When I first became a deputy, financial independence was far from my mind. To be honest, I did not even know what financial independence was.
All I knew was I was making great money (compared to making $12.25 an hour from my previous job), had great benefits, and fulfilled my dream of becoming a peace officer.
But if I had the financial independence mentality when I first came onto the department, I know it would of made a huge difference of where I would be at in my life.
How many first responders believe they have control over their life? If you were no longer able to work as a first responder, would you still be able to provide for your family? I hope you can, but reality is a lot of us cannot.
As first responders there are many things out of our control that can cause us to no longer work as first responders. Policies, complaints, car accidents, injuries, and politics are only a few examples.
But when we are injured and no longer capable of working, what does the department do? They show that we can easily be replaced. In my department we have a phrase called, “We’re only a number (to the department).”
And I’m sure we all had those days where we were on our last nerves and wanted to call it quits sometimes. We complain to our partners sometimes about how much we hate the job and which we did something else. We talk about how we do not want our children to grow up and become peace officers. But we don’t quit because we have pride in what we do.
And I’m sure you worry about how you will pay the bills if you actually did quit. We all have a family to provide for.
But what happens when we no longer have to worry about not being able to work or are fired to please the public? What happens if you are able to provide for your family without having to work?
That is where financial independence comes into play and why I think it is important to learn as first responders.
By getting control of your finances, you are telling the department you work for that they are no longer in control.
When you are on your last nerves and know you are absolutely done with the job, you can quit if you want. You can go enjoy time with your family and friends. You can travel the world and actually enjoy life.
Or you might notice you actually enjoy the job more than before because you’re no longer worried about a paycheck. You know you have a passion for the job without a doubt.
I honesty think money controls a lot of people, but people are afraid to admit it. The world revolves around money and there is no denying it. In order to buy food and pay the mortgage, we need money. There are very few free things left in this world.
YOU are in control of your life and your finances.
We deserve better when we literally give our blood, sweat, and tears to the job. Finances is one thing we should not have to worry about.
We, as first responders, deserve to live a comfortable lifestyle where we don’t have to worry about money. But we are the one in control. Not the department, US.