Financial freedom varies from person to person because we all have a different notion of what our own freedom looks like. However, generally speaking, financial freedom means having enough money/income to allow a person to no longer actively work for money if he or she chooses while maintaining the same lifestyle. One common factor however, is that there is definitely a goal-setting component to it all. Financial Freedom is the end product of actions and behaviors. Ultimately, it represents the finish line, however it is up to you to determine the course and design of your own race to it. The main simplistic takeaway about it is, understanding what your own financial freedom is so that you can put your routines, actions, and habits into motion to achieve it.
Which bubble or bubbles are why you want financial freedom?
What will Financial Freedom cost you
There is nothing free in this world. The sooner you realize that, the wiser you will become. There is a price on your time and there is a price on your money. Time is money and ultimately what you gain from having financial freedom is basically leveraging your money, not for more time (no one has that power), but to use the time you are given exactly how you want. In order to obtain financial freedom it is most likely going to cost you something/s. Sacrificing something is part of the process. As an educator, you earn your salary in exchange for your time and service. You also earn ample amount of time off (187 days teacher days for me) for you to have freedom, however you generally still have expenses with little to no income coming in during the time your services aren’t needed (you are given time, but no money). This is where financial planning, saving, and side hustles comes in. We get freedom during the time we have off, however it takes planning and creativity to figure out the financial part during those months.
What will Financial Freedom give you
Once you have paid the price through hard work, sacrifice, and discipline what will be waiting for you on the other side? What does a dream day look like when you have financial independence? What would your 24 hours be filled with, spent with, doing, seeing, feeling, being? Can you even imagine it? Does it even exist in your mind? Let’s see what it looks like!
Fill in your blanks My financially free day begins when I wake up at ______. I get my day started officially started by____________ and maybe even ___________. Once I have _________________ I then _________________. As the time slowly passes, I begin to feel ________________ because I am able to _____________. I continue my dream day _______________ and _______________ while I/We ______________. My time and energy are spent ______________ with __________________ until _______________. As the day turns to night, I begin to _____________ because I _________________. Oh yeah, I would also:______________________, _______________________, _________________, _______________________, _____________. That would be what one of my dream days would look like!
Now that you have filled in yours, ask yourself:
Are you doing any of those things in your “dream day” now?
If not, why not? If you had more money would you be?
What things in your “standard day” do you wish you could remove?
What things in your “standard day” are you grateful for?
How would financial security/more money really help you?
What can’t you do that financial freedom would give you?
Could you live a life with everyday filled with those events or would you need something more?
After seeing what your dream day would consist how do you feel?
How does your dream day affect others?
While you journey towards financial freedom, what can you control/change with your days today that would enhance your life?
Is it the time that you or the money? Both?
What did you learn that excites you?
What did you learn that scares you?
What did you realize about yourself from fantasizing about your dream day?
Is financial freedom what your in search of or is it something else?
How to achieve financial freedom
The concept of financial freedom in essence is taking something away (example- work) and replacing it with something else you’d like to do (example-writing) while you have your expenses (bills and stuff) taken care of with income (passive-you make without working). The reality of it being that you get to do what you want with your time and energy when you want instead of being held hostage by your expenses (bills and stuff). If you begin to break it down into simple steps, you will begin to realize that your financial journey is about taking small steps in the beginning until you have the energy and endurance to sprint. Read my The Adventures of Investing and Exercise
Once you know what financial freedom means to you, you then can begin to look at the following three things that are the foundation of your goal setting and planning. Understanding the relationship that you have with your money will help you take control. Either you control your money or your money will control you!
Where your money comes from?
These are the three main ways you earn money. I understand you could be given money or even win money, but these are the most predominant ways. Most of us rely on our work to account for the majority if not all of how we make our money, however the key towards achieving financial freedom is to leverage your side hustles (things you are truly passionate about-and utilizing them to create a positive cash flow) and investments (letting your money work for you while you play) while you rely less and less on solely your job. Hopefully you have a job that you enjoy and find value in because financial freedom takes time and you will need a consistent and reliable source of income to put all of this into motion. As a teacher, one of the many positives is you know how much it is and when it is coming. Use this to your advantage! This is what you need your finances to eventually look like.
