Why Do You Want to be Financially Free?

Financially Free

by Ryan

You’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t want to be financially free, but I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone who couldn’t tell you what they’d do with that freedom. The day that you become financially free what will really change in your life? Will the angels sing and your problems melt away? Will everyone bow down to your greatness and become your raving fan? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say probably not.  So why do you want to be financially free?

Becoming rich (or wealthy rather) simply means having money. I discussed what money was in a recent post, but as a refresher this is how I view money.

Money = Choice = Freedom = Ability to Fulfill Your Dreams and Purpose.

The day you become financially free you’ll simply have the choice to do the things you want.

Let’s pretend, being the nice guy that I am, I gave you $10 million dollars right now, how would your life change? You might quit your job, you might take a trip around the world, or you might even donate it to charity, but then what? If you’re like most windfall heirs, within a year, you’ll blow the money or get bored with it. After living in Hawaii for two months I have discovered that going to the beach everyday does get old.

Becoming financially free is only desirable to those who have something they want to be freed from. That might be an odd thought, but if you’re already living a life pursuing your purpose you most likely don’t have that much motivation to become financially free. Living frugal and following your passions will allow you freedom each day to pursue what you enjoy.

There Needs to be an Underlying Motivation

Financial freedom means that you’ll have the ability to do whatever you’d like because you have the freedom of time. If you have unlimited time you need to fill your time with something. How do you decide this?

In a word – Purpose

Without purpose you haven’t a clue what to do with your time. You’ll flounder, you’ll struggle, and you won’t feel complete. Without purpose you will not be compelled to make great change in your life because purpose is what drives each and every one of us. I will save the concept of purpose for a later post, but when thinking about financial freedom, realize that your purpose is directly related to making this happen.

Realize that material objects are not your purpose. Like money, they are only tools.

Why I Want to be Financially Free

One of the major reasons I started this blog, and why I write about the topics I do is because I want to become financially free. I want to be rich in knowledge, in friends, and in experience. However, even though I write about personal finance, small business, and real estate I don’t desire a summer home in the Hamptons, the newest Mercedes, or the finest wines. I don’t care to impress anyone with my bank accounts or rub shoulders at the country club.

You’re probably wondering… “Well why do you want to be financially free?”

Money is power, and I want the ability to make a positive change in the world with that power. Money only magnifies the beliefs and ideas of the person who holds that money so money could be either good or evil depending on who has it.

When I struggle to continue with my pursuit to financial freedom I don’t look up pictures of mansions or Ferrari’s online. Rather I look at things that are related to my purpose and that will make the world a better place. The things are much more fulfilling to me and if accomplished will bring me, and the world, much more value.

Here are 3 examples related to my purpose that motivate me to work towards becoming financially free.

Ocean Conservation
shark-netWith shark photography being my dream job it should come as no surprise that I am attracted to ocean conservation. The idea of reef degradation and shark populations being destroyed really tugs at my heart.

I would like the ability to work as an advocate banning overfishing and in particular the practice of shark fining. Having financial freedom will allow me the time and freedom to pursue this purpose further.

Personal Finance Education in our Schools
This blog is a projection of my beliefs. One of which is that our schools need to teach kids the power of personal finance education. I would like to be a catalyst for this change and through this blog I hope to help change the opinion of others by making them more aware of the issue.

In the future my financial freedom will give me the time and ability to lobby for these changes and become an advocate for financial education in America and around the world.

The Ability to Spend Time With my Kids
school-busI don’t have kids… yet… Heck I don’t even have a girlfriend at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I end up getting married and having children (seems like the popular thing to do)!

When that happens I want financial freedom so I don’t have to choose between work and my kids. I want to be there for them and give them every opportunity possible. That means making sacrifices today, but it will be well worth it.

John Chow, one of the most well known internet marketers, recently created a video about financial freedom from his dot com lifestyle and how he has the freedom to take his daughter to the park in the middle of the afternoon. I’m motivated by what he has and don’t want my kid(s) to be in daycare.




It’s easy to make a lot of money, however it’s much harder to determine what to do with that money and to find your purpose. I challenge you to find true motivators that can fuel your desire of financial freedom. Let go of the idea of helping yourself and motivate yourself through helping others. By doing so you’ll become much more fulfilled and, ironically enough, you’ll be more likely to become financially free.

Readers, why do you want to be financially free?

What motivates you towards financial freedom and what are some of the causes you’d like to donate more time and money to?

Image from Zarajay

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Moon Hussain February 8, 2010 at 6:46 am

My first time here and you gave me something to really think about. It’s really important to clarify the reason behind why you want to be financially free. What will change in your life, or wht changes will you make to live a “better, happier” life? I would hate to be one of those people who are completely lost in life…

Nice to meet you!
.-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..eHow Report #3: Proof That Passive Income Exists =-.

