Money’s best value to all of us is the ability to be able to control our own time. We all want to be able to do what we want, when we want and for as long as we want. To be able to do that, you must be financially independent.
Financial independence doesn’t occur quickly. It isn’t magical. It comes over time with you controlling your money and your values. Through time most people will go through 5 levels of independence.
Level 1: Total Assistance- Child level
This is the lowest level of independence. You are purely dependent of your parents or people who care about you.
Level 2: Maximal Assistance- You have “some” savings
This is the beginning level when you begin your savings routine. By routine, I mean that you have an actual plan to consistently save money (even if it’s $5/month)
Level 3: Moderate Assistance- Retirement savings
Now that you have your savings plan, you have built up some retirement savings and possible education savings for your children. You still are reliant upon your job and possibly still have a sense of wanting to conform to some sense of social status. Possibly buying items to ‘Keeping up with the Jones’.
Level 4: Minimal Assistance
At this level, you no longer care about social status. You are comfortable being you and don’t care about others’ opinions. There are also enough assets on your balance sheet where you are beginning to feel like you can do whatever you want, when you want but still have some nervousness.
Level 5: Complete Independence
You have plenty of assets and you are doing exactly what you want to be doing without a care of financial concern. Financial Legacy is possibly becoming a concern for you as you want to help your loved ones start off easier than you did.
These 5 levels come over time through experience and learning what you really want in life. I think that’s really where we begin to grow personally, professionally, and financially. When you start to understand why you are here, what you want and why you want it, it becomes much easier to control your finances.
What’s the takeaway?
To get to level 5, find out what you really want out of life.