Ahhh to be Financially Free. Doesn't that sound appealing? It sounds like an island where you sit on the beach reading a book, watching your children run around looking for sand crabs. A place where you pick up the phone but have no phone bill, where your mail magically disappears, and some unknown person picks up all of your restaurant tabs. It sounds wonderful doesn't it?! But there isn't a place called Financial Freedom, I checked the map, and nope, it's not there.
So what does Financial Freedom mean? If you google it, it asks the question "What does Financial Freedom mean to you?", with no definition. In other words that question can be perceived differently by whom ever you are applying it to. So does this mean there is no real definition? And if there is no real meaning then why I am I so eager to get to this intriguing place.
I can tell you that there are a few things I can say absolutely come with Financial Freedom. It is like when you play a country song back words...You get your money back in your wallet, time with your family back, and no more tears or anxiety.
Finances can be compared to shackles. They determine what you can do in life and how you can spend you time. These shackles are a punishment and a reminder of what you have gotten yourself into. Being financially responsible is the key that unlocks those shackles. Release the anxiety of not being able to afford to go on that trip or buy that dishwasher because at one point you made some financial mistakes.
Financial Freedom absolutely means you have reduced your debt and you NOW know exactly where your money is going because you have fewer bills to deal with and accounts to work with. When you are no longer putting money towards decreasing the debt you have accrued OR spending money and acquiring more debt, you will see more money magically appear in your account. When you have more money to wisely spend, you can spend it on things that will move your life in the direction you would like it to go. You can see how it all flows together.
Less debt = more money = more time = Simpler Life = you get to live the life you want and need!
I want financial freedom because it helps me feel encouraged when I know what the goal is. So what is the ultimate goal for me? It is to live on CASH ONLY! Cash only to me is not using credit cards but it does not mean that I cannot have a car loan or home loan. It just means if I cannot be responsible enough to have enough cash to save for the things I need OR want then I should not promising money that I DO NOT HAVE YET. In reality, are we all granted another day at work just because we showed up? No, we are not! So why should we agree (promise) to pay money for something when we cannot guarantee that we will actually have a job to earn that money when it is due?
Here is how I plan to reach Financial Freedom:
1. I will make Sacrifices. I will not buy myself something just because I want it, I will make do with what I have until I actually need it.
2. I will NOT go out to eat as much or go to events just because I want to.
3. I will find things to do that are Free and Fun.
4. I will put extra money towards my revolving debt for the next six months until 100% paid.
5. I will decline extravagant outings and birthdays that may require gifts (and a dinner outing).
6. I will stand strong to peer pressure when someone says "You can't pass it up! It is too good of a deal! Just buy it!" Because really how often can you tell yourself that lie. If you don't need it, don't buy it. Even if it is a good deal.
7. I will make sure to always use a coupon, look for the less expensive brand (but not less quality), and never pay full price.
8. I will post some items on craigslist or eBay since I have about two bins filled with stuff to sell.
9. I will keep track of my trips to the store (even the grocery store) and keep all my receipts so I can see where all my money is going.
10. I will NOT let my being financially responsible make me a total bore and a super grouch just because I want to save some money. Hello, I am not crazy here just want to be conscious of what I spend.
11. I will make every attempt to stay away from stores, even to the extent of doing some grocery shopping online. This will be a great way for me to itemze my purchases and keep track of my total.
I want to be debt free because I truly believe that I will get to that magical place that financial freedom sounds like. I vision my family being stress free, having the spending money to go on vacation, being able to find other interests besides spending money as a hobby, and being able to value our time together rather then all of our time trying to earn more money to pay down more debt. I want to sleep through the night without a worry on my mind. I envision me making our priorities the focus of life and making wise decisions about what I choose to spend money on so that my children can learn those values (right now they are completely money crazed demons). That doesn't sound like bad thing to me, it sounds exciting because I know it leads to a simpler life.
In a matter of only 6 months, I WILL be celebrating in a place called Financial Freedom, where ever it may be. Sipping a cool glass of water with lime, reading about Love and Logic parenting, enjoying the sight of Spike and the gremlins playing together with not a care in the world because our world no longer revolves around being shackled to the debt that keeps us bound.
So if you in, holla at your girl, because misery (and joy) loves company!