No matter what you do or how much you make, money is on your mind. You may worry about it a lot or a little. You may be like 25 percent of Americans who can’t pay your bills this month. Or, perhaps you find yourself in another position entirely.
Are you Financially Free?
If you are, congratulations, you’re part of a group that comprises a mere 4 percent of US adults. The remaining 96 percent live paycheck to paycheck.
Those who are Financially Free don’t necessarily have a lot of money, but they know how to manage what money they do have. So how do they do it? And how can you become Financially Free, too?
The key to Financial Freedom lies in the Four Money Principles. These include Paying Yourself First (monthly saving), Living On What Remains, Protecting Yourself (establishing a three-month emergency fund) and Making Your Money Work For You (investing). Anyone, at any income level, can apply these principles to become Financially Free.
But why bother with Financial Freedom? If you’re like most people, living paycheck to paycheck is manageable. You may not have as much saved as you would like, but you still have a nice home, car and a bit left over every month to do the things you like to do.
13 reasons why…
Financial Freedom offers a life free of compromise, one that enables you to do what you want, when you want, without questioning how the bills will be paid. A life without limits is possible. So here are 13 reasons why Financial Freedom is the way to go.
Reason #1: Pursue the life you want
Are you happy with what you do? Most Americans aren’t. In fact, 70 percent admit to hating their jobs. Making a career change is a daunting decision, one that is often motivated by financial factors above all else.
Financial Freedom enables you to make important career considerations with the money on the back burner. When you have Financial Freedom, you’re less dependent on a large salary and are far more open to taking a job that pays less but is more fulfilling or starting your dream business.
Reason #2: Less pressure to work
Typically, when someone loses their job, they descend into a tailspin of panic, wondering how they will pay their bills and questioning whether they will be able to find another position that offers the salary they need. This is not a problem for the Financially Free.
Households that have achieved Financial Independence have a three-month emergency fund in addition to their standard savings and investments. The challenge of losing a job isn’t a challenge at all–it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to reevaluate their career decisions and a chance to spend more time with themselves, their families and friends.
Reason #3: Maintain your relationship status
Seventy percent of couples fight over money, far more than they argue about another other subject including sex, housework and family life. In fact, fighting about money is the leading predictor of divorce. Those who are Financially Free have no reason to fight about money and are far less likely to sacrifice their relationship for their finances.
Reason #4: Improve your health
The health benefits of Financial Freedom are well documented. According to a recent study in Europe, people with career- or financially-induced stress were 23 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who have no work or financial stresses. In this case, Financial Freedom can not only change your life, it can save your life.
Reason #5: Less worry, more sleep
According to the American Psychological Association, 61 percent of Americans have Money Stress. That same stress can cause causes hyperarousal, otherwise known as insomnia. Those who are Financially Free have no financial stress, decreasing their risk for insomnia and a host of other health issues including headaches, chronic pain and depression.
Reason #6: No surprises
Ever have an expensive, unexpected car repair? If you aren’t prepared for the unknown, these expenses can make or break your finances. Financial Freedom ensures that you have money set aside for these unfortunate, yet inevitable incidentals.
Reason #7: Give more
There are so many deserving charities out there. But if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you probably don’t have the additional financial (or time) resources to devote to a cause that’s important to you. Those who are Financially Free have the liquidity to give as they wish without compromising their monthly finances. And they’re likely to be more healthy and happy!
Reason #8: Take time for your hobbies
Everyone enjoys a bit of free time. Some choose to spend their time reading, others enjoy working out or toying with a creative pursuit. Whatever your hobby may be, Financial Freedom gives you more time to enjoy doing what you love.
Reason #9: Invest time in what matters
People who are Financially Free are more cautious about investing in activities and material possessions. As a result, they have far fewer distractions in their life and are able to enjoy simple pleasures with family and friends. In fact, a recent study found that valuing time over the pursuit of money leads to feelings of greater wellbeing.
Reason #10: Become more creative
Becoming Financially Free isn’t without sacrifice. Often, people choose to live without luxuries like cable, house cleaning service or even a gym membership. This provides an creative outlet to invent your own entertainment or engineer a home gym you can use for free.
Reason #11: Experience more
Experiences are an undervalued, yet very important part of life. What experiences matter vary from person to person, but the important thing is having the financial ability to engage in what you love. Financial Freedom enables you to not only pay for that once in a lifetime trip across the globe but to enjoy the journey without financial pressure.
Reason #12: Take more risks
This isn’t a free pass to go and jump out of a plane, but you can if you want! Many people put off important life decisions, like getting married, having kids or buying a house because they can’t afford it. Financial Freedom removes money from the equation so you can make choices based on what’s best for you, not your bank account.
Reason #13: Positively influence people
When you’re no longer living paycheck to paycheck, people notice. The people around you may find you more at ease and enjoying life while your friends, co-workers and neighbors can clearly see you’re less stressed. So use the opportunity to share how Financial Freedom has changed you and how it can change them, too.
The message of Financial Freedom is far too important to keep to yourself. Sharing with your family and friends could lead to radical positive live change for them … and for you. These 13 reasons are only the beginning!
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/twinsterphoto
Amanda Witman is a freelance writer and editor who is passionate about communicating ideas that improve readers’ lives. She has a background in government public relations but has experience writing for many sectors including the financial, tech, culinary, environmental and sports industries. Amanda resides in the heart of Amish Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, two-year-old daughter and an overprotective cat.