Money and Childhood
When I was young I didn’t know financial freedom was a thing. I thought there were 2 types of people: those who had money and those who didn’t. Financial Freedom was a foreign concept not only to me but my parents.
Both of our parents worked, owned our home, car and the basic necessities of life. They were excellent providers. We didn’t always get what we wanted but we had what we needed- and that was fine for us.
We were pretty oblivious about most financial things as kids and didn’t complain much.
That all changed very quickly in high school.
The summer before my Freshman year my Dad sat us down and explained to us he would continue to provide for us the basics- shelter, food, etc. – but anything extra that we wanted, we were old enough to work for ourselves and get it.
My sister and I would be attending a vocational-technical school that was considered a fashion show of sorts so you understand dressing mediocre was not optional.
At first those words sounded like a punishment but soon became a life-changing blessing and a catalyst for who I became. I worked hard all summer, saved up my money and curated a beautiful wardrobe fitting of Howard High. I learned I could get paid to work hard for something and eventually get it.
I worked hard throughout high school and purchased my Ford Mustang for $250. In college, I furnished my first apartment and bought my second car, a Dodge Colt for $650, also after saving up all summer for it. Working hard, pushing myself and continuing to grow had become who I was.
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Money and Adulthood
Twenty (somethin’) years later, married with college kids, my husband and I discovered we were hard working professionals, high income earners but as our incomes grew, so did our debt. We had a beautiful house in a beautiful community, on the lake, nice cars but we had a mortgage, personal loans, credit cards, auto loans and college loans.
This was the American Dream – wasn’t it? It sure didn’t feel like it. We felt trapped. Itching for a change, and being saddled with a 30-year mortgage made things very clear.
There was a better way and whatever that way was – THAT was the real dream. It was Financial Freedom.
So we began studying the concept of Financial Freedom, went back to the beginning and discovered an ancient truth which became the foundation for Freedom-
Gen 1:28 Be blessed: Be Fruitful, Multiply, Replenish the Earth and Subdue it.
We researched many successful people, their mindset, their financial plan, their investment strategy, how they got out of debt, how they stayed on track and how they achieved financial freedom.
We put our heads together and applied 20+ years of Telecommunications engineering, designing architectural road maps and solutions, project planning, technical training, using best practices and troubleshooting methodologies to create a plan.
A Financial Freedom Roadmap. (We are working on making a Financial Freedom Roadmap for you guys and are still putting the finishing touches on it. Get notified once it launches this summer.)
We mustered up the courage to believe we deserved Financial Freedom and took a leap of faith! We renovated our house in 6 months (with no prior experience), staged it (with no prior experience) and sold it in a month and a half.
Then we moved to Orlando where the real estate market is hot and the homes have sprawling acres for a great price compared to where we lived previously. We started a commercial cleaning business and then started this blog to track our journey and generate passive income- We were on Our Freedom Road!
So, what is Financial Freedom, you ask???
Financial freedom can bear a different meaning depending on where you live, where you are in life and your age. For some it can mean becoming wealthy, for others it can mean simply getting out of debt. What we believe most people will agree on, is that Financial Freedom is a way of life where money is no longer a source of worry. It’s being able to live off of the money in the bank indefinitely without having to work.
We define Financial Freedom as follows:
- Financial Freedom is a Divine Right. We were inherently created to live free without struggle. To live a life of peace, soundness in spirit, soul and body is a blessing and a gift. We were created to be richly provided for and live a meaningful life filled with abundant blessings, accomplishments, sound relationships and joy. But you have to believe it’s yours before you possess it. It won’t automatically show up in your life. It’s like anything else you eventually own: you thought about having it, you thought about the steps to getting it, then you got it.
- Financial Freedom is first a Mindset. True Financial Freedom is grounded in truth, peace and an abundant mindset. It’s a growth mentality that understands being free from financial worry is a divine right that occurs naturally as we follow our purpose and calling in life. It’s using wisdom to make, keep and grow your money so you can be who you were destined to be and bless those around you.
- Financial Freedom is a Journey. This may be hard to believe, but Financial Freedom is not just about money: it’s a lifelong journey about developing wisdom and learning the right way to get money, keep it, grow it and share it. It’s the process more than the actual result. It’s about finding your purpose and walking it out. Your Financial Freedom Journey will evolve over time and you will make the necessary adjustments but the experiences along the way and the journey you take is the reward- the money is just naturally attracted to you when you have the right mindset. (This took us a bit to absorb.) Think of it as a friend you bump into along your travels that becomes a constant companion and resource to help you achieve all of your dreams.
