Why be Financially Literate? Knowledge is Power!

Financial Freedom

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” and the desire for freedom is entrenched in the hearts of people worldwide. While we may enjoy personal liberties here in Jamaica, how many of us can say that we are financially free?

Freedom is usually defined as being devoid of restraints on thought, speech or actions. To be free, you must be able to make choices for your life without any restrictions, apart from legal considerations. When it comes to money, do you believe that you have the ability to determine your financial destiny?

If asked “What does financial freedom mean to you?” different people will provide diverse definitions.One basic concept of money freedom is the ability to finance your preferred lifestyle without stress or debt. To be financially free, you should have autonomy in your income and time to live as you desire.

Assess your financial gaps

If you wish to be free from financial fears, frustrations and failures, then you need to figure out all the reasons why you may be in bondage in the first place. Take an honest look at your spending patterns, debt position, savings routine and work ethic; do you always practise smart money habits?

Every thought you hold and action you take regarding your money will ultimately determine your financial status. So if you believe that you need to be dressed in the latest fashion and you use your credit card to buy outfits you can’t afford, accept that there will be negative consequences.

If you always give excuses why you don’t have the time or energy to try to earn extra income, understand that your frame of mind is helping to keep you broke. The only way to achieve your freedom is to chip away at all the unhealthy money practices that are preventing you from succeeding.

Determine a new direction

There is a popular saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” While it’s important to be persistent when working on your goals, if you’re heading in the wrong direction, or if you’re not even on the right road, then you will never reach your destination.

If you’re struggling to break free of financial woes, chances are the choices you made in the past were not aligned with your desired objectives. So, if you want to be independently wealthy but you spend all your time working in someone else’s business, then you will never have freedom of income.

After assessing all the missing links between where you are and where you want to be, decide on the required steps that will put you on the road to freedom. Perhaps you need to go back to school, start a part-time business or learn how to invest; consider all the actions that will support your goals.

Commit to your action plan

As the old English proverb states, “there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.” With your freedom aspirations, there is often a wide gap between knowing what you need to do and actually carrying out your plans. The expired dreams of unsuccessful freedom seekers could fill a virtual graveyard.

To attain financial freedom you must be prepared to endure the uncertainty that comes from leaving your comfort zone, changing your routines, learning new skills, making mistakes and experiencing rejection. There’s a price to pay for freedom and you can’t escape the sacrifices that are required.

In order to stay on course to your dreams, you must have a strong enough reason for setting out on the journey in the first place. Whether you want to give your children a better life, make your parents proud or achieve a high level of self-actualisation, you must be zealous in your search for freedom.

Get guidance from mentors

A mentor is someone who is willing to assist you to accomplish something that he or she has already achieved. Having this level of guidance from a person who has attained the prize of financial freedom will be essential as there are so many pitfalls and challenges that might hinder you along your journey.

While you may not know a wealthy person who is accessible to give you advice, you can still receive mentorship lessons by reading books and surfing online. Identify someone who has succeeded in creating the lifestyle you desire, and research details on the steps they took to attain their objectives.

In the business and financial world, there are many icons who have weathered the storms and share their stories of trials and triumphs. Some of the money mentors who have inspired me over the years include Suze OrmanDave RamseyRobert Kiyosaki and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank fame.

Mentors can help to motivate you to persevere along your journey; but in the long run, it will be the strength of your own desire to attain financial freedom and your willingness to overcome all obstacles in your way that will allow you to be successful in your quest.