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They set out for a better life. They trudged through the plains and Rockies with an ax over their shoulder or metal pans in their hands. They climbed the California Mountains and sloshed in her rivers, hoping that one day their hard work would be rewarded.

The gold diggers of the past knew the risks. Nothing would be easy and many would go home empty handed, but the possible gains could be so much more than the life they currently led.

It’s all about choices. These courageous, pioneering women and men made choices for their future, rather than holding onto their present circumstances. They were willing to sacrifice for future financial freedom.

Summer is fast approaching – a time when frivolous spending can often reach a crescendo. A time for movies to see, vacations to take, endless summer parties and concerts to attend, and new fashion staples to add to the closet. Who wants to choose only one? Our financial life would be so much easier if our pocketbook could just keep up with us!

The pioneers had a craving for a purpose-full life. They set out for adventure, choosing challenge and sacrifice, but ultimately, they wanted deep fulfillment. Is it possible that we are wired for the same thing? What would our finances look like if we chose to live like pioneers? How would our choices be different if we were future-focused, rather than too-easily-satisfied with things that ultimately wither and fade?

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When I look at the pioneers and the lifestyle that they chose, I am challenged to re-examine my own values and to think about future gain rather than simple pleasures. There’s nothing wrong with taking a vacation, choosing rest, or investing in yourself and your health. But what would it look like if we intentionally focused a bit more on future goals rather than present distractions?

As we head into this summer, maybe we should wait and reflect on how we’re really spending. Take a moment, put that extra money in savings or freeze the credit card in water. Let’s dig deep within ourselves and picture the financial future we truly want to have. Remember: as the pioneers set off for gold they were met with hardship and toil, with opportunities to turn around and go back to the easier way of life they lived. Things were safer back home. Some did just that. But others wanted to stay true to the course they had set out for.

Should we do the same? Let’s write our goals for financial freedom, and then start to map out our course.  The best way to get from Point A to Point B is through the process of making choices and setting goals and expectations. Let’s think about ourselves like those pioneering women and men of old; how can our choices pave the way to the gold we want?

Images via Emily Reiter


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