I don’t know about you, but “Financial Freedom” seems to be such a buzzword. With so much lingo out there, especially on social media, we can lose sight of the true meaning and value behind them. Nearly every day, I see coaches and other entrepreneurs endorsing their fabulous and abundant lifestyles while promising it’s possible for you too. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking it. However, it always has me thinking just how glamorized this term has become and how people think they want it so bad.
What is it that they want? What is it that YOU want? Is it the idea that an unlimited indisposable income could be a reality for you? Financial freedom isn’t all about the number of zeros there are in your bank account. Does that help? It wouldn’t hurt…. But, you could have a million dollars in your bank account and still not be “free”.
Having an excess of money will certainly open up opportunities of where to live and what you do. However, physical freedom isn’t what I am talking about here. You could have more money than you know what to do with and still feel overwhelmed, stressed, and stuck. In a lot of cases, the more money people have, the more stressed and defeated they become. What does that tell us then? Well, it tells me that there is something deeper here than numbers.
What is Financial Freedom?
I read somewhere that financial freedom isn’t a destination. I thought this was such a simple yet profound explanation and one that I agree with. Human beings, for one reason or another, are constantly chasing things. Trying to get somewhere, always. We can apply this to so many areas of our lives. We get through college, to get to a good job, to have enough money to start a family, and on and on and on. Much like happiness, financial freedom isn’t a target or destination. We need to rethink what it truly means. I promise you that that magic number you think will give your financial freedom, won’t.
If I had to explain Financial freedom in two words, it would be OPTIONS and CHOICE. This means that regardless of whether you want to live in a 4 bedroom detached house in the city or live in a cabin in a remote location, you can do it. It means that you have set yourself up to be unswayed by all of life’s lovely little surprises, that inevitably arise. It is the ability to create the life that you want while feeling secure that no matter what life throws your way, that you’re in the driver’s seat (of a really nice car, if that’s what makes you happy).
You may be thinking “These are nice words and all Sarah, but how do I start?!”
I’m going to give you some important things to think about which helped me on my journey to Financial freedom.
What do you actually want?
Understanding what is important to you and what you value is a key step to financial freedom. We need to dig deep and figure out what would make us happy, like, actually happy. This is going to be different for everyone. You’ll need to block out influence from around you. We cannot be vague with our goals and our desires. Asking these types of questions can be quite unsettling, especially if you haven’t done it before. You deserve exactly the life you aspire to have. The reason I feel that our journey to financial freedom must start here is that, hopefully, it will unravel some taught ideas of what you should want.
Once you’ve established what you want, creating goals becomes a lot easier. Every action you take to achieve your goals will feel aligned. In times when things seem tough, you can remember precisely why you are doing it in the first place, solidifying your goals even further.
So, you know what you want. Now what? Although money mindset is a whole other topic, I wanted to touch on it here. We’ve been conditioned to believe that budgeting is a restrictive exercise that involves giving up things for a longer-term outcome. There is some truth to that for sure. However, the part I’m not on board with is that it’s something negative. The scarcity mindset (another buzzword) causes us to think of budgeting and finances with a dark (and sad) cloud over them. What if I told you that you can account for the things that you enjoy as part of your budget? It’s possible to save money and live your life at the same time!
The focus on budgeting and finances tends to be practical “doing” solutions. Buy the book, fill out the spreadsheet, talk to your accountant. Using tools can be very helpful, however, they tend to focus on restrictive methods of counting and portioning out our monthly salary. If we have a healthy and positive mindset and create real long term goals, we can achieve so much more than filling out a P&L.
I’ve learned a lot from working with my clients. Many of them share some of the same emotions towards finances which have held them back from achieving their version of financial freedom. Guilt, shame, and regret are three extremely powerful emotions. Hands up who has ever said something to themselves that they would never say to someone they love. If you didn’t put your hand up, tell the rest of us your secret.
We must let go of past “mistakes” with money or poor choices. If you start going down the road of “If I hadn’t bought this or done that, I could have this”, you’ll never stop. You’re human. Saying it louder for the people in the back, YOU.ARE.HUMAN. We all make mistakes, some of us more than others. It doesn’t mean that we can’t start today on a new path and certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t deserving of that life.
Financial freedom is possible for us all. I don’t know about you but this year has further crystallized my WHY. If you are struggling with figuring out your finances and are feeling overwhelmed, I’ve got you. Send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll try to answer any questions you have. I’ll be the one rooting in your corner, while you’re learning to do the same.