• Olga

Dear Olga: Financial Freedom

Dear Olga,


Do you think one can ever become financially free with a nine to five job?


Thank you,

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,


I believe for us to be on the same page about my advice we need to go over the difference between "financial freedom" and "financial independence".


The definition of freedom is the state of not being affected by a particular thing and unrestricted use. Financial freedom implies that you’ll never have to worry about money again.


The definition of independence is the state of being free of outside control and not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence. Financial independence would allow you to enjoy your life without feeling dependent on money.


As a Financial Coach, it would be irresponsible of me to promise you financial freedom, because I believe it’s an unrealistic expectation. Money is finite and life is unpredictable, I can’t promise you’ll never have a financial hardship again.


Now that we're on the same page about the definitions of the two terms, let's talk about whether financial independence is possible with a nine to five job.


It's absolutely possible to reach financial independence with a nine to five job if you're able to reach a point where you make more money each month than you have to pay out. If you already make more than you spend, you're already on a path to financial independence!


If you don't know if you make more than you spend, chances are you aren't using a budget. If you don't use a budget, don't be ashamed you're not alone. A recent US Bank study found only 41% of Americans actually follow a monthly budget. That's less than half of Americans!


Start using a budget to track your money expectations and actual spending each month. If you're not sure where to start, keep a diary of your expenses for 2 weeks. List every purchase you make, including anything that is automatically renewed. This will give you a good idea of what you spend for half the month, double it and it will be a good estimate for the month.


If you follow the budget template in the Resources section of my website, you can build your savings goals into your budget so it will give you a good idea with how much cash you have left to spend.


If you have debt, I would suggest creating a debt snapshot which I recommend using with Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball Plan to make the most of your debt repayment efforts.


More importantly, if you set money goals that are specific and you follow a budget plan then you'll be able to reach a point where you feel comfortable.


I hope this gives you some ideas how you can start working on reaching your money goals.


Good luck!

Olga

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