Financial freedom – are you financially free? Do you have to think – how will you pay the bill when an unexpected bill arrives? Do you remember any of these:
One fine morning on a nice sunny, bright and cold day the furnance in your house broke down. Now you need some extra cash immediately to be able to buy a new furnace so your family doesn’t freeze.
You are getting late for work, you get in your car and the car refuses to start. Dang it, you need to get the car fixed now or maybe buy a new car. Where are you going to get the money from?
One of your loved ones needs medical attention but insurance doesn’t cover the entire cost.
I am sure we all have been through these situations many times in our lives. In 2007, I lived in New York and had a good job that paid six-figure salary – I have been in this job since early 2000, life was good. And then came 2008, when US economy was getting into what we know as one of the biggest downturns in American history. I was laid off.
The job that I loved I no longer have it. I got about two weeks of salary as severance and I had about $2,000 in my bank. I couldn’t sleep that night, thoughts like I can’t buy food or pay bills, I will be homeless, bankruptcy kept crossing my mind and I was terrified. That is when the shit hits the fan and I realized my life was so much dependent on the paycheck.
Life is good, to it sucks overnight. Grrrr!! I hate that feeling.
In 2009, I created a plan – to be financially free by 2020. Since then I have been developing strategies and refining them to help me reach my goal. I will be sharing strategies that have worked for me in last 9+ years and will help you achieve financial freedom.
What is Financial Freedom?
Imagine one of the situations we described above occurred and you paid the bill without blinking and moved on like it never happened. Won’t you feel good in that case? Exactly that’s the feeling what I call “financial freedom”. Imagine taking any decision is your life without being overly worried about it. No! you don’t have to be a super-rich to be able to do that.
Financial Freedom is not a get rich overnight strategy rather it is an outcome of a good plan, long-term committment (read decades) and hard-work. You’re in control of your finances and not controlled by them.
Financial freedom is taking decisions without worrying about the financial impact of the decision. It means you are prepared, you have invested time, money and effort into building a plan and executing the same for years. Without further ado let’s get to defining what financial freedom looks like for you.
What does Financial Freedom mean for you?
Financial freedom is a very personal thing. It starts with a dream and being descriptive about it. I can tell you what it looks like for me and maybe that would help you define yours.
For me, financial freedom is freedom to:
- Retire early – I want to retire from my day job by the age of 50
- Follow your passion instead of chasing a paycheck to pay the bills
- Travel with my wife and explore the world – one to two times a year
- Pay college tuition for kids
- Last but not the least, quit my job without worrying who will pay my mortgage and other bills
Financial freedom gives you choices in life and takes some stress out. This may sound too good to be true but trust me it is very doable but it does require a SMART goal and a long-term commitment.
In the follow-up articles, I will tell you more about my goals and the strategies that I have followed. Till then, do yourself a favor and start defining your financial freedom goal and feel free to share it in comments.