There are obvious answers to the financial freedom question that speak to just about every individual in this country. Financial freedom means more … more time with family, more travel, more outings with friends, more buying power, and more control over your schedule. It also means less… less anxiety about money, less time at work, less overall stress, and less responsibility. To some, it represents a debt-free life. To some, it means living minimally or nomadically. To some, it’s about achieving a better life than their parents had. To everyone, financial freedom opens the door to greater opportunities.
While these are all excellent answers, I had to interpret the meaning of financial freedom for myself as I embarked on this savings journey, recognizing that I was “dragging” five other people along on this road to financial independence. With that level of responsibility in mind, my definition had to be worthwhile and incredibly motivating.
Financial freedom allows the ability to let go…
of maintaining a specific image; of an addiction to other people’s lives; of the shackles of material goods; of the restrictions placed on me by others; of saying ‘yes’ when I want to say ‘no’; of saying ‘no’ when I want to say ‘yes’; of negative relationships; of working to achieve someone else’s dream.
It provides the option to linger…
in bed all morning with my husband; on the floor in my kids’ playroom as they set up a tea party; at church after service or maybe on a Wednesday; on a restaurant patio with a friend; on a beautiful beach all day; in my sister’s living room catching up on a favorite TV show; at my mom’s house sipping coffee; at my children’s favorite museum; on the hiking trail or in the river at a state park; with a baby in my arms.
It affords the privilege of indecisiveness…
on whether to build a forever home or buy an investment property… or both; on whether to volunteer in local church ministries or start the business I’ve always dreamed of… or both; on whether to homeschool my kids and travel the globe or keep them in public school… or both; on taking up golf or playing in an over-40 soccer league… or both; to write a book or start or podcast… or both.
It commands the responsibility to give…
financial literacy lessons to my children; personal finance advice to the young and old; donations to charitable organizations; more time to important projects; opportunities to the underprivileged so that they can break the cycle of poverty; more of me to those I love.
Personal finance is exactly that: personal. Financial freedom can mean the same thing yet something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?
[…] However, hearing about this movement and the different paths people chose to reach financial independence piqued my interest in a way that money and finances never had in the past. Money was simply a means to gain possessions, feed our family, and to pay for vacations. I had never considered money as a path to freedom…. […]
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