What you do with your money once you have it?
Now that you have earned the money (energy for your time), what are you going to do with it? How does it get into your control? Do you have to go to the bank and cash your check? Do you have it automatically put into your account (FFT favorite)? It all starts once you have it in your possession. What you do with it is when you use your financial power. Most people do this once they get it
You tell the first wave of stacked bills to go to your expenses (you owe it so you need to pay it). Then, you spend the next chunk on surviving life (food, electricity, gas, etc.). These things sometimes get mixed in with entertainment because of what you value having in your life. A phone is definitely a necessity (in my opinion), however is the most expensive version every two years? Then you trickle out a few dollars towards “YOLO” because “all work and no play” makes any human being go crazy. I understand that what good is money if you can’t spend it on memories and moments (I need my vacation around February), however an occasional splurge will make your future money surge! Have control of your where this money goes and ask yourself are you getting good value with what you bought. Lastly, a few coins roll towards your own money and they might find their way into a savings account or if they are lucky enough into an investment account. The money has come and gone and the process slowly repeats. As you earn more each category grows, but history repeats itself over and over. Learn to do this
You tell the first wave of motivated bills to go to your money (you earned it so why shouldn’t it belong to you first). You might even have some taken out and sent on a secret mission towards your 403B (retirement account straight from your paycheck with tax incentives). They continue to slide perfectly into your savings (emergency fund) and nestle snug into retirement/investment accounts settling in for a long nap as they grow. Then, you maximize the next chunk (maybe you responsibly use credit cards to make purchases while being rewarded) on surviving life (food, electricity, gas, etc.). You make wise healthy food options and plan out your purchases while making these bills provide you with a stable and strong environment for your body and mind. Your expenses and bills sometimes run parallel with these purchases and that is ok. You make sure that you protect your purchases and you are a person of integrity and honesty so you fully satisfy your responsibilities and debts. Like Game of Thrones and a Lannister, remember that you always repay your debts!
Then with satisfaction and security you respect and value the rest of your money (or you decide to save/invest some more- always a good idea) towards “YOLO” because “all work and no play” makes any human being go crazy. You save this money to recharge your inner spirit with things that are meaningful and fun while spending time with those you want to spend time with doing things that you enjoy. You have control of every single dollar and you have control of your life. The money has come and gone with purpose, a plan, and a goal and the process happily repeats. As you earn more each category grows, and your past determines your financial future. You are on your way towards financial freedom and more importantly living the life you want instead of one that has been determined for you!
Which path sounds like it will bring you more happiness in the long run?
How are you tracking and keeping a strong financial game plan in place?
The hardest things in life often yield the most satisfaction! Think about the hardest thing you had to do (physically/mentally/spiritually, etc.) and reflect back how you felt before, during and after. Life is meant to be lived forward, but can only be understood looking back. Is your life better or worse because of it? Was the time you put in worth it in the end? I am willing to bet (not a smart investment, but with education and resources sometimes can be), that the answer is, yes!
With that being said, planning and taking control of your finances may appear hard at first, however they become habitual and surprisingly easily. Planning, tracking, and goal setting are essential to maintaining, growing, and conquering your financial destiny. I get more into all of these in later class periods, however you need a plan or you will plan to fail. It is important that you know/track the following information using resources that you are comfortable with and that you understand:
Account login information (updated, safe, protected-flash drive)
Credit Score/s (need to know for borrowing/access to loans/credit)
Account balances (checking, savings, investment, credit cards, major expenses)
Overall net Worth (everything that has financial value in your life added up)
Financially Free Teacher looks forward to diving deeper into these areas and so much more. Thank you for taking the time to learn and for being an amazing student. As an educator, I understand how important the following reward is (A golden star just for you!)
Period 1 has come to an end so please gather your belongings and report to your next class at this time and get ready to learn about… 2nd Period Me First!