with Jake
One afternoon in July, I met up with Jake and had a conversation over a cup of coffee about job because Jake is a freelance writer, who is reporting culture stories.
“Do you agree with the statement that we have to do something that we love and earn less than we have to force ourselves to do something that we do not like but we earn more money?” I asked Jake.
“Are you crazy? Do you want to live in poverty? Everyone prefers wealth to poverty.” Jake responded.
“Don’t you want to have your dream house? Don’t you want to drive your dream car? Don’t you want to have dinner in a fancy restaurant? Don’t you want to wear any designer clothes or shoes? Don’t you want to stay in a fancy resort while you are on vacation and do any shopping? Don’t you want to do all those things with your own money? I am sure you want it, right? I can tell you that working as a journalist will never make me rich because I am a writer, so that is why I am doing a business also at the same time.” he said.
“I know that you are a type of girl who does not want to appear cheap! You want to appear fashionable yet glamour” he continued,
“So, may I ask you? Why do you come to Jakarta?” he asked.
So, I answered that I come to Jakarta to get my dream job and be a succesful woman.
“What is succesful for you?” he asked.
I told him that succesful for me is to have a dream job, to be good at it, to earn a lot of money and to have a financial freedom.
“That sounds lil difficult. But, there is a solution and the solution is to have a side job such as building your own business (i.e monthly magazine or fashion shops) or day trading. Simple is that! But you have to be serious on that and learn it before you do it” he said.
Story 4: A Conversation with Paijo
One Sunday morning, Paijo told me that many women often do not really difference between something that they WANT and they NEED. I totally agree with her because it is also so me. Sometimes, when I go to the shopping malls I am just spending the money like crazy. I bought shoes, clothes, make up, underwear or perfume. But, do I really need them all? No! Everytime I got home after those shopping trips, I regret to buy this and that because I do not really need that.
“I do not say that you girl MUST NOT buy those things. If you want to buy something, budget it! Don’t spend all the money over knick knack because there are many more important things that you want to buy in the future.” she continued,
“You know what, I am sure that you often feel that you do not earn enough money to live in Jakarta. It is simply because you are being greedy to have all the things that you want but you do not need it and it makes you not grateful for what you have, you have to start thinking about the future,” she said.
Again, I totally agree with what Paijo’s said to me because I have never felt that I earned enough money to live in Jakarta because I have over spent my money over something that I do not need.
So, I told Paijo that I am so upset that I live my life contradictory because as a journalist I am often sent to the poor village to talk to the poor people about their life (depend on the issue) and I am often touched by their reality life and I must be thankful for what I have. I do not have to live underneath the railway or I do not have to share 12 square meters room with three other people.
“You just simply need to start being thankful and make differences between what you want and what you need. Look your closet, if you buy more clothes or shoes, where are you going to place it?” Paijo said.
Those four conversations have got me thinking that as a woman with an ambition to be a succesful woman with the job that I love and having a financial freedom. So, instead of complaining that I do not have enough money, I have to be thankful and work harder to reach whatever dream that I have.
I just need to remember the day when I was working as a cleaning girl, while I was still at second grade of senior high school or when I was working as a waitress in a small chocolate cafe in my hometown. The day when I was working as a journalist assistant and earned plenty money so I could take my first plane with my own money back to 2007. I have never complained with all those money that I earned, simply because I was being thankful and managed my money better.
You know, sometimes I just need to realize that I am just one of hundred thousands people, who comes to Jakarta with a dream to change my life in a free uplifting world. I am also just one of hundred thousands girls, who wants to be successful and have my own financial freedom with a plenty of money in my bank account so I can enjoy the life with its luxury.
I am only 23 and I still have a long path to go through until I reach all of my dream because I am not Nikita Willy, an Indonesian actress who can get a car worth of Rp 3.4 Billion, in the age 17. I am not those peeps, who were born rich so they do not have to work harder to achieve all their dream in a short period of time.
Sometimes I just think how blessed they are who has a skill to work in the entertainment industry because they are paid well.
Every human are unique, they have their own talent and skill, they have their own stories, they have their dream and they have their own way to reach their dream. So, let’s just chase your dream, work hard for it and be thankful for it.
My dream is to be a succesful woman with a financial freedom so I can buy my dream house, my dream car, designers outfit and take a vacation. So, I have to work hard for it.