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True Freedom, What Does It Mean?

I was reading an article titled “4 Things I Gave Up To Be Free” by Darius Foroux. He talked about true freedom being the ability to live as you are, to do what you want and to spend time with people you like. He went on to say that for many, this freedom is a distant dream. And the reason for this is that the truth hurts too much. The 4 things that must be given up are:

1) Lies

2) Comfort

3) Fear of Money

4) Incompatible People

As a financial planner, I couldn’t help thinking that this is very true of financial freedom too.

Lies: We all need to give up the lies we tell ourselves: for e.g. I am very strong financially, so I never need to budget. I am in debt but so is everyone else, hence I am fine. I am saving well (RM300 a month) but you are spending RM10,000 a year on your holidays (almost 300% more than your annual savings) and have not yet build enough emergency money. In fact, your emergency money is barely enough to last you one month if you lose your job.

Comfort: We might need to give up our comfortable ways of managing our money. We saved 10% of our income because we can. However, perhaps we should get out of that comfort zone… make it 15% or 30%. You didn’t plan for that vacation but went anyway? Nothing is spent in the company without planning or going through rigorous approvals and checks with the finance department. Why should we be any different? In fact, we should be more stringent, it’s our own future we are dealing with.

Fear of Money: We are afraid of losing our money, I get it… we tend to be afraid of losing things we love. How do we overcome such fear? It is via ensuring that we can do 3 things well. Firstly, is to ensure we have income producing skills. Always upgrade your skill set, be aware that you are responsible for your own advancement. Secondly, and I cannot repeat this enough – save like crazy – which means as much as you possibly can. Follow the ways of those who have made it, take heart that savings is something you will never regret. Lastly, learn how to grow your money. Making your money work hard for you will ensure that you will not likely run out of money in the long run.

Incompatible People: You need to surround yourself with people who encourage you to grow in the area of managing your money. But everyone is such a spendthrift… Look, there are thousands of people around you – seek them and bid adieu to those who are not like the new you. If you are still stuck with financially negative people because they are your family or colleagues, go create a supportive environment – it can be reading more into this field, attending personal finance events or chatting with your financial planner.

At the end of the day, you are the captain of your ship. Realise this and you can accomplish much!

Act Today, Own Tomorrow!

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