What does financial freedom mean?
Is the idea of ‘wealth’ simpler than we make it?
77% of Americans reported having stress about money
“77% of Americans are anxious about their financial situation, 58% feel their finances control their lives rather than the other way around, 42% worry about their debt, and 52% have difficulty controlling money-related worries”.
This data is from a 2020 study by Capital One.
How can I get out of this debt? Is it possible to be wealthy without starting my own business? Do I have to be making millions to be financially free? What does financial freedom even mean?
I was recently listening to ‘Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life’ by Shannon Ables. It’s a great book that goes in-depth about how our choices reflect the quality of our life as women and how to make better ones that align with our goals.
In her chapter about financial independence, she said something about financial freedom that clicked.
Wealth is being able to enjoy the luxuries you desire without accruing debt
It’s really that simple! Wealth isn’t a certain number or status — it’s simply being able to fully enjoy your life, being able to afford the luxuries you desire, without accruing debt.
For one person, this could be being able to afford ballet and band classes for their kids, a weekly mani/pedi, going to their favorite restaurant whenever they wish, and not having to worry about replacing the vacuum cleaner when it breaks.
For another, it could be being able to maintain their polo-playing, renting a private jet for vacations, living in a $50,000/mo. apartment and only owning 10 shirts, but they’re all Orlebar Brown and Fendi.
We live in a world where we are constantly being sold. The average person sees 4,000–10,000 ads PER DAY!
Our phones and computers have made it easy for us to buy something with one click by saving our credit card info. And these aren’t just regular ads; they are hyper-targeted specifically for us, based on our interests, friends, recent searches, age, occupation, and location.
I know we all have gotten to the end of the month and thought “How did I spend that much!?” Without knowing where your money is going, it’s very hard to know if it’s going to the right places.
Achieving full financial freedom requires taking the time to nail down what’s truly important to you and making the conscious effort to not buy things we’re convinced we want, but will only add to the clutter. Maybe that means creating side-income if your job isn’t paying you enough, or finding a new job!
(There’s a study that says staying in a job where you’re underpaid can lead to a 50% lifetime loss of income).
At the end of the day, your ability to afford the things you truly desire and achieve your ‘Rich Life’ is up to you. No one is going to make you stop buying things you don’t need or ask for a raise or apply for a higher-paid job.
Ultimately, you have to choose to educate yourself on how to achieve the financial freedom you desire and change the habits that have led you to where you are. It’s totally possible!
Some financial education resources: