What Financial Freedom Looks Like To Me
Growing up, all I wanted was to be free. I wanted so badly to move forward and to become an adult. To be able to drive, to be able to eat whatever I wanted, and to be able to buy whatever I pleased. I would say that a lot of my childhood was about my desire for “financial freedom.” I am just the kind of person who is motivated by money. I always have been. When I was eleven, I had a newspaper delivery job that paid me about fifty dollars a month, and I thought that was the best thing ever. Since then, I have always loved the idea of having my own money, and being financially “free.”
As I begin my new job at ClassPass, I want to lay out for myself what financial freedom looks like to me. Here is a list of a few things that would make me feel like I have accomplished financial freedom.
1. Having an amazing savings account.
Moving to New York really made me realize the power of a good savings account. There’s almost nothing more important than to put money away for an emergency, or in case you need to make another big life change. One of the things that scares me about living across the country from my family is that if someone were to have some kind of health scare, I wouldn’t be able to go see them immediately, unless I had enough money. I NEED to begin another savings account immediately, so that if something like that were to happen, money wouldn’t even be a thought that goes through my mind. My other thought is that I may need to move away from New York for some reason or another. And I NEVER want to take the risk I took by moving this time. Looking back, it really was so risky to do what I did, and I think I am very lucky to have been able to set myself up like I have. I definitely didn’t save enough money for this move, and I am now in a little bit of debt. It’s okay this time, but I would feel so much more comfortable if I had just a bunch of money waiting for me.
2. Having the ability to pay for services.
There are two ways of looking at it: You can save money by doing your laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc, or you can pay to have them done and enjoy other resources like time. I have to just face it: I absolutely do not want to do my laundry ever again. Ever. Especially in New York. Now that I have a job, I honestly don’t want to spend 3-4 hours of my weekend at the laundromat waiting for my clothes. I am so, so bad at laundry, and I always get impatient and take the clothes out before they are fully dry. I am not the kind of person who is good at all of that! There are apps and services to save me, so my idea of financial freedom is to be able to pay for these things to be done for me. I think everyone has their one thing they splurge on, and in the next 5-10 years, I want to be able to pay to have chores like that done for me. I just think that’s awesome.
3. Not be living paycheck to paycheck.
In this next year, I want to really set myself to not have to worry about money (as much). I want to find a balance of my incoming and outgoing cash. The opposite of financial freedom is to have to check your balance before paying for groceries. I want to always be confident that my card will go through. It’s not even embarrassing anymore, it’s just inconvenient! I have had my card declined so many times because I am buying something for ten dollars and I only have nine dollars in my account. I hate overdraft fees so much, and I want to someday be completely free of that.
4. Having an amazing credit score.
While looking for apartments, I really realized the power of an amazing credit score. We were all pulling our credit scores together and showing them to landlords, and watching their reactions to a good credit score compared to a bad credit score was very powerful. I learned that no matter what, I want to just have an amazing credit score. I just think that’s the bee’s knees. I want to have a credit card with like, an incredibly high limit.
5. Being able to buy nice things for people you care about.
I have always loved the idea of buying people presents that are “too much” and makes them say “I can’t accept this, Ben.” I love being a good friend. It’s one of my favorite activities. Last week, my friend Nicole and I were walking down 5th avenue and she saw a pair of shoes in the window of a store and made a comment about how amazing they were. My initial thought was “I should buy those shoes and have them shipped to her as a thank you for coming to visit me.” But I couldn’t! I just did not have the funds. I would love to be THAT guy, who does that kind of thing for people.
Those are the five things that I have to make happen before I feel like I am financially free. If you have criticism of my dreams, please leave a comment below! If you have advice, or want to share what would make you feel financially free, leave a comment!