Investing Newbie February 8, 2010 at 7:42 am

This post just made me realize that I don’t have a purpose yet. At least not one that is clear and defined. I’ve told myself time and again that I would like to get to a point where (my future family and) I can live comfortably. I’ve defined this as taking vacations, having the ability to pay for schools (although the jury is still out on whether I will) or making the special days count (like Christmas, Birthdays, etc.). I know, extremely vague, but I’m sure overtime as some of those things become realities (getting married, for one), I will get a better understanding.

That said, I want to say that if you did give me $10 M, I would not quit my job. I don’t think any amount of money would make me quit my job. Not that I love my job to death or anything, but I think that one-time windfalls like those are just vehicles for me to be more giving (charities, paying off my parents debt, etc.) But I plan to live well past that money is gone, so I’m going to stick with my job!
.-= Investing Newbie´s last blog ..Moonlighting as a Detective =-.

Tracy February 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it definitely buys freedom. I want to be able to give to causes that help the homeless mentally ill, because there is no place for them in our society. I want to help both ocean and land conservation efforts. I would like to spend on at risk kids to give them hope and inspiration. I would like to be able to invest in sustainable businesses to help drive our economy and culture towards practices that make as much sense as they do money. I could go on and on.
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..The Super Bowl, Economy, Politics And Crazy People =-.

Kiesha @ Highly Favored February 8, 2010 at 9:37 am

Since time is the most valuable resource to me – I want to be financially free so that I can take my time back. I want to be able to have more time to do things with my family, to serve at my church, to go to some of those places I have on my list.
I want to be able to provide a stable home for my family members who can’t afford to live in a better conditions. Yes, I want about 10 acres of land that I can build a whole neighborhood for my family to live on – yeah, that’s why I need to be financially free. I don’t want to have to care about how much it costs to allow them to live on my land – I’d only be able to do that if I were totally financially free.
So everyday I strive to take small steps, one at a time, to get closer to my goal. Easley Heights – here I come! :)
.-= Kiesha @ Highly Favored´s last blog ..Married, but separated…should you date? =-.

Michelle I Taming Time February 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Really great read. I just found your blog via the review Lisa gave it.

I really liked that you talked about an aspect of financial freedom that a lot of people seem to miss. At the end of the day material things are just that – things.

My husband and I are on the road to our definition of financial freedom which is, having multiple streams of income (including passive) allowing us to spend our time the way we would like to. Including some volunteer work, traveling and not working full time.
.-= Michelle I Taming Time´s last blog ..Feb 8, Interview With Paula Eder from The Time Finder =-.

LeanLifeCoach February 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I am with you Ryan. I want the freedom of choice and honestly I don’t think I will ever stop working.

But for the average Joe and Jane it sure seems like they have no purpose. Remember the post I had on Money & Time, How Others Waste It? Just take a look at how people over 65 and over spend their time. It is depressing!
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Lean – Life – Learning Links =-.

Kate February 9, 2010 at 9:47 am

I agree with you that there needs to be better financial education in the school system. I was just talking with my mom about this recently how if I had really been able to see the effects of missed payments, etc – my financial situation could totally be different.

As for the reasons I want to be financially free:
1. Tired of living paycheck to paycheck – it would be so nice to always be able to do some of the things that I want to. Such as: last minute travel, being able to go to a nice restaurant with friends, not worrying if I have enough cash/groceries to make it until payday.

2. Save up to buy my own home/condo.

3. Perhaps be able to start my own business

These are just a few of the things that I want to do. Not everything is about having material possessions, but just to eliminate some of the stress from my life.

simpliTEE February 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Couldn’t agree more Ryan.

I think your position on financial independence is great because it’s true that it is not about being able to surround yourself with all the “stuff” you want. It is about being able to live your life to its fullest potential and pursuing things that really matter instead of just trying to keep your head above the surface.

If you are able to remove the stress and worry of “paying the bills” from the equation it opens your mind up to figure out and pursue your true God given purpose.

I think Forrest Gump had it right: “Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don’t have to worry about money no more. And I said, that’s good! One less thing.”

Financial Samurai February 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I want to be financially free so i can work knowing I don’t have to work.

It’s like when I went to get my MBA part-time.. it was the funnest learning experience ever b/c i already had a job and grades didn’t matter.

The real question is how much is enough!
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..How To Get Your Super Motivated Boyfriend to Marry You =-.

Jordy February 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Excellent post! When I become financially free, I will be ministering through music more than I am now.

Thanks for asking!

Jeremy Johnson February 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

The points you made that hit home to me were the meaning and purpose for being financially free. I know that many people, particularly those young and wondering what to study in college, have no idea what they want to do with their life. And sometimes this carries on into old age.

For me it’s pretty simple: spend time with my family, help others improve, play basketball when I want, write books, and someday create a computer game (which is what I did as a child, though they were simple games).

