Blog | Personal Finance

Financial Freedom Goals vs. The Lottery

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Are you willing to put in the effort to win?

This month’s Martin Luther King Day brings with it a focus on freedoms and dreams. With this in mind, is having financial freedom just a dream to you, or are you currently taking steps to make it a reality?

If you don’t have a financial plan for the future and are just trying to pay your bills on time, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by American Express, 21% of respondents are hoping to win the lottery this year to help them with their financial issues.

Most people would like to win the lottery and have all of their financial problems disappear. In fact, Discovery’s states that, “1/3 of people in the United States think winning the lottery is the only way to become financially secure in life.” But according to several media sources (and a very interesting Infographic) at, the chances of winning the lottery are about 1 in 135,145,920. You actually have a better chance of “finding a pearl in an oyster, dating a supermodel or winning an Academy Award!”

With these stats, why not pursue something you can actually make happen? Financial freedom!

I know how most of you feel. There were many times when I wished I won the lottery just to stop living out of my car or in a friend’s basement. But instead of hoping for my status quo to change, I got to work. And I’ve seen many people just like me who had nothing and became rich (see “It’s Rising Time!” for examples).

Having financial freedom is possible. The only catch is that there is no easy ticket to wealth. It takes putting the time in to increase your financial literacy and then actually taking action on what you learn.

It’s Not Rocket Science.

If you are not financially-free right now, it’s probably because you don’t have the education to change your life. You have to learn your numbers. With little financial intelligence, you can expect a low return on your investments, or ROI. (This is how much money you are actually earning from your investment.)

Without a financial education, you won’t necessarily know what to look for to find investments that generate higher yields, and you may end up with 401Ks or savings plans that offer lower yields and expect you to retire poor. Plus, you’ll open yourself up to more risk by relying on financial planners, friends and associates to handle your money instead of doing it yourself.

You should know what is going on with your finances and not rely on anyone else (not even me) to tell you what to do.

The good news is that all you need to do to increase your financial education is open a book, read financial information online, attend an event, study a program… just get started. It’s not rocket science. It just takes time and effort… and most important, taking action on what you learn.

So what’s it going to be? Are you going to be lazy and sit around waiting to win the lottery, or are you actually going to increase your odds of living a rich life and get a financial education?

To take action on your financial freedom dreams, check out our free, financial education community here.

Original publish date: January 31, 2013

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