What is the rat race? Plus the rat race escape plan (part 1) As explained by Andy Tanner

You’ve probably heard the term  Rat Race  before. People will reference it when they say things such as, “I’m stuck in the Rat Race,” or “I hope that someday I can get out of this Rat Race.” But what does this term really mean? For most of us, the Rat Race is a situation in which one day we wake up and feel as if we’re trapped by our circumstances. It’s a frustrating, hard-to-break lifestyle that usually forces us to stay in jobs we don’t always enjoy due to the multitude of financial obligations hanging over us: the mortgage, rent, medical bills, filling the car up with gas, braces for the kids, day care, groceries, and so much more.

Even those with seemingly good-paying jobs often feel very close to poverty when they’re caught in the Rat Race. I’m always surprised at how many people I speak to are just a paycheck or two away from financial ruin. As a result, they tend to stick with the same jobs for fear of being poor. That’s how I describe the Rat Race with words. Now let’s look at what being stuck in the Rat Race looks like with typical financial numbers. The place to begin is with a  personal income statement  and  balance sheet.

This is where we can see the money flowing into and out of someone’s life. It’s an illuminating (and sometimes painful) method of identifying the real financial situation someone is facing. Once we find the problem, it’s so much easier to find a solution. For our example, let’s say that every month your expenses total $5,000. This is the amount of money you need to pay to cover the cost of your lifestyle. So the first thing we need to figure out is this: how will you come up with $5,000 every month?