Why are you working so hard to make good financial decisions?
Why are you tracking your spending, living by a budget, paying off debt, building an emergency fund, contributing to a 401(k), and everything else you’re doing to improve your financial situation? What’s your endgame here? Have you thought about it? I mean, really sat down and thought about why you’re making all this effort?
I’ll tell you what, it’s not about making the “right” financial decisions. That alone won’t make you happy. And it’s not about having more money. A bigger bank account won’t automatically make you happy, and neither will all the stuff you can buy with that money.
What WILL make you happy is the time you can afford to spend because of the money you have in the bank.
True Financial Freedom
True financial freedom is the point at which you’re able to make decisions based on what makes you happy instead of what makes you money.
It’s the point at which you no longer need the next paycheck because you have the savings to cover it. It’s the point at which you can afford to take time off and travel the world or be home with your kids. It’s the point at which you can change careers because the new one is more meaningful to you, even if it’s not as financially lucrative.
Financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean that you never have to work again. It just means that you’ve put yourself in a financial position where you’re able to spend your time in ways you enjoy.
What Does It Take?
So, what does it take to get to the point where your money allows you to spend your time as you please? First, it takes an understanding of what you actually want to be spending your time on. What excites you? What energizes you? Which people do you want around you? What missions do you want to be a part of?
Second, it takes an estimate of how much money you’ll need to be able to do those things, and when you’ll need it. It doesn’t have to be exact. Just a reasonable guess is enough to get started.
Finally, it takes a plan for how you’re going to save that money and consistent action to make sure that plan gets carried out.
And it’s really that last part that’s the most important. Consistently saving money is the key to giving yourself financial freedom. You don’t need to be a millionaire, but having money in the bank allows you to make decisions based on what makes you happy, instead of what makes you money.
How Will You Spend Your Time?
No one ever sits back late in life and reminisces on the money they made and the stuff they bought. It’s the things we experience, the people we love, and the missions we accomplish that make for a happy, fulfilling life. And if you’re smart about it, your money can give you the time you need to pursue them.