Our cavemen and cavewomen ancestors get a bad rap*. I mean sure they didn’t shower for like 3 months at a time and ate crickets as snacks. And yes, their idea of fun was probably throwing rocks into a lake or making baskets.
But would you believe that they were happier than us?
Most of the world today lives a life of relative comfort compared to our ancestors. We have iPhones and all sorts of weird technologies, like fidget spinners and hoverboards. They, however, lived a life much more dangerous than ours. Think about it. Today, we go to the grocery store, grab some pop tarts and OJ and we have breakfast. But to our ancestors, you forage for some walnuts and berries and if you’re lucky, some rabbit meat. And to get to the grocery store, we get into these 5-thousand pound, 4 wheeled beasts with the power of 200 horses. They walk.
Even though they lived much more dangerous lives than ours (imagine the little food to go around and you could be eaten by lions). They were happier than us because they weren’t stressed about life the way we stress about life. Money didn’t exist in the way it does today, and money is one of our societies biggest issues (64% of Americans say that money issues are their biggest worries). They weren’t even stressed about work (60% of people say this is a big stress for them too). Because there were no jobs back then. There were no car payments or mortgages. Their stresses weren’t about how many Facebook likes they could get. Or how come Steve or Stacey doesn’t like them.
Cave men and women were happier than us because they had a community. They worried about the well-being of their community and doing their part to help. And relied on each other for everything. They understood that community is the best way to flourish and live a better life.
The Point of Zack’s Shenanigans
So, what exactly am I trying to get at here?
My point here is simple:
I want you to become happy like a cave man/woman! So that means you should throw away all of your electronics and move into a cave and start eating rabbits…
If you feel that you are under lots of financial stress and don’t know what to do about it. The lesson to take from our ancestors is to ask your community for help!
And I get it. Many people don’t feel comfortable asking others for help (sadly, some don’t even know that there is help out there), mostly because our society has made finance a taboo subject. And that’s our problem…we’ve lost our sense of community and the weird thing is that we are highly social beings that live in the age of the internet and social media. Yet we still feel less and less connected to each other.
Don’t go at trying to figure out your finances on your own. There are hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals that have made it their life mission to provide you their assistance, expertise, and passion.
But don’t expect them to find you! You must be proactive and find them yourself.
CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
This is the best place to start if you need any financial information or help. Go to consumer tools and you’ll have a drop down with many options to choose from.
Local Meetups are a great place to get that sense of community and find people that are very passionate in helping you navigate your finances.
You’ll find some great people at these meetups!
WalletGyde offers personalized financial coaching to guide you in achieving your financial goal. Click here if you’re interested in learning more. (Disclaimer: My co-founders and I own this blog and WalletGyde).
Reddit: Ask any personal finance question you have here and you’ll be guaranteed a thoughtful answer!
Quora: Same as Reddit. You’ll get some awesome personal finance help from this community.
Lifehacker: A personal favorite. They give you tons of resources on one page.
Seek your community, socialize your problems, be vulnerable and ask for help!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
*“cave men and women” didn’t actually live in caves. They were nomads, that foraged and were hunter/gathers and looked identical to us. What’s so funny about that though?