For me, in a way, I already feel financially free. I have a great family, adequate house, a great job that is flexible, and time to pursue what I feel like doing. I don’t have millions saved up in retirement or a stash of cash laying around at my beckon call. But I do earn well enough over what I spend each month, and I believe that is really the start to financial freedom – to be spending less than what you earn on a consistent basis. Of course, one could try and live like this guy, but that really isn’t realistic in my opinion :)

http://www.details.com/culture-trends/career-and-money/200907/meet-the-man-who-lives-on-zero-dollars

Still, securing my finances through something more in my control, instead of a job (even a great job) is a goal of mine. Anyhow, good stuff, and here’s to your continued success.
.-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..How To Be A Hot Nerd =-.

The Simple Machine February 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

@ Ryan – you had got some great content here my friend! I admire that you actually took the plunge and quit your job to pursue what you think will make you happy! I have always known that 9 to 5 is not for me! I read the 4 hour work week last summer and since have been trying to figure out a way to generate passive income myself. The problem with my last venture was that I was not excited about it! It was just suppose to be well passive! But then I realized that my 9 to 5 is exactly that as well. I am not passionate about it, but helps me make ends meet. Anyways, I recently jumped on the blog bandwagon. I realized I needed to write down my ideas and interact with like minded people and get a conversation going. My first category is called ‘Office Space’ – I need to fix the 9 to 5 area of my life. At the same time I realize that while I am in the 9 to 5 I am going to make the best of it! So I am writing about how I got my crazy 30% salary raise in a down economy.

Btw guys I can post a link to the first part of the article if any one is interested! Part two will be written up soon.

@ Jeremy – Dude the $0 man is exactly what keeps me at my 9 to 5 job! That is the other extreme for me! I am all for the minimalist living! But that is just the other extreme! But I guess it goes on to show that things can get really bad, but if you have the right attitude you can survive anything!

Kristine March 4, 2010 at 11:55 am

Awesome post once again! Without purpose, what exactly are we going to do when we achieve financial freedom? Focusing on the bigger picture like providing well for our family, spending time with our kids (instead of the daycare raising them), providing value to others with our own gifts and talents through blogging/websites…and just giving more than receiving. This is what I believe leads us down the path to financial freedom.
.-= Kristine´s last blog ..Limitations to College Savings Plans =-.

Jaime March 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Great post, I agree completely! When I was in debt, I remember saying the only thing you can’t buy on a credit card was freedom.

The amazing thing is (which everyone already knows) is that you don’t need to be rich to have most of the things people wanted with $10 million. Time and the freedom of choice is the biggest asset that becomes available when we have money.

I’m not rich by anyone’s terms (yet, I do have a blog called Eventual Millionaire!) but today I went to the movies with my husband in the middle of the day because we didn’t feel that into working. A few days ago we took our two small children to have a picnic at the lake. I work on my businesses when I want to, so does my husband.

Like the 4 hour work week says, it’s about life style design and being able to wake up each morning and do what you want. We only live so long, and tomorrow is never promised. :)
.-= Jaime´s last blog ..What Time and Memory have to do with Personal Finance =-.

Roman Soluk April 29, 2010 at 3:56 am

As for me, I want to be financially free in order not to depend on money. In our today’s world it is very important, because, I think, if we think constantly how to get money for this or for that, we will won’t feel the real beauty of our life.
.-= Roman Soluk´s last blog ..Music and its impact on our life =-.

Mike Olson June 18, 2010 at 9:57 am

I’ll tell you why I want to be financially free. I really hate being dependent on anyone or anything. Financial freedom for me means that I can keep working at my job if I want to, but I can also move on at any moment if I so choose.

Plus, I like to dream about what I would do with all that money I am dumping into my mortgage.

Get Happy Life November 20, 2010 at 2:40 am

One of the most inspiring posts you have ever written, Ryan.
I want to be financially free so that I will feel secure – I love the security that money buys. The second reason I want to reach financial freedom is to “buy back” my time – we all have a limited time on this Earth and I don’t want to spend my life seconds on a hamster wheel – in contrast of having fun, exercising, reading books, joining a cause for ecological energy sources, learning new stuff like cooking, the list goes on …
.-= Get Happy Life´s last blog ..Get Happy by Helping Others =-.

Mareeyah February 2, 2011 at 6:33 am

I wanna be financially free for a lot of reasons, with family and helping others topping the list. As a woman, being financially free would mean being there for my children at home to see them grow up and help them with their everyday chores. It would also mean being able to visit family members living in other countries, when they couldn’t afford to visit me. And of course, helping others… I’ve always wanted to be able to adopt very needy children and give them better opportunities, as well as helping other children gain education. With these ambitious goals, I really need to work hard. :-D
Mareeyah´s last blog post ..Lavender- Periwinkle and Pink

RANJAN CHANGKAKOTI September 3, 2011 at 5:22 am

I want to be financially free to do all that I want and to spend time with my family and help other financially as well as physically to those who need them.

saleey February 25, 2013 at 1:43 am

It’s only a simple reason why I want to be financially free.
It’s all about having time to do what I really love to do, being with people I love anytime I want to without any constraint of my 8 to 5 routinity, to simply do more instead of only trapped in routinity

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