Achieving financial freedom has a different meaning to every person. It could be being able to live comfortably, buy things you want or being able to not to worry about money at all. When I was little, the only financial education I have received from home is that you do not eat if you do not have money, and you won’t have any money if you do not work. It was a simple and linear understanding of how finances work. It is sad to look back and think that one of the most important aspects that has a big impact on everyone’s daily life is not being thought early on at home nor in school. In my younger years, money is a topic you do not really talk about at home or at school.
When you reach a certain stage in life, you start to gain a better understanding of the concept of money. To achieve a certain degree of financial freedom, you need to play catch up and learn the ropes fast. There are two kinds of money mentality, either get a job to earn a salary or start a business and earn a living. Getting a job has always been the easier choice between the two. Starting a business takes more time and effort than what people think. You also need to have the discipline and strong willpower to persist and make the business works. As they say, you have either to make it or break it.
But what does it have to do with financial freedom?
A decade ago, this is how the majority of us thinks in terms of financial security. It still holds true until this day. However, for the most part, financial freedom means having the flexibility to choose a job that you want to do, pays well and gives you purpose. You are one of the lucky few if you are working at a job that gives you all three perks. Whether you are running your own business or working at a company, the same holds true.
It is not easy to attain financial freedom. You have to sacrifice time and effort in order to ensure that you do not have to depend on your paycheck or worry about unforeseen circumstances that would break your bank.
When I got my first job, I did not have the proper financial mindset. The excitement of receiving your first paycheck makes you want to reward yourself and think of just saving on your next paycheck. However, most of us get trapped in that same cycle. In a few years, I realize that I started living paycheck to paycheck, incurred a credit debt with no savings nor assets. I finally realize that I wasted so much effort, time and money and has not seen any value in what I had been doing. Therefore, I started a financial mindfulness journey of being frugal.
Misconceptions about being frugal
There are a lot of misconceptions about being frugal. People often think being frugal is depriving yourself of things you want. But being frugal is merely being mindful or your choices. Understanding the differences between wants and needs. Even as simple as do I need a monthly subscription for my mobile phone or will a prepaid subscription works as well? Do I need new sneakers when I have three others?
Being frugal is merely making intelligent choices and prioritizing what matters most.
We tend to associate our emotions and psychological state when it comes to choices and spending habits but we always fail to use logic. Your mindset and attitude towards your financial goals will determine your financial freedom. If you are willing to go on a financial diet and spend only on needs then you surely would be a step ahead for your financial independence.
Being frugal does not mean you are limiting yourself on essential needs.
However, most of us fail in this matter due to not having a plan or a goal in mind. A basic example is grocery shopping. It is one of the biggest chunks of expense in any household. Every time we shop without a grocery list, we tend to shop over our allocated budget and most of the stuff usually ends up in the waste bin. I hate food waste. Therefore, I started meal planning to make sure that we only buy what is necessary and avoid overspending as well as wasting food. Not having a plan makes you indulge rather than being mindful of what really matters.
Being frugal is buying only the cheapest stuff or buying second hand.
There is no problem with that, but if you are like me, I appreciate quality over quantity. If I have to choose between a $100 jeans that will last me for a decade than $30 jeans that will only last me for a year, I would definitely choose the latter. The same goes for household items aside from personal items. Consumables, I do trial and error and test products. I think about whether quality for each product is better and the price is reasonable. Think about 10 products you regularly use and buy, Write them down then check your local shops and see if there are alternative products that are more affordable or discounted. Test them out then write down why it is good or bad and what would make you consider changing to that product.
The frugal freedom journey
Being frugal is a journey and a lifestyle. You make your own and live your own. Everyone must learn to live a life based on their own and not based on what others think how they should live. You need to enjoy the journey and learn along the way to make it more memorable and worth it. Finding a purpose for doing something is what is important. You have to find a way to enjoy the journey!
Set a goal of why you want to attain financial freedom!
• Is it because you want to be debt free?
• Save for your dream vacation?
• Build savings?
• Finance your dream home?
Whatever reason you may have to pursue financial freedom make sure to make it as specific as possible. Write it down and put it up on your wall so you can see it and it will remind you of your purpose of why you are doing this in the first place. You don’t run a marathon without knowing where the finish line and where you need to start. Life is a chunk of accomplishments which gives us small doses of happiness. Being financially free is one of them!
It is my goal and vision that everyone learns how to be frugal so they live a more meaningful life and find happiness in living with less through finding purpose and experiencing the journey.
Why does financial freedom important to you?
How did you learn about money and finance?
What is your financial goal?
Feel free to comment and send you feedback! I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on being frugal.
Love the life and enjoy the journey!