Finding Financial Freedom

Do you ever get this in your email box: Find Financial Freedom! Make $150,000 from home in the next 90 days! How about 10 times a day?

Every time I get one of these, I think to myself, “Hmmm, Financial Freedom. I already have financial freedom, even though it doesn’t look like what these emails promise me.”

Financial freedom is a buzzword for our generation. It is the pursuit of literally millions of people. So what is it? Is it that elusive? Can anyone get it?

Let me start by saying that this article will not be about how to earn money, or even more money. Rather, it will be about how to find financial freedom, which may or may not involve making more money.

Financial freedom – here we go!

The first step in finding financial freedom is to realize that financial freedom has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you have or make. What? Exactly. Financial freedom is something that goes on inside of you. This is why someone who makes very little can be happy and someone who makes a ton can be extremely stressed out over his or her financial situation. So the first step is to realize that financial freedom is more about our attitudes toward money than about the amount of money.

“Okay Chris, I’m with you. So what are the attitudes that provide financial freedom?” Here are a few that keep me in financial freedom.

I do not have to worry about money. I used to catch myself saying, “If I had more money, then I wouldn’t have to worry about …” But do you know what? I don’t have to worry anyway. I can control my income. I can control my outgo. I can make choices that can alleviate any of my worries. I also realized that things always work out. So why worry? I choose not to worry.

I can be happy regardless of my financial state. I know people who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and I know people who don’t have two nickels to rub together. Some are happy and some aren’t. And none of the people who have a lot of money say to me, “Chris, I’ve become so happy since I got money.” They were happy before they had money and they are happy now that they have money. Their happiness has nothing to do with the money. I think it was the Billionaire David Geffen who said, “Anyone who says that money will buy them happiness has never had any money.”

Money will be a means to an end, not the end itself. Another way to look at it is that money will be a tool to build the house, not the house itself. I would set some financial goals if I were you, but go beyond that to know what greater purpose there will be when you reach them. What will the house be that you will build with that tool?

I am free. I am free to earn – some people think it is bad to earn more money. It isn’t. I am free to save – some people believe it is bad to save. It isn’t. I am free to give money away – some people feel they will be better off hoarding it. They won’t. I am free to spend – some people believe that they can’t spend anything on themselves. They can. We are free to make choices. That is financial freedom. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Wesley, “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” That will keep you in financial freedom.

Some other principles for financial freedom…

Debt is the primary freedom killer. Want financial freedom? The first thing you should do is to get out of debt. That is priority number one. One of the reasons I have financial freedom is that I have no debt other than my house payment. And I work hard to manage myself and our home to keep us that way. For years I drove an old junker car, and while I looked bad, I had financial freedom that others who were in debt didn’t have!
There is an old proverb – The borrower is the servant of the lender. Who has freedom? The lender. Who doesn’t? The borrower. Develop a plan to get out of debt!

Embrace delayed gratification. Here is the principle: Buy it now and struggle later. Another principle: Delay it now, invest the money, and have all you want later on! And you won’t even have to touch the principal! We tend to think that having it now will bring enjoyment, but unless you can do it and not cause yourself financial stress, you will actually get more from waiting to buy it later!

Have more by managing better. The fact is that most of us earn enough. What would be beneficial would be to set our priorities and live by a budget. As we get control, our budget will loosen up a bit and we will find ourselves enjoying it more. Money that is already there can be your answer if you put it to work for you.

Smart Wedding Planning for Financial Freedom

Life is full of changes, and many of which are unavoidable as well as unpredictable. The art of living well is the ability to adapt yourself to these changes in order to make the best and the most out of what you have. Getting married is one of those important changes in life. Planning a wedding is a big challenge, as well as a learning experience, for the couple, especially if they would like to have a dream wedding with financial freedom. The art of living well is the wisdom of smart planning for financial freedom.

What is financial freedom?

Financial freedom begins with financial wisdom, which is an understanding of the meaning of money and its unique relationship with you. Everybody has different perceptions of money, and your unique relationship with money is what really matters to you. Financial wisdom is utilizing your financial resources not just to accumulate wealth but to enjoy what you have. Money is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Financial wisdom gives you not only more freedom in terms of financial options but also greater protection in difficult economic times. Financial wisdom is to know the true values of money in your life, and thus to make important financial decisions accordingly, including those in smart wedding planning.

Many people simply know that money can buy the things they want, but they may not know that financial stress can cause mental and emotional problems in a love relationship, especially in a marriage. Therefore, smart wedding planning for financial freedom is important in creating a resourceful wedding.

The essence of financial wisdom is to have the mindset for simplicity, that is, knowing what is enough is enough; anything beyond the need is a want. Buy the things you need with the money you have, and not buying the things you don’t need with the money you don’t have. Financial wisdom is just that simple! With financial wisdom, you will achieve financial freedom; it is only a matter of time, and a matter of willpower.

