Jim Morrison once said: the most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. Nearly everyone who sits in a cubicle or works a 9-to-5 job dreams of freedom, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to get there. Financial freedom gives you the power to shed your “role” and be who you really are.
7 Things You Gain From True Financial Freedom
This post contains affiliate links. Please see our affiliate disclaimer page for more information.
Most of us spend our whole lives serving other people. We put others first, from our kids to our spouses to our friends, and especially our employers. It’s fulfilling to do this to an extent, but when it becomes so overwhelming you never have any time for yourself, it’s gone too far.
When you gain true financial freedom, you gain back time. You say no to one area where you’ve been putting everyone else before yourself and gain back time to explore the person you really are.
It’s not hard to find examples of people, from sports stars to lottery winners to Hollywood starlets, who had enough money they could have enjoyed financial freedom for life, yet did not. Instead, they lost it all and ended up selling property and wallowing in debt. They had the money, but they were lacking the wisdom to deal with it.
When you achieve true financial freedom, meaning you work towards it strategically and build it over time, you gain something more than just money. You gain the wisdom of experience. You know what to do with money and how to make it work for you. In short, you control your money instead of allowing your money to control you.
In some ways, we define freedom in terms of choices. The old 20th-century Communist empires were characterized by a lack of choice. Citizens had no choice in where they worked, where they could live, which type of bread they could buy, and sometimes even who they could marry. Things aren’t this bad in 21st century North America, of course, even for those without financial independence. Yet the general truth applies: the fewer choices you have, the less free you are.
When you achieve your independence, you have the freedom to choose what you do with your time and even where you live. You can choose to travel or stay at home, donate your time to a cause you believe in, pursue a hobby, or take work projects you really believe in.
Achieving freedom takes work. You’ll put in time researching your options, investing in yourself to open up more options, and building up savings so you can invest.
When you have your freedom, however, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did it through your own hard work. No one gave it to you, and you didn’t just “get lucky.” While luck never hurts, the old adage rings true: chance favors the prepared.
Who is in charge of your time? Is it your boss? Are you controlled by your financial responsibilities? When you’re dependent on someone for all your money, or you’re unable to break loose from the chains of debt or other financial obligations, you have no authority.
Once you achieve your freedom, you’ll still have obligations. There’s no way to avoid them in this life. But ultimately, you’ll be the one in charge of your life rather than someone else. Instead of living your life by someone else’s values, you’re free to pursue your own.
When you only have one income stream, and it depends entirely on your ability to keep working 40+ hours a week, you actually have very little security. It only takes one accident or one unexpected diagnosis to end your ability to work. If your employer goes under or your spouse becomes disabled, your whole future could go up in smoke.
You might have some savings, but how long will they really last if you’re unable to collect your 9-to-5 job income starting next week? With freedom comes true security. If you can’t get up and go to work one day, you don’t have to stress that your whole life has just blown up. If the sewer line breaks or your teen totals the car, you’ve got a problem rather than a crisis.
Work is stressful, and if you’re working just to make ends meet every month, your stress levels are through the roof. You might be just barely making it, or you might be fairly comfortable with a small nest egg laid away. But stress seems to be lurking around every corner.
There are many sources of stress, and being financially free can’t get rid of all of them. But it erases one of the biggest and gives you the resources to navigate many of the rest just a bit more easily.
True freedom is more than a dream. It’s within your grasp, and with it comes security, choices, wisdom, time, and much more. Stop thinking about freedom and take the first steps towards actually being free!