Many people want to achieve financial freedom. They want to travel, spend more time with their families, and be their own bosses, among other things. Who wouldn’t want that? Of course, we all want a comfortable life and do not have to live paycheck to paycheck all our lives. But, it does take some effort and work on our part.
Oftentimes in life, we have to burn our asses off to provide for our families. We wake up early to work for someone else. We come home late. We work late into the day while others either don’t have to work or don’t want to work. Sometimes, our children are closer to those who watch over them than us, their actual parents. It’s a challenging situation, but we need to work hard to take care of our family.
There are many people who want to make their life easier by having more income or savings, but a lack of financial knowledge and poverty can make that a difficult hurdle to overcome. They are usually those who do not have access to education; they work hard but are always underpaid. I know that feeling because I myself come from there.
My father is just a humble farmer in our area, and we know here in the Philippines that farmers are at the bottom of society. They have the heaviest physical workload but they have the lowest income and sometimes are even drowning in debt. I grew up watching this unfold in my life. But, I am very impressed with my parents because even though their income is well below poverty, they sent their seven children to school.
And because of their example and sacrifice, we persisted in studying even though we didn't have allowance money at times and were often bullied at school because our clothes were so worn and old. I'm happy to have experienced those things because that's what inspires me to work harder in life and work to achieve what you call financial freedom.
Now, I currently have a more comfortable life compared to my parents when I was young I've bought things that couldn't be bought before. I'm spending more time with my family. I'm starting to build small businesses, and although I'm still working for other people, I don't have to work more than 8 hrs a day which is very fulfilling for me.
Do you also dream of achieving what they say is financial freedom? If yes, what are the steps you are taking to achieve this? I'm sure you don't want to grow old working for someone else, wondering where all the time went and what could have been.
My guide below shares ways you can achieve financial freedom in your life.
1) Invest in Good Education
I can still hear it as if it was yesterday. My parents said to me, Son, you need to study hard while you have the opportunity if you want a better life. I am thankful because they pushed us to study hard even though it was difficult for them to provide for our school expenses.
In return for their hard work, we did not disappoint them. At a young age, our parents made us realize that education is a very important foundation in life. And they were right. I don't know where I would be if I didn't study hard.
Thomas S. Monson, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said, “I urge you to pursue your education—if you are not already doing so or have not done so—that you might be prepared to provide if circumstances necessitate such. Your talents will expand as you study and learn.”
The more knowledge you have, the more chances you have to be successful in life. So study hard while you have the chance. Yes, life is hard, but if you want to achieve your goals in life, there’s always a way, and one of them is good education.
2) Have a Long-term Perspective on Life
When we have a perspective in life, we become successful faster because we know the direction or path we are taking. Sometimes we have to be patient and sacrifice today in favor of a longer term reward. Discipline and patience is a difficult but worthwhile attitude to pursue for financial freedom.
3) Set Worthwhile Goals… and Execute Them
When I served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we had what is called daily, weekly and monthly planning. During, these planning sessions we would set goals as to how many people we will talk to along the way, how many we will teach, serve, and so on and so forth. No day or time was wasted during those two years because we always had goals.
There was always a plan and we stuck to that plan until we achieved it. I used to ask my companion, “Why do we need to plan or set goals, we do the same thing every day, can't we just go out and do whatever we want to do?” But, later, I found out that having plans and goals is one of the best ways to improve yourself. Since then, setting goals and pursuing them has gotten easier for me.
Thomas Monson also said, "write down your goals and your plan to achieve them. Aim high, for you are capable -- without a goal, there can be no real success". If you don't have a goal in life, think about it where you’d like to see yourself in 1, 5, and 10 years. Then, set goals for each of those timelines and do your best to achieve them.
4) Be Disciplined in Handling Money
If you don't know how to discipline yourself in handling your money, then you will most likely work your whole life or be broke. Having discipline in handling money is also one of the best talents that you should strive for because this will prepare you for your future. No matter how much your salary is, if you don't have discipline, you will likely still be living paycheck to paycheck.
5) Avoid Vices and Be Healthy
Remember that your health is your wealth so always take care of yourself. Your hard work and sacrifice is useless if you get sick. Many people are affected when we get sick, especially our family. We can't go to work and oftentimes have high medical bills if we have to go to the doctor. So, while it's still early, let's avoid vices that cause bad health such as tobacco, harmful drugs, and other things that are not good for your health.
Not only is it bad for our health, but it also affects our financial status because it can be quite expensive, both now and later in life if you get sick from the vices. You can spend the money by giving it to charity or save it instead of wasting it on these harmful things.
6) Surround Yourself with Like-minded Individuals
Having good friends is one of the best things that will happen in your life. Choose friends who will support you and help you improve, not friends who aren’t supportive of your worthwhile goals. Choose friends who have the same goals as you, friends who can lift you up if you need motivation, and friends who will respect you. Your friends’ attitudes and habits can easily rub off and become part of who you are. So, if your friends are lazy, you may end up becoming a bit lazy too. But, when your friend wants to be successful and has a dream in life, you both can lift each other up and help each other
7) Remember How Far You’ve Come
When we know where we come from, we can appreciate what we have now and how far we’ve gone. It is important that we reflect on where we came from. By doing this, we can even evaluate ourselves and if we have progressed or not towards our life goals.
When I remember where I came from compared to where I am now, I see that things have changed a lot. When I was young and we were in the fields with my parents, I thought that would be my life until I grew old. Because I worked hard to study, I saw that I could do something else besides farming. I saw other talents I have that I can take advantage of, and I saw the things I could be. Back then I was just a child with no dreams in life but now I have so much I want to achieve. I am thankful to my parents because they taught us to have dreams. I feel even more motivated to work more to improve my life every time I remember those days.
I have said that these things will help us to achieve financial freedom because this is my guide toward the dream of one day achieving financial freedom. I'm still a little far from that goal, but I have faith that I can achieve it. I continue to work hard and I know that one day I won't have to work for other people. I can focus my time on my own business, family, and helping others.
Let's just work hard to achieve our dreams, be patient, and above all have faith in God that all will work out for our good.