financial freedom http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12173/all en-US 6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You're Debt-Free http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_carefree_smile_000074865831.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways life is wonderful when debt-free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people think debt is the norm rather than the exception. To each his own. Just know that this type of mindset can become dangerous, especially if you develop the habit of financing anything and everything.</p> <p>Credit cards and other loans can put what you want within financial reach, but a life without debt can be rewarding. Here are six ways life is frickin' awesome when you're not burdened by a negative net worth.</p> <h2>1. You Have the Freedom to Work Less</h2> <p>The more debt you have, the more you have to work to keep up with monthly payments. Whether it's a house payment, a car payment, or credit cards, debt holds your freedom hostage and keeps you stuck in a career or job you don't like. Think of how great life could be if you had fewer bills. Rather than working a 40- or 50-hour week, you might get by working only 20 or 30 hours a week. With fewer financial pressures, you can quit a high-stress job and find satisfying work, although you might earn less.</p> <h2>2. You Can Retire While You're Still Young</h2> <p>Even if you know the importance of early retirement planning, debt can limit how much you stash for the future. Eliminating needless debt and reducing monthly expenses frees up disposable cash, allowing you to grow your retirement account faster. A sizable account might be the difference between working into your 60s and retiring young while you're still healthy and energetic. And that's not even considering how good the &quot;everybody envies me&quot; factor is gonna feel.</p> <h2>3. You Can Finally Have a &quot;Real&quot; Savings Account</h2> <p>Not only can debt-free living boost your retirement account, there's also an opportunity to grow your personal fund. Imagine what you could do with a &quot;real&quot; savings account. I'm not talking about $500 or $1,000, but rather tens of thousands of dollars. This is money that can be used for an emergency, home improvements, investments, or a good time. You can take a much-needed (and deserved; do you, boo!) vacation or deal with home repairs without relying on a credit card.</p> <p>If you're struggling to build your personal account, be honest and consider whether your lack of savings has anything to do with debt payments eating up your extra cash. If you could eliminate $1,000 a month in debt payments (between credit cards, student loans, and automobile loans), you could save $12,000 in just one year.</p> <h2>4. You Will Become a Smarter Spender</h2> <p>I've learned something from my own experience with debt: It is easier to accumulate new debt when I already have debt. Whenever I have a zero balance on my credit card, I'm more cautious and conscious of how I spend my money and use the card. I'll second-guess or rethink the smallest purchases. It doesn't matter if it's only $5 or $10, I'll wait until I have cash to avoid using the card. But the moment I give in and use the card, I stop second-guessing myself and I continue using the card.</p> <p>I've had debt discussions with others and found that some people feel the same. Maybe it's just our experiences, or maybe there's a connection between existing debt and new debt. Either way, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">getting rid of debt</a> can make you more aware of your spending habits. Debt elimination can be a long process. Reflecting on the effort it took to become debt free (and the benefits) is motivation to remain debt free.</p> <h2>5. You Will Experience Less Financial Anxiety</h2> <p>Debt keeps you enslaved to a bank. And sometimes, the amount you owe can heighten your anxiety level. This might be the case if payments stretch your budget beyond a comfortable limit. If you get into hot water, you could lie awake worrying about late payments, a damaged credit score, or collection calls. On the other hand, when you live within your means and don't rely on financing, you enjoy an inner calm and better financial security. When you own your stuff outright, you don't have to worry about anybody taking your items, unless, of course, you fail to pay taxes on your home or car. Then, well, you better hide.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Have to Pay to Borrow</h2> <p>One of the best things about avoiding debt is that you avoid interest. Interest is the cost of borrowing, and most banks charge some form of interest when you take out a loan or use a credit card. The longer you carry the balance, the more interest you pay, which can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the amount financed.</p> <p>Borrowers with superb credit may qualify for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases">0% financing</a> for furniture, credit cards, or automobiles. But these promotions are short-lived and only beneficial if you pay off the balance during the introductory rate period. If not, interest kicks in. In the case of financing furniture, if you miss a payment or don't pay off the balance during the promotion period, you could end up paying retroactive interest. All this equates to extra money you're spending for which you have nothing to show. A fool's game, for sure. