The path to financial freedom isn’t a get quick rich scheme and except for those Powerball winners, it’s not something that usually ‘just happens’.
Building a life of financial independence takes time, hard work and sacrifice. Maybe that doesn’t sound so fun in the short term, but I promise you the effort is worth it in the long run. Getting clear on what financial freedom means to you and describing your Perfect ‘Financially Free’ Day will help define your financial goals and stay focused for the long game.
What does financial freedom mean to you?
Financial freedom isn’t a one size fits all deal. It’s personal. My idea of financial freedom may look completely different from yours. Before diving in and describing what your Perfect ‘Financially Free’ Day looks like, first you need to figure out what financial freedom looks like to you.
- Taking a trip overseas each year without paying for it on credit cards
- Being free of all personal debt – credit cards, car loans, personal loans
- Having your own business doing what you love that easily pays all the bills
- Being able to afford to take a pay cut for a job you truly love
- Freedom to respond to the financial needs of others with amazing generosity
- Retiring in your 40’s with a million in savings (yep, dream big!)
- Travelling the world as a digital nomad
- Paying off your mortgage
- Having a well-stocked emergency fund, investments and savings account
- The ability to meet all bills and living expenses completely stress-free
- Paying cash for everything and never needing to rely on credit cards
Financial independence and taking charge of your money gives you options and security. It removes the worry and stress that comes with financial disorganisation, living paycheck to paycheck and the burden of debt.
What does your Perfect ‘Financially Free’ Day look like?
Now you figured out what financial freedom looks like for you, grab a pen and paper. This is going to be fun.
I want you to describe in detail what your perfect day looks like in relation to being free from money worries and stressfully committed financial situations.
From your morning through to the evening, how does your perfect day play out? Keep in mind, we’re talking perfect ‘normal’ day.
Let’s see what Amy’s perfect financially free day looks like.
At the moment, Amy is working in a job earning $65,000 a year. It’s a stressful corporate role in marketing, she doesn’t enjoy it very much. She commutes an hour each day to and from the office, works a lot of extra hours and wishes she had more time to spend with her family.
Her dream is to run her own boutique branding agency and spend more time on her own health. Amy and her husband Owen have several credit card debts, a mortgage and little in savings.
Paydays are sometimes a bit of a juggle between different bills. Although Amy doesn’t feel overly financially stressed, she does feel stuck in a cycle of getting by but never getting ahead. Starting her own business definitely feels a bit of a pipe dream.
Amy’s Perfect Day:
‘I wake up early feeling rested and looking forward to the day ahead.
After a coffee I head off for a run on the beach, I love starting the day like this! Back home I prepare a healthy breakfast, no more rushing out the door because I’m late for work. We all eat breakfast together as a family before I drop the kids off at school.
Walking into my light-filled, sunny home office, I flick my computer on and get to work. My business is bringing in more income than I ever earned in a salaried position.
We’ve been able to build an emergency fund, start an investment account, make additional payments to the mortgage and pay off both credit cards.
Owen works part-time now in a job he loves. We eat lunch together at home and take time out for an afternoon coffee at a cafe on the water.
We’re planning a surprise trip for my parents to Fiji, to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. It feels so good to be able to afford to treat them to an amazing holiday. We pick the kids up from school on our way back and I get back to work for a few more hours.
Before dinner, I head to my favourite gym class. I feel so much more energised and healthy these days. I have time to actually get to the gym!
Dinner is healthy and relaxed with the family. Afterwards, the kids hang out and do their own thing around the place. Owen and I wind down the day with a glass of red. Cheers to a perfect day!
Lessons from Amy’s Perfect Day
Writing your perfect day in detail will help you decipher what’s really important to you and help to actualise, plan, and start working on the goals you need to get there.
Look what we can gather about what is meaningful to Amy from reading her dream day:
- Time with family
- Having control over her income, not limited to earning within a corporate salary
- Running her own business doing what she loves while providing for her family
- Flexible, self-directed schedule
- Her finances are organised and geared towards wealth generation
- Being able to treat friends and family
- To live near the beach to enjoy a health-focused lifestyle
You’ll increase your chances of achieving your financial goal not only by writing down the external factors- buying a big house, taking a trip overseas – but by digging deeper and focusing on what you want to feel from achieving the goal.
Why it’s important to know what your perfect day looks like
To reach the goal of becoming financially independent, you need to commit fully to the plan that is going to get you there.
It’s so easy to commit to a big goal in the beginning. We’re motivated, excited and so absolutely sure that we can make it!
But motivation is a fickle friend. One minute she’s there, cheering you on. The next minute she’s gone and it’s just you and one heck of a mountain to climb.
This is exactly why it’s so important to define your perfect day of financial freedom, with such clarity and emotion that you can truly see and feel it in your mind. It’s not a vague idea with no definition. It’s a detailed list of what you want and most importantly, how achieving it will make you feel.
On the days when you’re feeling discouraged and the goal seems too hard or too far away, pull out your Perfect Day. Read it to remind, focus and energise you.
Or you might not be feeling discouraged at all, in fact, you could be doing great! You’re two-thirds of the way to your goal! There’s another distraction to watch out for at this point – getting too comfortable. You may find you’ve become sidetracked from the goal, spending more and saving less.
I think the best way to stay focused on your goal of financial freedom is to read your Perfect Day on a weekly basis. It will lift you up if you’re feeling discouraged or inspire you even more if you’re already on your way!