The Secret to Financial Freedom
If we think of money as freedom, does it change our relationship?
There's a pair of slipper I want at REI. Actually, there are a few dozen things I want at REI, but this pair of slippers is perfect. With a sturdy sole for outdoor wear, and a bootie cut to keep my ankles warm, they are everything my winter wardrobe dreams are made of. But I won't buy them.
When I was sick, I hid among my things, and shopping, like so many Americans, was my hobby.
I have aversion to extra things. A few years ago, things were all I wanted. When I was sick, I hid among my things, and shopping, like so many Americans, was my hobby. But things changed. My priorities shifted, and the anxiety of dealing with all of my stuff was overwhelming. So now I own less, and consider the true cost of all things.
In our society, money creates freedom. Money affords of the luxury of good schools, safe neighborhoods, quality food, whatever we want.
In our society, money creates freedom. Money affords of the luxury of good schools, safe neighborhoods, quality food, whatever we want. Or, if we don't have money, our access to luxuries is denied. So, when money equates to freedom, where is it best spent?
So, when money equates to freedom, where is it best spent?
I consider my purchases in values of freedom. Are those adorable slippers with blanket stitching on the toe worth $80 of my freedom? Maybe. If this were up to Marie Kondo, they would definitely bring me joy. But, is this the best way to spend my freedom? For $80 I could pay for a BodyTalk session. Or pay for an eighth of tuition. Or even buy myself 7 books from my Amazon wish list. Of if I get real crazy, I could save the $80 for something that really matters. Sure, I would wear these beautiful slippers. I would love them. They might even get a name because I love personification. But the idea of finding a place to store them at the end of the night gives me anxiety. I own more shoes than I need. My current slippers are perfectly lovely. Therefore, the decision is made, I value my $80 of freedom more than I value the slippers. Boom. Money managed.
It's especially hard around the holidays to put money is perspective. Our culture is conditioned to buy. To give, sure, but most importantly to buy. How does our freedom stay intact during the season of giving? How do we find balance? I like to weigh the worth of my freedom, and the burden of a gift on someone else. I've given up on frivolous presents. They aren't worth any of my bank accounts freedom or the space in someone's apartment. I aim for gifts with meaning in which the loss of freedom balances with the value brought to the receiver. Will it bring them joy? Hopefully.
Money is complicated. Our society has so many hangups around having and not having it. It's a daily waste of our attention. But, do I secretly hope Santa will leave those slippers for me under the tree? Sure. I'm an American, hoping for things is in our blood. Do I also hope he forgets to bring me anything at all? You bet. Because freedom is a tricky thing. We value it most when it is gone.
Do you have tips for managing money? Does your perspective help control your financial freedom? Tell me about it in the comments!