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">When to Use a 0% Balance Transfer to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p><em>What would you do if you were debt free? Travel? Retire? Throw the party to end all parties? Let's talk about it in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all">Goal Setting: Getting Out of Debt Once and For All</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-debt-free-getting-by-in-the-new-economy">Beyond Debt-Free: Getting By in the New Economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youve-crossed-from-healthy-debt-to-problem-debt">8 Signs You&#039;ve Crossed From &quot;Healthy&quot; Debt to &quot;Problem&quot; Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Lifestyle borrowing debt free early retirement financial freedom net worth savings Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1691580 at http://www.wisebread.com Voluntary Slavery http://www.wisebread.com/voluntary-slavery <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/voluntary-slavery" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lincoln-sculpture.jpg" alt="Lincoln" title="Lincoln" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you think of slavery, you probably think of the brutal and violent sort of slavery, such as existed in the United States until the Civil War. But voluntary (or semi-voluntary) slavery has existed since ancient times. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">Wage Slave, Debt Slave</a>)</p> <p>In the minds of most people, slavery is defined by violence. Slaves were taken by force, held by force and compelled to work by force. But long before the present day there has been slavery with less violence. For example, the Bible provides a thoroughly worked-out set of rules for semi-voluntary slavery, under which the head of the family could sell family members into slavery to cover the family's debts. (The rules provided that you couldn't sell family members into perpetual slavery. They had to be given their freedom within no more than seven years.)</p> <p>Even indentured servitude &mdash; a particular kind of voluntary slavery &mdash; used the threat of violence to compel labor, with police power used to keep people from reneging on their agreement to serve.</p> <p>What I find so striking about society today is that we've just about gotten rid of the violence without getting rid of the slavery.</p> <p>When I've talked about wage slavery and debt slavery before, I've gotten some criticism &mdash; &quot;It isn't slavery if it's voluntary!&quot; But I don't think that's true. As I said, voluntary slavery has existed since Old Testament times at least. But I don't want to argue about whether what we have now should be called slavery. I want to argue that, whatever we call it, it's an evil system. It's bad for the people who are trapped in it, and it is bad for the rest of us.</p> <p>It's not the violence that makes slavery evil, so the evil does not disappear just because the violence has been (mostly) withdrawn. In the run-up to the civil war, there was a lot of propaganda to support slavery. One large category used images of &quot;kindly masters&quot; and &quot;happy slaves&quot; to disguise the brutality of the system. But that kind of propaganda never worked, because slavery is evil even without brutality. The true evil of slavery is that it denies people their freedom.</p> <p>And yet, my critics have a point. Why should I complain about other people's voluntary choices?</p> <p>I guess I complain for two reasons.</p> <p>First, it makes me sad to watch. Sure, there are many who do fine in the system. The people I used to work with &mdash; software engineers, mainly &mdash; did pretty well. They led very comfortable lives, and their job skills meant that they were less trapped than many others &mdash; if something about their current job didn't suit, they could always find another that paid about as well. Others &mdash; most others &mdash; did not do so well.</p> <p>But the pain of having to stand by and watch as people lock themselves into the gentle chains of wages and debt is only the smaller part of the reason I complain.</p> <p>The bigger reason is that <em>we all suffer</em> when people aren't free. When people are dependent, they are constrained from doing what's right.</p> <p>This was Thomas Jefferson's point when he wanted a nation of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-the-independent-yeoman">yeoman farmers</a>. If you're beholden to the bosses, managers, owners, and financiers, you're constrained from following your own best judgment. At some level, you're always considering the interests and desires of your employer, your banker &mdash; and the government, which is all the more necessary, because its rules are all that protect you from the bosses and the financiers.</p> <p>Voluntary slavery is nothing new. But even voluntary slavery is evil.</p> <p><em>Editor's Note: The views shared by one writer does not reflect the views of all writers on Wise Bread.&nbsp;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/voluntary-slavery">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">Wage slave, debt slave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear">A Society of Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money">6 Things You Can Look Forward to When You Have Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom">Making Personal Finance Fun while Fighting for Financial Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget">Financial Freedom and Using Passion to Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt slave financial freedom wage slavery Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:00:18 +0000 Philip Brewer 860802 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Can Look Forward to When You Have Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple2.jpg" alt="Happy couple" title="Happy couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You work hard to make money, create multiple income streams, and live below your means, which allows you to diligently save every month. At a certain point, you will accumulate enough money to be financially free. But then what? What really happens when you finally reach a goal that you've worked years, perhaps even decades for? For those of you close to your goal, or on track enough to start thinking about this, here's what you can look forward to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget">Financial Freedom and Using Passion to Budget</a>)</p> <h3>1. You Can Ignore Individual Costs As Long As You Focus on the Big Picture</h3> <p>Finally, you can breathe a little easier, because even if you don't plan to start reducing your nest egg by withdrawing from it, you can at least start using some of your surplus every month.