As we celebrate Independence Day this July 4th, take a moment to savor the freedom of living in the U.S. Our freedom came at the expense of others, and we have the responsibility to maintain the same for those who come after us.
Thanks to the sacrifices of my ancestors and yours who were American veterans, we enjoy plenty of freedom today – opportunities to live, work, play and build a better life. That includes our financial opportunities to earn and learn.
You can choose to work hard…or put in minimum hours. You can go to school. You can save to buy a home, car or college education. You can learn to invest. You can start a business. You can travel, hang out with those you choose, hunt and fish, attend a church that you want, own farmland or oil wells, read what you wish, and vote for whom you choose. You can become a philanthropist and pay some wealth forward.
Making Financial Decisions
Yes, we have many choices. As you think about the financial freedom your future could hold, consider your choices or decisions in regard to spending and saving money now. While those choices you make today may seem small, or even insignificant, they will impact your financial freedom enormously later. You see, it’s not one major decision you happen to make that gives you financial freedom. Rather, it’s your routine financial habits that build a bigger lifestyle – or a bigger nest egg. Which do you want? Do your habits include spending sprees or squirreling away savings? Are you borrowing big or living small?
Your financial freedom also comes at a cost to you. Learning financial skills now pays off later, while the “college of hard knocks” is a tough course anytime. Getting caught up in buying a newer car, bigger house, exotic vacation or the latest cell phone can be justified by many. So can spending money everyday to get a latte, eat out, or shop online sales. With soooooo many choices on how to spend money, it’s little wonder that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and save very little. And, that’s the tradeoff. The magic of compounding works the same for both accelerating your savings or your debt.
Do You Have a Financial Road Map?
Does that relegate you to a miserly life of no fun? Do you need to be frightfully frugal to get ahead financially these days? Not necessarily. But you do need a plan if you want to build a retirement nest egg or reach financial independence.
No matter how old you are, today is a great time to set goals for your future. Planning a financial road map now can help you make smart choices, find opportunities and embrace the long look of being financially independent. Choose wisely!