FINANCIAL FREEDOM

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Dollar Bills
Image: Thomas Breher

Today’s post is inspired by the weekly meme, Beyond the Books, created by Karen at Kissin Blue Karen. Reaching financial freedom has been a goal of mine for the past few years, and I previously mentioned that goal while reflecting on my life at its current stage. Here is how I’m working toward reaching financial freedom and what it will mean once I get there:

Journey to Freedom

Live the simple life. It’s easy to reach financial freedom when I don’t need to spend money on fancy clothes, expensive cars, or a ginormous house to make myself happy. Although, I am one who “suffers” from wanderlust, so I will have to make sure to budget accordingly for travel. The overall goal is to avoid lifestyle inflation where one spend more money as one brings in more income. If I stay satisfied with occasional splurges in the fancy department, then I’m will definitely be on my way toward reaching financial freedom.

Rid myself of debt ASAP. The first box I have to tick off in my journey toward financial independence is paying off EVERYTHING, so I have no debt keeping me anchored to a desk. It is hard to escape this daily 9 to 5 rat race when I depend on a steady paycheck to keep making those required debt payments. I am on track to pay off my credit cards within the next 3 years, and I just paid off my car loan! Once I get a handle on those student loans, I see a positive net worth in my future!

Whistle while I (side) hustle. Ridding myself of debt and reaching financial freedom also means side hustling with pride. For me, that means taking on a part-time job, driving for Uber on the weekend, or freelance writing. Like the experts say, the best way to get out of debt is to make more money and put it on the debt, which accelerates the progress toward financial freedom. Do the experts say that, or did I just make that up? I’ll let you decide. PLUS…reaching financial freedom also means not depending on only one source of income. Experts definitely say that!

Embrace investing. Unless the biggest pile of money falls into my lap, it will be impossible to reach financial freedom without investing because even with the power of compound interest, the paltry 1% interest rate I get with my “high yield” savings accounts is not going to be enough to build wealth. Obviously, I contribute to the 401(k) plan sponsored by my company because I’m NEVER turning down that free money! I also contribute to a Roth IRA through Betterment, a robo-advisor that takes the hefty fees and emotions out of investing. AND…I even started micro-investing with Acorns because every little bit helps, right?! With weekly $10 deposits and Acorns’ awesome round-ups feature, my portfolio is currently valued at a little over $1500! Y’all, I opened this account in March!!!! 😮 On top of that, I recently opened an account with Stash, another micro-investment company. What I like about Stash is you can put your money into companies that align with your values, so I “Roll with Buffet”, stash my money in the “Aggressive Mix”, which ironically has a moderate risk level, and believe “Equality Works”. Those are just some of the funds available as investment options, there are SOOOOO many more!

Reaping the Rewards

Become my own boss. Just like reaching financial freedom, the idea of starting my own business began percolating in my head within the past few years. Now I’m looking forward to making and working my own hours to build my literary empire. My empire will be small, but it will be mighty! Black women are out here doin’ the dang thing, and I want to be a member of the fastest-growing boss lady club.

Build a legacy. Everyone often wishes for a distant relative to leave them a small fortune, and I am certainly no exception. Due to lack of generational wealth within the black community, it is unlikely that such a situation would ever befall me. However, I would love to be that person for my nieces, nephews, and godchildren. I want to leave something for future generations that will give them a little leg up in life.

Your Turn

So…do you dream of reaching financial freedom? What will you do once you reach that goal? What is your financial freedom plan? What does financial freedom look like to you? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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8 Comments

  1. Financial freedom is definitely something that takes a lot of work, dedication, and persistence. You have some really great tips. Applying them however…that’s another story. I was three months away from paying off my car when I was T-boned and it was totaled. Now I have another car loan I’m whittling away at. It’s a vicious cycle!

    1. I totally agree! It seems like everything good is easier said than done. That really sucks about your car. Hopefully, history doesn’t repeat itself. I have a similar car story. Two weeks after replacing the brakes on the car that I planned to have for at least the next 10 years and was fully paid off, I was hit by a drunk driver and my car was totaled. That meant buying the car that I just paid off. I am also hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

  2. This definitely made me think! I avoid aiming to be financially free bc I know when I graduate I will be the complete opposite. But that shouldn’t stop me for planning ahead- I don’t want student loans for the rest of my life! Great post x

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