The steps to financial freedom are not ‘one size fits all.‘ Many people believe that financial freedom is all about their finances, there’s more to it than just that – it’s about more than money.
Sure, you can achieve financial freedom through proper financial planning and following all of the key personal financial ratios.
You should follow solid financial practices like creating a budget, monitoring and controlling your expenses, and saving a good percentage of your money.
Generating multiple sources of income and making numerous investments to help increase your cash flow will also help you achieve financial freedom. But, there is more to financial freedom than just the state of your budget and your portfolio.
Here Are 6 Non-Financial Aspects That Are Crucial While Achieving Financial Freedom
1. Think Positive About Money
A key component of becoming financially free is thinking positively about money. It creates an ability to see opportunities and seize them. The mind can be an obstacle especially if you harbor negative thoughts about money.
You need to invest in yourself in order to be successful. Warren Buffet has expressed some great quotes about financial freedom. He once said “The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.” You can have financial freedom if you have the right skills and mindset.
Another quote is by Benjamin Franklin that says “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. Invest in acquiring knowledge and skills in life. Knowledge is power, Sir Francis Bacon said. Having the right mindset and acquiring knowledge can help you to tackle different issues in life. Money can’t buy you knowledge but it can facilitate the acquisition of knowledge.
2. Control Your Time
If you have your financials in place but do not have time freedom, you are not yet free. You can have a job or an occupation that pays you well, but if it does not give you time away from work then you have not achieved true freedom. To be financially free, you need to be able to do your work when you want to and have the freedom to set your own hours to do things.
Financial freedom is also being able to allocate different activities in different timelines of your choice. If your work dictates where you should be, at what time and what you should be doing, then you are not yet free. Financial freedom is not pre-determined by the circumstances but self-determined. You should be the one dictating where you should be and when you should be there. You need to save and invest in income generating opportunities that will help you meet all your financial needs without consuming your time or the ones that you can pursue at the time you decide.
3. Having Personal Freedom
If you have to be in a specific place, doing a specific thing, then you are not totally free. You can be making a lot of money, but if you don’t have the freedom to be where you want to be at a given time, then you are still in bondage. If your job has tied you to a specific place and you have to be there always, then it limits your freedom. Even if you get a few off days and can be away for a while, it is still not enough to say that you are living free.
Financial freedom also means being able to work from anywhere. It means that you can pursue whatever you like; your dreams and ambitions from anywhere and you are not limited by location. You can achieve that by pursuing remote jobs and creating passive income.
4. Discover What Makes You Happy
Leo Rosten said, “Money can’t buy happiness. Neither can poverty.” Money only eliminates financial anxiety but does not buy you happiness. If you have money and you are not happy, then you are not really free. Having peace of mind is also vital in financial freedom.
Financial security helps you to live without worries about having funds to cover your expenses, emergencies and future goals. But it’s also possible to still be miserable even with all the money. Happiness is cultivated within you and isn’t necessarily tied to financials.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” Agness Repplier said, “It’s not easy to find happiness in ourselves and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” Your happiness is a product of your own thoughts. You need to set your thoughts on being happy. Create the right frame of mind every day to be truly happy and to enjoy financial freedom. Focus your mind on personal happiness and ensure that you are still happy no matter what happens. Happiness is all in the mind and it’s not just about the state of your financials.
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5. Create Amazing Experiences
Money can buy things and possessions. Acquiring possessions may at first be exciting but they become normalized within no time. You eventually forget all the glamour of the new things you bought and you start to feel the urge to get some more. We are never satisfied and we are always looking for better. Unlike possessions, experiences have a long-lasting impact. Create experiences that you enjoy and not what the society values or implies would bring happiness.
Money can’t buy experiences but it can give you an opportunity to have memorable experiences. Financial freedom is about using the money you have to create unforgettable moments that will impact you and others. Financial freedom is also being rich in experiences and what you have experienced will have a greater impact than what you have acquired over time.
6. Bond With People Around You
Financial freedom is also having the right and perfect connections. Create moments to bond with your family and friends. Having good relationships with people in life is more significant than having a lot of money. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have people that you can connect to, then it is valueless.
Financial freedom is about making an impact on the most significant people in your life. Be generous and give to the needy. Financial freedom is also about building a good legacy and pursuing things that would motivate and inspire others.
Financial freedom isn’t only about financials; it’s more than money. In parting, here are some wise words by Dalai Lama. When asked what surprised him most about humanity, he answered,
Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future: he lives as if he is never going to die, then dies having never really lived”.