What Is Financial Freedom and What Does It Mean To You?

what is financial freedomSome of you may be thinking, well, what is financial freedom?

Unfortunately, there is often this misconception that having an abundance of money gives you said freedom. I say misconception because I can give you several real life examples where people who have an abundance of income or wealth feel like they are sinking in quicksand. However, I can also show you an example where people with a modest income and home consider themselves financially free. Better yet, there are people out there that make almost nothing but do what they love and feel great.

Based on those examples, I can easily say that financial freedom is more than money.

You should think of financial freedom as what defines you. It’s what you want from life and it doesn’t necessary have to revolve around dollars and cents.

Based on that very broad definition of financial freedom, you should realize that it means different things to different people. Someone may want to travel around the world and in order to do that, they sell all of their possessions. To them, they are financially free to do what they want. Another person may want to work from home so that they may be able to see their children more frequently. As you can see, there are so many different ways to have financial freedom. How you define it is up to you.

For me, financial freedom is the ability to do what I love and report to no one (well, maybe my wife ;-)). Having that freedom would give me the greatest sense of success that I can imagine. Truthfully, I don’t even care if I had much money in the bank. If I could support my family and sock a few bucks away by doing what I love, I would be just fine with that. I’m not there yet, but I feel that I am taking steps in that direction. Because I have a vision, the path doesn’t seem all that treacherous.

Defining Your Path

My challenge to you is to define your path to financial freedom. As you know, it’s not going to happen overnight. However, if you are able to define what financial freedom means to you, it may remove the stress of not knowing your path. If you are just trudging along not knowing what you are striving for, you are going to lose focus and fall back into the same rut you always have been in.


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11 Responses to What Is Financial Freedom and What Does It Mean To You?

  1. Financial freedom for me is simply living a stress free lifestyle. I just want to graduate from University (the first in my immediate family), and head on to do my DVM degree. From a young age I’ve never been in a financially stable home, and I wish I’d been presented with tips and tricks on how to manage student loans, feeding myself, and my car payments well before the time I got into University. It’s unfortunate these types of things aren’t taught in High School because financial planning is a real life skill.

    • Stress free is the way to be! :-)

      You’re right about learning these things in school. I fortunately took a class as an elective in high school. It’s actually what started me on the path to where I am today (a financial coach!).

      I would just encourage you to continuing reading articles like this one to constantly remind you of your future and what you’re trying to achieve. It will keep your financial life in balance!

      Good luck with Vet school! I bet your family is proud!

  2. Hi Adam,
    I quite like your definition of Financial Freedom, and I have my own definition here: http://www.lifechange90.com/financial-freedom/ and as you will see, it’s pretty close to yours. A few subtle differences but aligned.

    What I found important over 2 1/2 decades of business consulting, seminars and 5 years of financial planning (I’m now retired from it) is that for any of the financial strategies and ideas that enable financial freedom to become a reality, you need a great support environment in place – starting with your family to a degree, but it’s a whole attitude to life, success habits and a lot more! The best ideas and strategies are wasted if bad habits sabotage them the moment they are attempted!

    I started recording my habits and daily activities in the early 1990s and could not believe the damage I was doing to my life and my successes every day, without realising it! Since then, I found most people are doing exactly the same in their lives too – it wasn’t just me!

    Once I realised that, I found that success was possible, just by changing those things around. As a friend and mentor (until his passing) Jim Rohn (and many other wise people) have said, “Success is a series of little things done right, each day”. If you defined financial freedom as your measure of success, it’s not just one big thing, it’s lots of little things, every day, that turned into habits that create your success.

    Great post, keep up the good stuff!

    • I love your idea of recording daily habits and activities! I think that if I did that today, I would find so many areas where better things could be inserted. By changing those subtle things, “financial freedom” would be achieved more rapidly.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      P.S. I love the quote from your link. “Financial Freedom is Choices, Without Limits”. Well said!

      • Adam,
        This turned my life around. I was trying to do personal development on my own after a marriage breakdown and the financial disaster resulting from it, and the idea came to me after a seminar I attended. Over the next decade, I developed the concept and used it daily, and it has proven to be the most powerful tool I have ever seen, and I have attended most of the seminars by the big names on the tours.

        This gives me a total awareness of everything I do, including when my mood changes, and gives me conscious choices in each moment. However, it is only a few minutes a day, probably 5 minutes morning and 10 in the evening, and my day is set up for me.

        It provides a framework into which I can drop all my other plans and goals and dreams, and I have total freedom within it! Worth a look – as I said, the most powerful, and also the simplest, personal development and success tool I have ever seen!

        I have turned it from an idea into something everyone can use, without the decade of development work I had to do to get it to work for me. At the time, I was on the bones of my backside and choices were limited so following through on this concept was my best option. However, not everyone has time for that, so here it is! http://www.lifechange90.com/financial-freedom/ – certainly worth a look; your other great ideas from your post, and any other seminar or workshop strategies just drop straight into it and it empowers them too!

        Thanks for your thoughts Adam!

  3. Hey Adam,

    This is a great topic…Episode 9 of my podcast was dedicated to the same topic. Adam Baker gave a great Ted Talk on this very question. All to often financial planners assume that everyone wants to retire at 65. It seems like everyone gives the same advice. I think this question needs to be asked by financial professionals more often.

    I agree, everyone’s “financial plan” should be based on what that persons definition of freedom is.

    Good job writing this post…most people need to ask themselves this question

  4. Hello Adam,

    My name is Candacy I’m 22 years old Living in NYC. I’m an Aspiring Actress often people try and discourage me from living out my dreams and it can get really discouraging sometimes. I often write inspirational quotes to just keep my self from falling and while writing and surfing the net i came across the term Financial Freedom then I clicked your page reading everyones comments and your article It feels good to know there are others out there that have the same mindset as i do when it come to being financially free . Thank you So Much Adam :-))

    • Hey Candacy! Thanks for your comment.

      I’m glad the article spoke to you. I’d just encourage you to take those criticisms and use them as ammunition. Many people attempt to bring others down so they don’t feel bad that they’re not doing anything themselves.

      Good luck!

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