For some people, the idea that money = freedom is absurd. Some may even be offended by the concept.
That’s because many people see their financial success or failure as part of their character.
And when someone isn’t doing well financially, the concept of money equaling freedom can be taken as a personal attack.
But the truth is, financial freedom can come…no matter where you are right now. You just have to get started.
Does Money Equal Freedom?
When people have extra money, the world is their oyster. They can do things. They can go places. They can buy stuff. They can donate to causes that matter to them.
And, if they have enough money to do all the things they want to do, they don’t need to put in the effort to get more of it. That means they can quit working – as in, quitting their job, forever.
Retirement is now theirs.
Having worked long enough and saved enough money, people can stop doing the work they don’t want to do and instead do what they truly want.
And if they want to sit around watching movies all day and munching on pretzels, then they can do exactly that and nothing more.
But, if they want to pursue new hobbies, launch a business, or travel the world, they’ll need even more money to do that.
The point is, having a large cash reserve can give you the freedom to choose. And the freedom to choose is a great thing.
Debt is Slavery
Still, it’s important to consider the other side of the spectrum – the opposite of building wealth.
If money is freedom, then debt is slavery.
With debt, you have to do something. You’re obligated to pay back a person or a bank for what you borrowed.
You can’t stop working because you owe money. With debt in the picture, work becomes mandatory.
This is why debt – in most circumstances – is bad news for your life.
How to Prioritize Financial Freedom
Many people don’t get to the “work optional” phase of life until their Golden Years. This is simply because they didn’t prioritize their retirement freedom when they were younger. As in, they didn’t prioritize saving money.
Instead, they prioritized staying in their comfort zone. This meant that uncomfortable things didn’t get done.
If you want the freedom that comes with being financially independent, on the other hand, you have to be willing to do things other people don’t want to do. You have to do the new and uncomfortable things.
Here are some steps you can take to prioritize your freedom:
Step #1: Track your spending.
You absolutely must track your spending if you hope to have any chance of outrageous financial success. You need to know where your money is going.
This is critical and non-negotiable.
Most people can barely handle this idea. It blows their mind and terrorizes them all at the same time. But, it’s essential.
Step 2: Learn to live with less.
With enough delayed gratification, you can achieve financial freedom. Consider this even if you absolutely love your job.
That’s because your job in its current form may not be around forever – or you may not be able to do your job forever.
You may not even be able to do your job tomorrow. The future is unpredictable.
Money is not dollars, or pesos, or denari. Money is little bits of freedom.
Each time you willingly give away your money, consider that you are willingly giving away your freedom. Purchases seems a lot different in that context.
Is your freedom worth food? Of course! You’d die without food. It definitely makes sense to forgo some freedom to get some food.
But, what about the newest model BMW? Is your freedom worth a brand-new luxury automobile?
I guess it depends on who you ask. And it’s also important to consider just how much freedom you’re giving up.
If you’re 85-years-old and have a million dollars in the bank, it may not be a big deal.
But, if you’re young, buying something that’s over-priced and quickly loses most of its value (jewelry, a new luxury car, a boat) can set you back financially for life.
Especially when there is a perfectly good option at a lower price point.
Step 3: Avoid debt like the plague.
We already mentioned how you need to track your spending and learn to live on less, but there’s one more step that’s crucial if you want to buy your freedom.
You have to avoid debt.
This may mean doing things differently than your friends and neighbors who buy flashy cars and name-brand clothes.
But, you may be OK with that because you have bigger fish to fry: freedom.
If you can pay off your debts (or avoid it altogether), you will be able to save more money every month based on the simple fact you won’t be paying interest out the nose.
Without a bunch of credit card and loan bills to pay, you can use your cash to invest and build your freedom fund.
The Bottom Line to Financial Freedom
Money really can buy you freedom, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Just keep saving and investing (and paying down that debt if you have it) until you have the financial assets to sustain yourself for life.
It may take a while, but you’ll get there if you build positive financial habits, save like your future depends on it, and stay the course.