Financial Independence is a journey, not a destination. Taking control of your money allows you to increase your financial freedom a little more every day.

Financial Independence is a Journey not a Destination

“Voila! I’m Financially Independent! I can check that box and never think about money again!” Said no one, ever.

There are hundreds, or maybe thousands, of personal finance bloggers that all have a different approach for increasing wealth and freedom. Some are good, some are nonsense. But, more importantly, they prove that there is more than one way to achieve financial success.

There is one thing that they have in common: they all agree that achieving financial independence is a process that you work on every day. Because, there is no finish line. Instead, it is a way of living where you take control of your own choices. You make your money behave. And, you make conscious decisions about how to deploy the precious resources you have.

No matter where you are on your personal finance journey, there are two big steps that you have to take. The first one may take a few months or a few years, but once you accomplish it, you’ll never look back.

First Step of Financial Independence is Escaping Paycheck-to-paycheck Cycle

Before you can really start to build wealth, you will need to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. If you are scraping the bottom of the barrel every month, there is no way to have enough stability to start making real, sustainable progress.

In order for all of the pieces of your financial plan to work, they have to be stable. And, if a super small hiccup can derail your finances, then you are building a house of cards. Your Roth IRA won’t do you any good if you have to raid it every time an unexpected expense pops up.

To get started, I love the Undetailed Budget. It is a simplified way to get a big-picture view of where your money comes from and where it goes. You can build it in a few minutes and start to uncover your biggest financial challenges. It gives you a place to start.

With the Undetailed Budget you will be able to see how small changes in Income, Recurring Expenses, and Personal Spending, can create room for Savings. Every, single, month.

Second Step of Financial Independence is a Marathon

When you have your Undetailed Budget, then you can really start to make progress.

This part of your race to Financial Independence is a marathon that you will never finish. It will take endurance, stamina, self control, and confidence in yourself. And, there are only four things that you need to do:

  • Spend less than you make
  • Have emergency savings
  • Have diverse investments
  • Rebalance regularly

If you start today and do these four things consistently, then I promise you will have an ever-increasing pile of wealth. But, more important than that, you will have a level of peace in your life that is much greater than you expected.

By taking control and doing these four things, you will be able to release a mountain of money anxiety. It will elevate you and free you.

And, that’s why it’s called Financial Independence.

The End Result

By doing the four things that lead to financial independence, you will always be building an ever-increasing stream of passive income.

If you achieve those four things for long enough, at some point your passive income will exceed your work income. It is an amazing day when what you get paid for having money exceeds what you get paid for your labor.

At that point, you can choose to retire. Or, not.

When you have enough passive income to live on, your profession becomes a choice. Instead of toiling away to make a dollar, you can follow your passion. You will be working because you want to, not because you have to.

And, that’s why it’s called Financial Independence.

Final Thoughts

There are a million ways to improve your financial situation. I love the Undetailed Budget and the four foundations of personal finance.

But, my approach might not be right for you. And, that’s okay!

It is more important that you do something. Find a system that works for you. Take control of your money and make it do exactly what you want it to do.

We only get one chance to run this marathon. There will be mistakes and you will fall down. But, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn how to avoid making the same mistake twice.

I hope this has been helpful! I welcome your comments with your thoughts and questions. And, don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to get notified whenever a new article is posted.

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