The Path to Financial Liberty
Everyone’s definition of Financial Liberty is different. For some people, it may simply mean building up an emergency fund so they don’t have to be stressed out about surprise expenses. Others might want to quit their jobs and need to develop the skills to move on to their next career. Perhaps there is no next career, and the goal is passive income, or maybe you want to chill all day on your yacht.
In any case, you can follow these steps to get there.
Of course, since everyone’s definition of Financial Liberty is different, so will be their Path to Financial Liberty. With that in mind, I’m going to lay out more of a framework. And the blogs and other pages on this site will provide you with the knowledge and resources you need to not be controlled by money, and to get where you want to be.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Path to Financial Liberty
Define your dreams.
Some of you may have this already figured out; you’ve always had a “calling” for a particular life or purpose. If that’s not you, that’s okay. It’s not me either. For those of us who still don’t, this can be the most difficult part, but it’s also the most important. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t figure out how to get there.
Here are some tips on getting started:
- Try new things
- Sometimes you may not know how much you will enjoy something until you try. Pick up a new hobby, find a class, or volunteer to experiment with some ideas that are interesting to you.
- The goal isn’t to become a Jedi Master here, but clearing your mind is a great first step for enabling yourself to think big thoughts.
- Ask your friends and family
- Sometimes those close to us know us better than we know ourselves.
- Thought experiments
- If you won the lottery, what would you do?
- If you got laid off from your job tomorrow, what would you do?
- These types of questions can help you uncover new ideas.
Identify what’s in between your current life and the life you want.
Okay, so you figured out what it is you want to do. Now, what’s stopping you?
Well, of course, the entire purpose of this blog is to help people to not be controlled by money, so money (in one way or another) is likely the main obstacle. However, that comes in a lot of different flavors:
- Do you just need some savings to get you through a couple months as you establish a new career?
- Do you want to move to a less lucrative, but more fulfilling, career and you need to supplement your income?
- Do you need to replace your income entirely?
The degree to which money is an obstacle will be a critical factor in finding your “escape route”. Keep in mind, there can be non-financial obstacles as well.
Find an escape route; your “path” to Financial Liberty.
Once you know what’s in your way, you can start coming up with a plan for how to get there.
This is probably going to be the longest step. It might even take years, but don’t get discouraged! It is DEFINITELY worth it.
Usually, you can start to find your “escape route” with some simple math.
For example, maybe you want to switch careers. This might take a $20,000 educational program, and 6 months to complete the program. If your living expenses are $4,000 per month, then you need to save up $24,000 to cover 6 months and the $20,000 for the program, so $44,000 total.
Sit down and make a budget. Figure out how much you can save every month and calculate how long it will take you to get there. Remember: this is your dreams we’re talking about here. Don’t be reluctant about giving up beer for a few months to get there sooner. (It’s hard, I know, but it’s worth it.)
If you’re wanting to switch to a less lucrative career, or retire altogether, you can run a similar calculation. I go through the steps in this blog.
Your escape route might not just be numbers based either. Get out there and start living the life you want.
- Find ways to start experiencing the life you want, and build the experience you need to get you there
- Find other people who share your interests and goals; work together with them
It’s okay to start small. Consistency is key.
4.) Financial Liberty
Liberate yourself from the control money has had over your life.
There’s actually not too much to say here other than “Great job!”. You did it!!
Make sure to deliberately appreciate what you created. It can be hard to shift gears if you’ve been hustlin’ for years. For example, a lot of my own experience creating Financial Liberty was through extreme frugality. Sometimes it’s still stressful for me to spend money. Consciously embrace your new life, and be grateful.
Share your experience with others.
America has a weird culture of people trying to look as rich and successful as possible, which ironically often jeopardizes one’s capacity for success. I’m no sociologist, but it seems like a result of a scarcity mindset. As humans, we have a tendency towards jealousy when we see someone with something we don’t have.
This creates a cycle of watching others from a distance, envying them, feeling down on yourself for not having what they have, and responding by competing with these other people in your own mind. Or, on the other side, if you’re the “have” rather than the “have not”, judgment may arise. People say things like “Well, if they would have done [exactly what I did], they’d be successful too”.
The other person is not your enemy, and not everyone has the same experience or the same desires. If you’ve achieved Financial Liberty, share your experience with others in a positive way. We can learn from each other, but tailor our own approach to what best suits us. No jealousy, no judgment.