What do financial freedom and happiness mean to you?
Maybe it’s not living pay-check to pay-check? Being able to treat yourself? Living debt free? Working on your own schedule?
Financial freedom and happiness are above all else a state of mind.
Take it from someone who was in debt, stressed out, spending more than I was making and couldn’t seem to stop worrying about money. It’s about living every day in the right mindset.
Here’s some advice that helped me change my way of life.
1. Know what you need and let go of what you want
It sounds easy but this is probably one of the more challenging changes to make in your life.
Start with asking yourself why?
Why am I buying this? Do I need it? Is it necessary?
Will it change my life for the better? Or do I want it?
Does it stem from an impulse or an urge?
If I don’t buy it today, is it likely that by tomorrow I’ll have forgotten about it?
These are simple questions but certainly not easy to answer. We’re all constantly driven to buy. Everywhere you look, whether you realize it or not, you’re encouraged to spend money.
That vicious cycle can be very challenging to break.
I urge you next time you take out your wallet to honestly answer the above questions. You owe it to yourself.
Chances are, you’ll forget about that urge which had compelled you to want in the first place.
There are few things in life that you actually need and once you realize what those things are, your bank account will quickly grow.
Be careful not to end up on the other side of the spectrum. I’m not advocating you never spend on anything you don’t need. You can’t live on purely physical needs, you need to consider what makes you happy.
You should by all means still spend some money but for those purchases that aren’t needs, you have to learn to differentiate between:
- a want that will bring you happiness
- a want that’s grown out of an urge
Personally, I spend money on traveling. It brings me a great deal of happiness to get to see the world, try new things and experience different cultures. I chose to travel over buying a new phone, a new computer, a car, etc.
All though I love new shiny toys, I have learned that they only bring me temporary happiness. That happy feeling goes as quickly as it came. Traveling, on the other hand, enriches my life and has a much longer lasting positive impact on my overall well-being.
What makes me happy may not make you happy.
Take a look at your life, what has made you happy in the past? what has only brought you temporary happiness?
The answer to those questions will help you figure out which “wants” you should or should not be spending money on.
Life is all about balance. Saving money or paying off debt shouldn’t come at the expense of your happiness. You can Enjoy your life without breaking the bank.
2. Set goals for where you want to be in life and act on them
Asking yourself and honestly answering what brings you happiness in life is the first step in figuring out where you need to cut out and where you don’t.
Stop putting lipstick on a pig.
It might feel temporarily better but it doesn’t actually fix anything. Focus on doing what has a lasting impact on your happiness. Look to bring more of whatever that might be into your life.
Just about anything you set your mind to is possible. We all limit ourselves out of fear of failure and say things like “I want what they have but I can’t do what they did. It’s not possible for me”.
Don’t be scared, set ambitious goals, do what everyone else won’t and take charge of your life.
There’s no such thing as “I have too much debt, I’ll never get out of it”.
You can get out of debt. Don’t allow yourself to be your own worst enemy.
I recently quit my job and decided I wanted to go nomad and travel the world. I often hear, “I wish I could do that but I could never”.
So I ask “why not?” Generally, that question is followed by a long pause as they try to come up for some kind of limiting reason. They’re worried it might impact their carrier, they say “what if I can’t get a job again?”
They dream about doing what I’m doing but stop at the word impossible.
Believe me, I was scared when I quit but I don’t regret it by any means. Risks often pay with returns. If you never change anything then you’ll never get out.
There’s no better time but now. Take risks today because frankly, tomorrow is an excuse.
Scared is normal but it shouldn’t stop you.
Related article: Open the door to your personal success and happiness
3. Let go of everything you don’t need or use
Getting rid of my clutter was a huge game changer for me. Initially, I did it to get myself ready to be a nomad and travel the world. The more I sold, the lighter I felt.
It was like I had been carrying all my stuff on my shoulders this whole time.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have things but I’ve only kept what I need, cannot replace or things which have emotional value to me. I held on to so much thinking:
- “maybe I’ll use it one day” (but hadn’t touched it in years and haven’t missed it since)
- “but I paid money for it, it’s wasteful to get rid of it” (when in reality your clutter is costing you money every day)
Not only do I feel lighter, like I have less baggage (figuratively and physically), but I also feel less inclined to buy.
I’m so happy to have less that I don’t want to have more. Getting rid of all that useless stuff helped me break my “buy! buy! buy!” vicious cycle.
Trust me on this one, start liquidating!
Bonus, you can actually make a good amount of money selling all that stuff you don’t use or need.
Related article: How to make over $3,000 in cash selling your clutter
In more ways than you might think, believing in yourself is the first step in gaining financial freedom and happiness.
Eliminate the word impossible from your vocabulary. If you want financial freedom and happiness then start by figuring out what that means to you. Once you’ve got that sorted, work your way towards making changes in your life.
Without risk or change, you’ll never get to where you deserve to be.
You can overcome debt, you can be happier and you can do just about anything you set your mind to.
If you still don’t think you make enough money then make it a goal to get more.
Believe me, it’s not difficult to earn extra income but it does require effort. If you’ve got a little extra cash, you can easily earn money flipping (here’s how I easily make $1,000 in extra income each month).
You can also put that extra cash towards investing on the market (here are 3 tips to avoid losing money investing on the market).
If you don’t have anything to work with, that’s no problem, start small. Go to the Craigslist free section and start flipping. Fill out online surveys on your free time and get paid. Become an Uber driver.
Frankly, the list goes on and on, you just have to be willing to invest some time. Things in life aren’t free and don’t let anyone fool you into believing that success just happened to them. We all look at successful people in envy but they put in the work and took risks.
Get out there! Figure out what it is you want and what will bring you happiness. Work towards it relentlessly and whatever you defined for yourself as success, it will come.