What Does Financial Freedom Mean To You?

Money and finances are two of the most important — yet loaded — topics in the world, and for good reason. After all, money determines much of the way we live, move, and go through life, for better or for worse. And when you really think about how much our lives can really be impacted by money, you start to realize something else… money is inherently personal.

At CIFS, one of our biggest goals is to help increase financial education and knowledge for everyone, regardless of who, what, when, where, or why. We recommend people ask themselves these 3 important questions:

  • What does money mean to me?
  • What do finances mean to me?
  • What is financial freedom, and what does it mean to me?

Today, we’re breaking down finances in regard to financial freedom and challenging you to define what exactly financial freedom means to you.

What is financial freedom?

Financial freedom is a relative term, but we like to describe it like this — financial freedom is when you’re in a financial situation where you feel no fear about money, you’re able to make decisions without money being the primary deciding factor, and you can live your life at peace with money, instead of being constantly anxious about it.

How to define your own version of financial freedom

To define your own version of financial freedom, you have to realize what, exactly, you want your life to look like. For some people, financial freedom means that they’re able to retire. For some, financial freedom means they’re out of debt. For some, financial freedom means that they have enough money each month to pay their bills, put some back, and enjoy some. And, here’s the thing: there’s absolutely no right or wrong way to think about financial freedom. People approach life differently, which means that people approach financial freedom differently, too.

So, here’s your next steps to reaching financial freedom, no matter how you define it:

  • Create a fully-funded emergency fund: There is no financial freedom without a fallback option, which is where your emergency fund comes into play. We’d recommend saving at least 3 months — if not 6-12 — of expenses into a high-yield savings account before starting to invest or making any unnecessary large purchases.
  • Pay down debt: Financial freedom is hard to reach when you’re still tied to debt payments, which is why paying off debt is so important (especially if it’s high-interest consumer debt, like credit cards).
  • Define your goals: When you know you’re standing on a strong financial foundation, get clear on your goals and your vision for a financially free life. Is it investing $X a year? Is it taking that trip? Is it taking care of a loved one? Remember, this is up to you.
  • Make a plan: With your goals in mind, map out a plan that gets you on the road to financial freedom. There are tons of resources out there on the internet (including us), there are people you can hire to help advise you, and there is a myriad of opportunities designed to help you get on top of your financial health.

Most importantly, remember: you’ve got this! Even slightly beginning to prioritize your finances puts you miles ahead of the crowd, and you’re on the right track. Check out our CIFS blog for more resources on financial literacy and freedom!

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Council for Inclusion in Financial Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to increase awareness within the financial services industry of the social and economic benefits of multiculturalism in employment and supplier utilization, while also launching initiatives that promote financial literacy to help all Americans understand how to grow their personal wealth.

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