What is financial freedom?
Hi all, Andy with you for this post.
You will have heard the term “financial freedom” everywhere, including peppered around this site.
It’s one of those elusive terms, that sounds amazing. But is it something we ever think we will have?
Do we give it any definition?
What, exactly, is financial freedom?
Everyone will have a different definition of what financial freedom is. This is fine, because everyone has different goals for their lives, and for their money.
Em and I think it’s fair to say a broad definition of financial freedom (from our point of view) is: the ability to make decisions about your life and how you live it, without financial constraints getting in your way or limiting your choices.
Within reason of course, we’re not going to say we don’t feel financially free just because we don’t have enough dosh to jetset around the Caribbean all summer then spend all winter in St. Moritz!
For a lot of you, since this is a debt website, financial freedom might mean getting rid of your credit card debt, therefore freeing up your finances and your choices. Clearing any debt can feel like a massive weight off your shoulders, and this would be a wonderful way to experience financial freedom.
For Em and I, financial freedom means getting rid of our mortgage, because we’d rather put our money into something that will benefit ourselves and our families, rather than lining the coffers of our bank. We’d love to get a puppy that we don’t have to leave at home alone all day while we work. We’d love to start a family and be able to spend lots of time enjoying them. If we’re locked into our jobs to make ends meet, these two very important things are more difficult. Don’t get me wrong, we are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic house and to both have jobs. Very lucky indeed! We just don’t want those jobs or the house payments to dominate our lives.
What financial freedom is not:
Financial freedom is not about making a million bucks, quitting your job and lolling about by a pool (although that sounds kinda nice,especially since we’re freezing in a New Zealand winter right now). It does not necessarily mean an early retirement. It just means you can choose to do what you want a bit more, because time is the most important thing we have. And financial freedom lets you choose how you spend your time.
Wouldn’t that be nice? Being able to choose how you spend your time? Rather than spending time stuck in a debt trap and working hard to make minimum repayments?
Financial freedom is a journey
Financial freedom probably won’t be something that rushes up and suddenly you have it. Think of paying off all those debts as stepping stones on your journey to financial freedom. Each time you make headway with a debt or increase your income, think of that as progress along your journey. And celebrate that! After all, financial freedom is about looking forward, which is a very positive thing. Take your wins when you get them, make the most of them and use them as motivation to keep going.
We’d love to hear what steps you’re taking to achieve financial freedom, drop us a comment below.
Photo by travel oriented, CC 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/h56UR5