F is for Financial FreedomMelanie Lemus
What is Financial Freedom
You may hear “financial freedom” and think independently wealthy, and while that is one way to define it, it’s not the only way. Being financially free means the ability to maintain your current lifestyle without the support of a regular paycheck.
In this article, I’m not going to give you a five-step plan to be a millionaire by the time you retire. There are plenty of resources like that out there already. What I am going to provide you with, however, is hopefully a shift in perspective.
Why Isn’t Financial Freedom the Goal?
Our society has ingrained in us that we should go to college, get into debt for a degree, and then work to pay off that debt while going into other debt. We then work more hours to earn more money to buy a bigger house. Then we work harder and longer to fill that house with stuff that just depreciates over time. So what we’re left with is a whole bunch of stuff and no time to enjoy it, and no time to enjoy our families.
If we’re successful in our pursuit of stuff and money, eventually, we get to the age where we can retire. Then, when we are older, we may have the freedom to explore, relax, and spend time with loved ones. I don’t want to wait that long, do you? Time is a finite resource, and I don’t want to trade all of mine to participate in this rat race.
How do I achieve Financial Freedom?
Perhaps you bust your tail for 20 years and build your savings and investment portfolio to the degree that you no longer need to work. Or maybe you cut your cost of living to such a degree that what you currently have saved up will sustain you for the long term. However you decide to achieve financial freedom, you’re essentially learning to live within your means. Freedom grows with savings.
Living within our means is quite a foreign concept in this age of keeping up with the Joneses. But as financial guru, Dave Ramsey always says, “You’ve got to live like no one else if you want to live like no one else!” What that means is you’ve got to stop living for the world’s standards (spend like crazy, get into massive debt) and live frugally so that eventually you can live off what you’ve saved and invested. Freedom grows with self-control.
How do I gain Financial Freedom NOW?
Whenever you’re considering purchasing something that you don’t need – like a daily gourmet coffee or a new car when your old one runs just fine – think about how much time it took you to earn money to pay for that thing, and consider if it’s worth the time tradeoff.
As I mentioned earlier, you might not currently be in a position to quit your job and travel the world. However, by lowering your standard of living even slightly, you can create some amount of flexibility in your financial picture. You may even be able to enjoy more time off and spend more of your most valuable resource – time – on the things and people you love.
About the Author
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics. She lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and witty daughter. Melanie loves her freedom – in Christ and America. She’s passionate about natural health and homeopathy, and she’s always down to take a hike through the mountains.
About Vision to Purpose
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