Budgeting,  Debt

Financial Independence: 3 Tips To Start Your Journey + My Story

Are you looking for motivation to begin your financial independence journey? Well, look no more! Keep reading as I share the first post in my new Financial Independence series. Here, I will share 3 quick tips for starting your own journey, as well as my own personal story!

Financial Independence Journey

Hello there! Welcome back!

I am so excited to embark upon this exciting journey towards financial independence with you all. I am looking forward to sharing my wins, mishaps, and revelations as I discover more about myself and my relationship with money.

After spending many years waiting for God’s blessings to be revealed in my life, I’ve realized that He is showing me that there are some personal finance-related changes I must make.

Now, before we go further, I think it’s important to define financial independence. What exactly is it?

Is it about getting out of debt?

Building wealth?

Retiring early?

I’ve read several articles written by popular personal finance bloggers and media outlets. Here is the most comprehensive definition I could find:

Financial independence typically means having enough income to pay your living expenses for the rest of your life without having to work full-time. Some people achieve this through saving and investing over many years, while others build successful businesses that can generate income without daily supervision.

– Joe Udo, Retire by 40

Yes, please! Who wouldn’t want a life like that? What I love about this author’s definition is that he points out that financial independence can be achieved in different ways. This is important to remember. While there are certain financial practices that should be universal when pursuing financial independence (e.g. starting a budget, living below your means) there is no one way to get there.

Financial Independence vs Financial Freedom

Financial freedom has become such a buzz phrase in the personal finance community. A quick Google or YouTube search yields thousands of articles and videos on the topic.

Is there a difference between financial freedom and financial independence? Can they be used interchangeably?

Let’s see if we see any similarities and/or differences between the definition above of financial independence and this one of financial freedom:

To me, financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean retirement. But it does mean being able to work at my pace, doing things I enjoy. Life is too short to spend the majority of my waking hours commuting or sitting in pointless meetings. Financial freedom means not being tied to a job or a location for financial reasons, but working at a job because I enjoy it…

– Ryan Guina, Cash Money Life

I think we could agree that these definitions are similar. Both of them include the goal of being able to sustain yourself without having to rely on an employer. However, the financial freedom author points out that it’s not just about retirement. You can continue to work, but with the flexibility to work when and where you want. I like that, too!

Now, to be fair, these definitions are totally subjective, based on the authors’ opinions and perspectives. You could spend days sifting through various definitions of these phrases, finding countless interpretations. I personally prefer the phrase financial independence because it more closely aligns with my goal of living a life that is independent of, not dependent on, a job or a paycheck.

Regardless of the phrase that resonates with you, there are a few things that I suggest you do before starting your own journey.

3 Tips For Starting Your Financial Independence Journey

Determine Your Why

What motivates you to change what you’re currently doing when it comes to your money?

Do you want to get out of debt? Save for a wedding? Start your own business? Retire early?

I’m planning to share my ‘why’ with you all very soon (in video form, so stay tuned!), but I want you to focus on yours right now.

Really think about why you want to do this. I also strongly encourage you to write it down. Grab your journal, favorite planner, or note-taking app and write it down. I believe that seeing your ‘why’ in writing will help motivate you to continue to work towards your goal.

Face Your Fears

What scares you the most about starting this journey?

Are you worried about all of the changes you’ll have to make, in your spending habits and your life overall? Worried about what people will say and think about you? Are you afraid of the ‘F’ word: failure? All of these are valid fears, so I won’t try to tell you not to feel them.

What I do encourage you to do is make a list with two columns, one with all of your fears, and the other listing the amazing things you’ll be able to do (your ‘why’) when you start seeing results in your journey. I think you might find motivation to get started!

Find Your Personal Finance Tribe

While it is important to read books and articles written by the ‘experts’ in personal finance, I also encourage you to look for and connect with others who, like you, are either currently on a financial independence journey or have already reached their goals.

The great thing about the Internet is that regular people like you and me can write articles, blog posts, and film videos sharing our journey. I suggest you check them out, commenting on their blog posts and videos. As a matter of fact, you can start right here! Also, look for some Facebook groups to join where you can find accountability partners.

Starting A Financial Independence Journey: My Story

I think there’s something special about being able to see a person share personal aspects of their lives in video form. As much as I enjoy writing to you, I felt led to share my face and voice, as I talked about how my past, my upbringing, has influenced my decision to start a financial independence journey.

I talked about some very personal, even painful things, here. However, I think it’s extremely important to evaluate how your past has influenced your relationship with money. I hope you enjoy watching my story.

I look forward to continuing to share with you. Stay tuned for more, including my actual budget with real numbers, advice, and money-saving tips.
Tell me below, have you considered starting your own financial independence journey? What are your plans?

Financial Independence Journey Tips

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  • Rebecca Lake

    I’m all about financial independence! For me, that means having a successful business and not having to rely on an employer, a parent, a spouse or anyone else for financial support. Financial freedom to me means being able to do what I want with my money and create the type of lifestyle, both now and for the long-term, that I desire most. Great post!

    • Malika

      Hi Rebecca! I love your definitions of financial independence and financial freedom. They are spot on! Not having to rely on any job or person for financial support is something we should all work towards. I also agree that freedom means being able to create a desired lifestyle both now and long-term. Thank you for commenting!

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