The Cost of Financial Freedom

Wouldn’t you love to have enough money and time to do what you want, when you want and how you want – for the rest of your life? Wouldn’t you love to NOT have to go to work everyday, yet still live life the way you want?

Many of us would love this financial freedom. But are you willing to pay the costs?

Eternal vigilance.

Just as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, it is also the cost of financial freedom. We must ever be on guard against letting our expenses exceed our income, of thinking we are entitled to our salary, our interest our dividends or our welfare check. Our personal, religious and political freedoms can seep away slowly without us ever realizing we are giving them up. Our daily lives can cause us to fritter away resources, neglect opportunities or loose hope that may have led to our goal of financial freedom.

A periodic review of your spending habits and income sources along with a livable budget can help you remain vigilant.

Time.

For most of us, gaining financial freedom will take time. We probably won’t achieve it early in life, but only after years of sustained effort. Sure, some may strike it rich by winning the lottery, building an instantly successful enterprise or inheriting a fortune, but most of us won’t. For most of us, persistence over time is one of the prices we must pay to achieve financial freedom.

Understand that time and persistence will require you to be patient in your reach for financial freedom.

Persistence.

Day in, day out, year in, year out, we must focus on reaching for financial freedom. It can become a weary experience. We may get discouraged when set backs come, but to succeed, persistence over time is really necessary.

In my book, Choose Wealth, be a millionaire by midlife, I call persistence “The most powerful force in the world” and devote a whole chapter to it. I advise the reader to set goals, breaking them to sub goals; to track progress, using net worth and other means; to reward yourself when you meet a goal; and celebrate with others in your household and finally; to remember your dream – why you are striving for financial freedom.

Relationships.

Whether it be due to working extra hours, time away from home due to travel, or compromises on current lifestyles and spending habits, striving for financial freedom can cause rifts in your personal relationships.

Take care to make sure your significant others are on board with the program and understand why you are working so hard towards that freedom. Set goals together and encourage each other, but also set aside time to strengthen your relationships.

Health.

Being ‘always on’ at work or in your business; lacking time to properly eat or exercise; or stressing out about your situation can affect your health.

Guard your good health. Without it, financial freedom means little.

Loss of opportunity.

A focus on long term financial freedom may cause you to bypass many of life’s most satisfying moments such as missing the birth of your child – or that first step; failure to seek and enjoy the beautiful world around us; or even looking the other way when a risk seems to great to your goal.

I know, now that I am approaching 67, that life really is a journey. Each day, month, year and phase of your life should be meaningful and as pleasurable as you can make it. It doesn’t necessarily take money to build a meaningful and pleasant life. Simple things often give us the most contentment – warm sunshine on a spring afternoon, holding your newborn asleep in your arms, the feel of the wind on your cheek and the crackle of a log on the fire in your snug living room with your family can be some of the most pleasant and meaningful memories you cherish in later life.

The cost of freedom can be high, even unto death itself. Our personal, cultural, religious freedom can be siphoned off, ripped away by terrorists or given away by ourselves. Likewise, the cost of financial freedom can be high.

Are you willing to pay the cost?


Comments

The Cost of Financial Freedom — 9 Comments

  1. Nice post Marie! Yes, toward focus on reaching for long term financial freedom, we loose many small small memorable moments of life. Just praying for a debt free standard life for everyone. Many times you may see people with no degree but wealthy. People with a lot of degree, but working for people with no degree. We need FINANCIAL EDUCATION! We have to moderate our plan on path of getting financial freedom.

  2. you are absolutely right about effects of Striving to financial freedom to relationships. It is very hard to handle both aspects, and one without other can be devastating for your basic goal.
    Nice post

  3. Marie, thanks for reminding us that dreaming of financial independence is one thing; achieving it by making all the sacrifices and living a disciplined life quite another. And to answer your question, yes, I’m ready

  4. Thank god here in US you can find joy without money

    “It doesn’t necessarily take money to build a meaningful and pleasant life”.

    Enough money for normal living can earn anyone who wants to work.

    But in some Africa, South America, Asia and Europe countries making money for food is mission impossible.

  5. Great post. My journey to FI was long and with many regrets where my engineering career had me out of town missing my kids birthdays, etc. but all necessary to remain employed. Patience is certainly a needed skill to reach the FI destination. The prize is worth the journey. Our frugal lifestyle and the things that made our lives enjoyable during our trek ended up being our early retirement lifestyle. A lifestyle where it doesn’t take a kings fortune to live happy and free.

  6. Avoiding the accumulation of stuff for stuff’s sake is a big one … you should only ever buy something as an accessory to a desired experience, and only if it fits into your budget.

  7. great post!
    I was enjoying till read it, you are absolutely right about missing pleasurable moments. I would never forget moment when my child made his first step, that day I canceled my appointment with one of my biggest customers.
    after few days I went to meting with him and basically nothing loosed.

  8. Obtaining financial freedom for most is not an easy task. It requires a strict discipline and commitment to saving more and spending less. I will say this, the sooner you start investing the better.. Time + compounding of returns is always on your side..

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