- Financial Freedom is the Highest Form of Self Expression. We live in a beautiful earth, so richly provided for in every way. We were created with unique ideas, talents, skills, dreams and wishes. We were fearfully and wonderfully made for a divine purpose. When you pursue that purpose, you break the limits on your life and experience Financial Freedom- it’s part of the journey. God will flood your life with every resource when you are intent on pursuing your passion and impacting this world with your gifts and talents.
How to get started with achieving Financial Freedom
The most important step toward achieving Financial Freedom is making a decision that Financial Freedom is yours today.
Then commit to developing your mentality until you experience it. If you look at the state of your finances and don’t like what you see then that’s a clear indication your money mentality has led you there. The good news is your mentality can get you out as well.
Tips for Financial Freedom Success
- Start today! It’s never too late to get on the Financial Freedom Road
- Read books, blogs and articles every day that help you think financially free
- Surround yourself with people that are also on the Financial Freedom Road
Create a Financial Freedom Roadmap so you know where you’re going. Think about how much money you can live off for the rest of your life if you stopped working tomorrow. Write that down. Ask yourself: How do you plan to earn it? What streams of income will you generate?
Create a Financial Freedom Vision. What does your life look like with no debt, plenty of money to live off of for the rest of your life, freedom to do as you wish with your time? Be detailed.
Create a Budget Plan to organize your finances. Look at your spending habits and begin cutting costs and being diligent to manage every penny you earn. Create a budget for expenses, savings, investing, giving and stick to it
Create a Debt Repayment Plan. Take inventory of your debt. How much debt do you owe? Setup a debt repayment plan and identify how long it will take for you to get completely out of debt. Stick to this plan.
Create a Savings Plan. Become a saver. After cutting costs you’ll be able to recover some savings to be able to initiate a savings plan. Diligently plan your monthly savings contribution. You can’t live paycheck to paycheck if you’re saving consistently. So put lots of energy into saving. Every time you save a month’s worth of savings you bought yourself a month of financial freedom.
Stick to it! Don’t stop until you’ve reached your destination. If you make a wrong turn – it’s ok – get back on the right path. You’ve got this!
How can I make more money?
- One of the easiest ways to make more money, is by finding ways to cut costs and pay off debt. Once you’ve done all the cost cutting you can research some side hustles that fit your time and budget.
- We started a commercial cleaning side business maintaining and restoring floors that’s been very profitable. You can make more than $2000 per month just from weekend work.
- Some ideas for generating money are: garage sales, complete online surveys, sell your clothes online, make arts and crafts on etsy.com, start a business, start a blog, start a gofundme, sell vintage items on craigslist or ebay, look for jobs on craigslist, drive for Uber, drive for Amazon.
- Open a free checking account and setup a direct deposit at Varo using my link and you’ll get $100! Also their savings accounts yield a minimum of 2.5%!
How do I know I’ve achieved Financial Freedom?
One way to know you are achieving financial freedom is because you can stop working and still have enough in the bank to live off of for the rest of your life.
Another way you’ll know you have arrived is the absence of financial worry in your life and the power to be, have and do whatever you want!
Financial Freedom is being in complete control of your finances and living life on your terms. Everyone deserves that.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Financial Freedom
- Finally, we wanted to reiterate the importance of developing your money mentality. If financial freedom is your destination, your Financial Freedom Road Map gives you directions to get there and ensures you arrive. Your money mentality is the vehicle that transports you there. It’s the drive train, the transmission, the tires and the engine that are all moving you towards that destination.
- Achieving Financial Freedom will always start with the right mindset. If you try to skip this part you may find yourself getting stuck, or experience a financial breakdown (instead of a breakthrough) or flat tire.
- Without the foundation of an abundant money mentality your results will not be sustainable. You can potentially lose what you’ve gained or get into more debt and cancel out the financial benefits. Trust me, we’ve been there. So invest the time to transform your mentality, make it a priority and you will be receiving the dividends of it for a lifetime!
What’s your idea of Financial Freedom? What money habits did you grow up emulating?
- 5 Easy Ways to know you’re on track for Financial Freedom
- 15 Reasons Why You Should Get Out of Debt Fast
- 10 Steps to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- The Beginner’s Guide to Financial Freedom