Redefine what financial freedom means for you and your bank account

By Miranda Marquit

Reviewed by Kimberly Rotter

Jun 29, 2023

Read time: 2 min

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Independence Day is a great time to think about what freedom means—including financial freedom. But let’s be honest, financial freedom doesn’t mean living a life without any form of debt. Even wealthy people have debt. It’s about being able to live the life you want to live. Every year, I take stock of my financial life and think about whether I’m designing a life that I enjoy.

Financial independence is a journey, not an event. It’s not accomplished all at once. The first step is defining what financial freedom looks like for you.

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Financial independence: what do you want your life to look like?

First, figure out what a “free” life looks like to you. Think about what you'd do with more time and a slightly improved financial situation. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck right now, what are some small wins that would allow you to have more wiggle room with your money? Think about what matters to you, not someone else’s formula. 

Your top priority might be one of these:

Decide on long-term goals that would bring more joy to your life, and begin looking for ways to move toward those objectives. It might be cleaning up your finances, cutting out one regular expense that doesn’t serve your purposes, or using a few extra dollars each month to pay down high-interest debt.

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The road to financial freedom starts with the first step

Once you know what you want your life to look like, it’s possible to start taking baby steps to make that happen. You don’t have to earn a lot of money to make your first moves. Be honest about your situation,  practical and consistent about the small changes you can make to improve  today and towards the future .

Instead of dreaming of some far-off day, think about some of the things you can do right now to enjoy your life more. Making one choice each day to put your money toward the things that matter most to you can add an element of freedom to your life.

Author - Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is an award-winning freelance writer and podcaster who has covered various financial topics since 2006. Her work has appeared in numerous media outlets, and she is frequently asked to host workshops and appear on panels on topics related to financial wellness. She is the co-host of the Money Talks News podcast and a consumer finance advocate and spokesperson for moving hub HireAHelper.

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Kimberly is Achieve’s senior editor. She is a financial counselor accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education®, and a mortgage expert for The Motley Fool. She owns and manages a 350-writer content agency.

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