What does financial freedom mean to you?
If you are a teenager, it might mean having your own place or cutting ties with the family. To someone in retirement age it’s the thought of never having to work again…
To millenials like myself, the goal would be never having to worry about food on my plate or a roof over my head.
At my age it’s easy to see benefits of having enough money to afford good things in life.
Who would say no to a few houses, private education and healthcare, luxury cars, expensive hotels, the best food…not having to worry about what you spend?
For years, I’ve been trying to understand why most people never feel financially free having everything they need? Isn’t it pointless to want more, when you already have your life on track?
Lets say you earn an average $27,000 a year (for instance). That’s the amount of money you might need to feel happy, financially independent and secure. Now double that.
I can guarantee you that only a few months later you will be already moving the goalposts, spending more and expanding your consumption horizons to fit $54,000.
While the bigger salary will give you financial freedom for a certain period of time, it will eventually wear off and you will find yourself back to square one.
My point here would be – at what point does the money begin to become meaningless? There are only so many boats, planes or houses one can buy…
In 2010, a study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton found that making more than $75,000 per year does not significantly improve ones day-to-day happiness.
According to the study our emotional well-being, or the pleasure from day-to-day experiences doesn’t get any better after we hit this so-called “happiness benchmark.”
To me, financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean being rich. It’s more about being able to make my own choices and truly “owning” my life.
While I might not have millions in my bank account, throughout my life I had the ability to go to good schools, have access to technology and generally buy whatever I wanted with my money
It wasn’t always as up to date or as expensive as I wanted it to be, but I never felt restricted with my choices.
Most of us envision what we want our life to look like. Some might only need basics to make them happy, others want to live in an exclusive estate and have a personal fitness instructor.
I guess there is no answer to how much funds we need to be financially free. The amount of money we need to feel independent is unique to us.
Saying that, I feel there is so much more to financial freedom than money itself.
Financial freedom to me means not being tied to a job for just financial reasons, but working at a job because I enjoy it.
Getting older I realise life is too short to waste and time becomes more and more important to me.
Right now I live a comfortable life. All of my basic needs are covered, I have a loving family and friends, I adore my job and I have no major debt.
Some of you might say their perception of an issue is different, and that’s fair enough. Mine is simply having the financial freedom to do things I enjoy.
Hopefully, one day I will become richer and that will allow me to work less and spend more time with the ones who matter and even splash out on an occasional luxury item (you might be able to guess what kind of coat I would prefer). Right now it’s just a dream, but I am determined to make it a reality.
Am I 100% financially free? – No. But I am working on it.