Four Secrets for Fabulous Financial Freedom
Secret 1: “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” is a Myth
“Money can’t buy happiness!”
Yes. It. Can.
No, there is not a magic “happiness” cream or a drink that you can buy. And true, a shopping addiction is no substitute for accomplishments, relationships or other things that bring lasting fulfillment.
But money is fabulous! I love money! Money contributes to my happiness in many ways. Here are some things that make me happy:
Whether it is everyday bills or a sudden emergency, I am not stressed.
I am free to travel, to explore, to meet people and enjoy new experiences.
I can purchase things that I enjoy. Beautiful things of good quality inspire me.
I am free to share with or help others as I choose.
I can create new opportunities for myself and others.
Now don’t worry if you don’t have it all just yet. A small bank account does not mean that you must be unhappy. Take pleasure in little things. Enjoy a cup of tea or a walk at sunset. Then, get it together and start your journey towards the fabulous life you deserve!
Ready to toss aside the myth that money can’t buy happiness? To truly have financial freedom, you may have to clear up a few other ideas too. I want to share a few more secrets!
Secret 2: Earnings and Income Are Not the Same
Thinking of someone who does not have financial freedom, the phrase “living paycheck to paycheck” comes to mind. What does this mean? How can you avoid this less-than-fabulous fate?
We all know what it means. You get paid. You pay your bills. Maybe you buy a little something. Then, you don’t have much left until the next time you get paid. If an emergency comes up – oh no! – you have a real problem!
One reason this happens is because we think of our current earnings as our only potential source of income. That simply is not true. Earnings are what you get in exchange for work and are usually tied to how much time you spend working. There is only so much time in a day, so our potential to earn is limited.
Income includes your earnings, but it can include money from other sources too, not limited by the amount of time that you work. For now, you want to continue to work and earn, but you should also think about ways to create other income.
Investments are one way to do this. It costs nothing to go to a brokerage firm and ask about investment strategies. Or, simply start googling. Do you know what stocks, bonds, funds and annuities are? Do you know what types of investments will grow your money and which ones will produce income for you? Consider real estate as an investment too, either to produce income from rents or profit from reselling it. Of course, you should save some money for emergencies or short-term goals, but beyond that, you can put your money to work for you.
Another way to produce income is to create something once that provides a revenue stream without much additional effort. Consider creating “how to” videos for YouTube, or a book that you sell on Amazon. I have had a lot of personal success by creating a course about permanent makeup and then training others to teach the course. If you have expertise or a passion about something, chances are, there are others who might be interested.
In any case, please do not limit your income to what you can earn from your job!
Secret 3: A Budget is a Good Thing
The other reason that people end up living “paycheck to paycheck” is that they spend too much. They do not have a budget.
Wait a minute- how did we go from talking fabulous to talking budgets?
I know, it sounds horribly disciplined. But, a budget is the tool that keeps you in control. Yes, it is okay to want those designer shoes. But, buying them when you really can’t afford them is not the same thing as having financial freedom. Living beyond your means limits your freedom in the long run. Anything that you buy with a credit card or a loan has a much higher price tag because of the tens, hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars you are paying over time, in interest, to borrow that money.
Give up a little freedom now to have more freedom the rest of your life. This is even true in the short term. $10,000.00 in clothes on a credit card that takes you more than a year to pay off will cost you an extra $2000.00 or so. That is $2000 that could have been a pleasant vacation, more clothes or those earrings that you wanted. Better yet, it could have been invested to earn money for the rest of your life. Get the picture? Today’s smart, successful woman does not just look fabulous, she is in control.
Secret 4: Income and Net Worth are Not the Same
Okay, let’s say that at some point, you establish a higher income level. Now what?
Ultimate financial freedom comes not only with a high income, but with a high net worth. Your net worth is the sum of everything you own of real value -your house, car, savings, investment portfolio, art and jewelry, real estate – minus your debts – home mortgage, car loans, credit card bills, and any other loans or amounts you owe to someone. High net worth is the thing that truly gives you financial freedom and security. With a high net worth, you can maintain a pleasant lifestyle even in a worldwide downturn or severe personal setback or emergency.
An inspiring exercise: Calculate your net worth now. Think about your present income and obligations. How can you increase your income? How can you build your net worth and what would you like it to be in five years? The money you spend tomorrow may be earned today, but your long-term financial freedom ten years from now is also earned today – with planning and goal setting.
Bonus Secret: Your Money is Worth More Somewhere Else
Okay, this one is outside the box, but it is too good not to share! Do you live in the US or in Europe? If so, living on $3000 a month might be a struggle. Did you know that in Costa Rica, for example, you can be surrounded with beautiful tropical scenery, live in a nice home, have maid service and good healthcare, and eat out in top restaurants twice a week, all for less that $1800 a month? You can check on details but currently, residency requirements are easy to meet. Once you have sources of income that do not require you to be in a certain location, consider a year living abroad. Think of the advantages: you can live like a princess, possibly learn a new language, have an adventure and beef up your savings, all at once!
Okay, so I have a confession. Most of my “Secrets to Financial Freedom for Women” in this blog are not really secrets. They are tried and true financial principles. But if they were a secret to you until now, I hope this inspires you to see things in a bigger way, to really think about how you can have the fabulous life that you deserve with the financial freedom to go anywhere and do anything!