What is smart wedding planning for financial freedom?

Make achieving financial freedom the ultimate goal in your planning.

To plan a budget wedding, you must, first of all, have the resources. A resourceful wedding means that all unnecessary costs are either eliminated or reduced to a minimum, and that all basic wedding items are acquired at their best prices. To attain a resourceful wedding, you must plan it well in advance.

A wedding naturally costs money. Unless money is no object to you, determine your affordability; that is, how much you “can” pay, and how much you are “willing” to pay. If money is a problem, then consider all the possible financial resources available to you, such as, refinancing your house; and decide how you would get them without breaking your financial back.

The type of wedding ceremony and the choice of venue generally affect the cost of a wedding, that is, your wedding budget. For example, using your wedding ceremony location as the venue for your wedding reception can save you a lot of money, as well as make it more convenient for your wedding guests too.

Smart wedding planning always takes into consideration the debt factor in financial freedom. Are you currently in consumer debt? How much do you owe your credit cards? What are you financial liabilities, short-term as well as long-term? To become debt-free is one of the financial goals in financial freedom. Smart wedding planning avoids incurring huge debt through a resourceful wedding. Do not buy what you don’t need with the money you don’t have. Do not fall into the trap of buy-now-and-pay-later. Do not have a credit-card-approach mentality to wedding planning. Getting into wedding debt is easy: the billion-dollar wedding industry in the United States easily and conveniently allures couples into debt. Remember, the debt may follow the couple into their marriage for as many as 10 years.

Also consider the savings factor in financial freedom. Do you save every month? How much more can you save in the months prior to your wedding? Focus on saving, instead of spending; change or modify your living habits, such as reducing the frequency of shopping. Prioritize your spending, which is always paying yourself first! If you pay yourself first, you will have less to spend, and when you have less money, you will spend less. Always pay yourself first: set aside a certain amount of money each money for your forthcoming wedding expenses. Save before and not after the wedding! Smart planning is money saving!

The bottom line: Do not follow fads and trends. Follow your heart: what you really want for your wedding. Focus on the most important aspects of your celebration, and trim all unnecessary spending accordingly. A wedding is only a part of a marriage, and that it is important for a married couple to enter into married life without incurring debt. Smart wedding planning gives you financial freedom in your future married life.

Financial Freedom Trail

Returning yourself to a position of financial freedom always seems like a daunting task but you need to look at the journey as a trail to financial freedom as opposed to believing that your good financial status will return overnight. The only way that you will achieve total financial freedom overnight is by winning the lottery or inheriting an amount of money that not only clears your debt, but is also spent on clearing your debt. For everybody else, the path to true financial freedom is a step by step process. In fact, if you are in need of taking this direction, then it is a little easier to understand the need for sensible steps, when you think about the fact that your indebtedness has also been a step by step process, that has ended in your current predicament.

None of us start out in a bad financial situation. We get there through making less than favorable decisions about what we do with the money we earn. You are not alone if you are in this position, as millions of people around the globe are now realizing that some of their decisions have been such that they are now in trouble financially. However, that being said, time and good sound decision making are the only two things you need to apply to begin your trail to financial freedom.

You might be asking “what does it mean to become financially free” and to me the answer is simple. It is the position you find yourself in when the money you have or earn, far outweighs any commitments you may have. It is a place where no matter what happens with your income, you are not going to worry about paying debts and the bills can be paid as and when they fall due. This to me is becoming financially independent. The ability to go about your day to day business without being indebted to any third party is true financial freedom. This may be something that is very hard for you to imagine, but whether or not you can see it clearly, it is possible for each of us. Living within our means is the best way to stay and always be financially independent.

The Road is Bumpy, but worth it

Your personal financial freedom trail always starts with the realization and acceptance of the place you are in currently. From that point, it is easier to establish the various steps you will need to include in your action plan to achieve financial freedom. Think of the end result as the large concrete building at the top of a flight of steps. Those steps are the things that you must do to reach the top and secure your new found freedom. Step one is the acceptance, true acceptance of where you are now and the understanding that you must change things. Step two might be formulating an effective budget to include all of the things in your life now that require ongoing financial servicing. This budget would of course include all forms of current income, with an allowance being made for any opportunity you may have in the future, to increase your income.

Step three in your trail to financial freedom might be to approach a professional financial advisor, taking along with you your budget and your goals. This person can then advise you on the best course of action for you to achieve your goals. Make sure too that you fully understand that this journey will take time. By understanding that fact, you will not be expecting any overnight fix, that is unrealistic and probably impossible. Goals must be attainable and realistic; otherwise they will not be effective.