I always thought that when I start earning x amount of money, I’ll have attained financial freedom. That x amount kept changing every month.
It took me some time to understand what financial freedom is. To better understand what financial freedom is, you need to understand what it’s not.
It’s not making six or seven figure income.
It’s not becoming a multi-millionaire.
It’s not having a stash of money somewhere.
It’s not about being rich or wealthy.
It’s not about affording fancy houses and a fleet of cars.
These may seem daunting to achieve, after all, we are going about it the wrong way.
But it really is not complicated as we may have made it out to be.
Simply put financial freedom is to have enough passive or residual income to cover your living expenses. It means doing what you want when you want, and how you want without worrying.
So you can earn tons of money and not be financially free, or you may earn very little and be absolutely financially free.
You can achieve financial freedom by increasing your passive/residual income and decreasing your living expenses.
I am not a fan of decreasing living expenses. It’s not fun, and I don’t want to put my energy in that. But I absolutely am mindful of where I spend my money and how I spend it.
So what is passive/residual income?
It’s income for which you don’t have to work actively for every time. For example, I spend months and months writing novels. Once they are released, readers buy it, and I earn royalty on it even when I am sleeping. Another example is property investment or investments in stocks and bonds. I spend time researching, and I invest in these options. And over a period their value increases (of course there is a lot of details to be considered here), and I get dividends as well. You can build an entire portfolio on passive income.
I have been in debt and have my own struggle with money. Our relationship often has been “can’t live with you, can’t live without you” type.
One of my goals in life is to have a twenty-hour work week. And I am actively educating and training myself to achieve that purpose which in turn lines up with my goal of financial freedom.
I have put in several hours of research and a few years of applying them and here is what I have learned so far.
Financial Freedom = Passive/Residual Income >/ Living Expenses.
The Freedom Number: Assign a number to your living expenses. Your personal budget is a good place to get this figure. (If you want to know how to do personal budget, read my article Are you keeping a budget?)
The why behind this freedom: You don’t want money because you want to snuggle up with it at night. You want it because it will allow you to achieve something. What is that something? Be clear on that. When your ‘why’ is clear, you’ll do all that it takes to achieve it. Right?!
Once you have these two things, it’s time to get started on the income side of the formula.
Identify the various sources of passive income that you need to build, invest or buy. Here are the ones that I have.
1. Investments in shares
2. Royalty from my novels
3. Online Affiliates
There are a whole lot of other streams of passive income, like rental properties, online courses, website ads. There is a whole bouquet of passive income sources. All you have to do is spend your time in educating yourself, and then practice what you learn.
Having financial freedom is simple but not easy. You will have obstacles along the way. So, it’s important to keep motivating yourself and like anything else set goals to achieve financial freedom. If you’d like to know more about how to set financial goals, read my article on What’s with financial goals and how I set mine.
I hope to share more about passive income and financial freedom as I discover more on my way to financial freedom.