Defining Financial Freedom

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Financial freedom means many different things to different people. To a teenager, it might mean having their own place and cutting your ties with the Bank of Mom and Dad. To someone in retirement age, it might mean never having to work again. Still, to others, financial freedom simply means never having to worry about…

Financial freedom means many different things to different people.

To a teenager, it might mean having their own place and cutting your ties with the Bank of Mom and Dad. To someone in retirement age, it might mean never having to work again. Still, to others, financial freedom simply means never having to worry about food on your plate or a roof over your head.

Regardless of how you feel about it, money is what makes the world go around. Financial freedom can help you achieve your goals and live the life that you want.

On the other hand, if you’re a slave to your finances, there are going to be a lot of things that are not possible because of money.


What is financial freedom?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about financial freedom and what it means to me. It’s a difficult question to answer because it forces you to ask many questions and try to figure out what is really important in your life.

The older I get, the more I realize time is the most important thing to me. Time with my family and friends, time for doing things I enjoy, and time to appreciate the life with which I have been blessed.

To me, financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean retirement. But it does mean being able to work at my pace, doing things I enjoy. Life is too short to spend the majority of my waking hours commuting or sitting in pointless meetings.

Financial freedom means not being tied to a job or a location for financial reasons, but working at a job because I enjoy it, and living where my wife and I are happiest.

For most people, retirement is what they think of when they hear the words financial freedom. The majority of people are looking towards the finish line of retirement, and that’s a great goal.

Unfortunately, a large number of those people are not on track to reach their retirement goals. If they ever want to have financial freedom, there are a lot of changes that they will need to make.

Right now, my wife and I live very comfortable lives. All of our basic needs are covered and then some. We have loving family and friends, we live in a nice house in a nice area, we have good jobs with good salaries, we have no consumer debt (only an affordable mortgage payment), and we have a side business that is growing well.

My wife and I plan on having children before long, and while we plan on going down to one salary, we know we will be able to afford the necessities. In short, we have been blessed and we want for nothing in our lives, at least from a financial perspective.

What does financial freedom mean to you?

There are different definitions of financial freedom for everyone. Mine is having the financial freedom to do the things I enjoy and not being forced to rely on a day job that I don’t like, just because I need the money.

I want to work at my pace doing things I enjoy. Hopefully, that will be something creative that will allow me to spend more time with my family. It’s a dream that I will one day make a reality.

Am I financially free? Not 100%, at least by my definition. But I think I am well on my way.

The journey to financial freedom is not something that happens overnight. If you want to be free, it can be decades of work to reach that point, but I promise, it will be worth all of the work that you put in.

Don’t let money keep you a slave to all of the things that you hate and keep you from doing all of those things on your bucket list.

Read what others have to say about financial freedom and retirement.

What does financial freedom mean to you?

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of Cash Money Life. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started Cash Money Life in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about military money topics and military and veterans benefits at The Military Wallet.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free account here.

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  1. Million Dollar Journey says

    Thanks for another mention Ryan.

    Great article and description on what being financially free means to you. I agree with you 100%, financial freedom is when you don’t rely on a job to pay the bills.

  2. Dividend Growth Investor says

    I sometimes wonder if financial freedom really trully exists. I have read numerous articles showing that the richest %-age of the US population works significantly more than 40hour weeks. This leaves them very little time to “spend” their money. On one hand these people, who are working hard to become financially free, have actually become slaves to their goal to become financially free through hard work..
    But on the other hand, if these people really enjoy what they are doing. Then these 40+ hour weeks do sound like vacation to them.

    I am 90% away from financial freedom right now ( unless I figure out a way to spend 90% less, i am not fin free 🙁 )

    • Prem says

      In My view Financial Freedom has layers. It is the status or level where our expenditure do not exploits our Wealth( Net Worth). If my desired life style run without decreasing the existing net worth, that is financial freedom. So, it depends on individual perception.

  3. Ryan says

    Does financial freedom exist? Yes. At which point depends on the individual. Some people work to accumulate. I want to work to live.

  4. Aaron Stroud says

    Dividend Growth Investor, great point. You hit on the point I was hoping to make. I think one of the traps for high income earners is wanting too much stuff. Sure they can afford it and they probably enjoy it, but it might interfer with enjoying the simpler things in life.

  5. Rana T says

    Very nicely written. I was hoping you could elaborate more on how you reached your financial status and any recommendations you’d give to people who are trying to reach financial freedom in the sense of being able to work at their own pace while still being able to afford a relatively expensive lifestyle.

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