I was reminded of a lunchtime conversation I had with my coworkers regarding financial freedom. Both coworkers agreed that it meant not needing to work to live the life they wanted. What they did not agree with is what the term “life they wanted” meant. One wanted to live a modest life where he could pursue his hobbies while the other wanted to travel and live more luxuriously. This meant she should have the option to fly back to her home country whenever she wanted, travel for vacation when she wanted, and buy what she wanted. If she didn’t have that then she wouldn’t consider it as financial freedom. We’ve heard the phrase financial freedom thrown around and the meaning is essentially different depending on who you ask and their goals.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while. For me, financial freedom means that I don’t have to work to live a modest life. This means every month I will be able to afford to pay for my basic necessities such as for housing, utilities, food, maintenance and some fun money. But the problem is this type of living is boring and if traveling, shopping and hobbies are added then the total amount of money that is required will be much greater. Even with this in mind, for me financial freedom is still being able to cover basic necessities without worry because it’s a peace of mind. Everything else is extra and really is extra. Even if I do reach financial freedom to not work though, I already plan on continuing to work. Work in this sense is not limited to working at a company as an employee but perhaps being a landlord or running my own side business. It’s the freedom to choose how to spend my time and how I prefer to earn that extra cash. In this sense, financial freedom for me is the freedom to choose. If I were to suddenly quit my job then I would not have to worry since my basic needs are covered. I will be free to stay at home or at least take my time to find a job that I really enjoy, regardless of whether or not that involves working for someone else.
What is your definition of financial freedom?