</p> <p>As a fellow frugal person, I know all too well the difficulty in picking the more luxurious option when you believe that the lowest cost version will do. A trick you can try is to start ignoring the price (yes, this is not a typo!) and actually buying the option that you want once in a while. Don't do this for everything, of course. In order to still be responsible, you should set a monthly limit on these &quot;lifestyle expenses&quot; and remember that as long as you don't go over the set budget every month, it's perfectly okay to live a little.</p> <h3>2. You Can Take Less Risk</h3> <p>Once you feel financially secure, it isn't a bad idea to be more conservative with your investments than most people recommend. Many high-net-worth individuals simply wouldn't put a huge amount of their wealth in the stock market even if they were decades away from retirement because they just don't need the extra performance.</p> <p>If you can live off the interest from a high-yield online savings account, why would you want to risk your capital and try to get 8% in the long term, but potentially suffer 50% losses? Sure, you can feel even more wealthy, but is the stress really necessary?</p> <h3>3. You Can Look Long-Term</h3> <p>The more money you have, the more you can take advantage of what's best for you long-term. Paying cash (or financing at an extremely low interest rate) can be financially more responsible than leasing a car for instance, but you need to have the cash on hand first. Investing in the stock market is theoretically more advantageous in the long-run, but you better have the luxury of not needing that money in the short-term. And quitting your job to further your education so you can make even more money in the future? That's simply an opportunity only people with the financial means can make, which is now you.</p> <h3>4. You Can Work Less</h3> <p>There is a sizable portion of our population who simply love what they do, but let's face it &mdash; the majority of us work simply because we need that paycheck. And even if we love our work, we can probably find enjoyment by working fewer hours every week. When you have the means, you can start planning your way to a much more enjoyable work environment.</p> <h3>5. You Can Be More Generous to Those Around You</h3> <p>When you are generous, you will truly start seeing your quality of life. You can start tipping more at restaurants, be more generous with gifts for your loved ones, and even help your relatives start a business. Even the most ungrateful person will appreciate your generosity to a degree, and if anything, they will be nicer to you too!</p> <h3>6. You Can Donate to Charity</h3> <p>And you can extend this generosity to people you don't directly interact with by giving some money away to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">charity</a> as well. When you donate, you feel great too. The power of giving is almost magical, but the best way to understand the feeling is to try it yourself.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-six-figures-really-that-much">Is Six Figures Really That Much?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom">Making Personal Finance Fun while Fighting for Financial Freedom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Lifestyle extra money financial freedom generosity Thu, 05 May 2011 10:25:13 +0000 David Ning 535416 at http://www.wisebread.com I'm Financially Free. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/im-financially-free-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/im-financially-free-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3877311265_afea43b8d3.jpg" alt="relaxing" title="relaxing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Freedom is hardly a bad plateau to reach, but if you are like most people in that you've been thinking about that carrot all your life, you probably wish the dream wouldn't be gone once you actually reached your noble goal.</p> <p>So what do you do now that you are financially free? Here are some suggestions you can pursue immediately.</p> <p><strong>De-stress your life.</strong> Chances are good that you spent a good few decades complicating your life, working longer hours while trying to get rid of your debt, and monitoring your investments. Part of the lure of being financially free is also feeling less stressed out about the need for income, but this can only be achieved if you let it.</p> <p><strong>Slowly transition out of your work.</strong> While being connected in the workplace can be satisfying and will help keep you mentally sharp, working 12+ hours every day and thinking about work for the rest of time, seven days of every week is no way to enjoy freedom. Consider part-time or consulting work instead. You might be lucky to find something that will pay you more per hour of work.</p> <p><strong>Hire a financial planner</strong>, and accept that your return may not be as good as if you did everything yourself. After all, not needing to stay on top of your investments is worth the money, and it's actually what you wanted right from the get-go anyway, right?</p> <p><strong>Pick up a hobby.</strong> It's never too late to start getting into what you believe you will enjoy. There's a certain addiction that comes with seeing yourself improve in a certain activity, and picking up a hobby that you can spend time experimenting with will only make you happier. If you do it right, you can make your hobby deductible, too.</p> <p><strong>Consider donating some of what you have.</strong> If you haven't already started doing this, making donations is a great way to help others as well as yourself. And it doesn't stop with money, either. Anyone can donate a few bucks to charity, but if you can volunteer and put in the hard work to put a smile on someone else's face, that's priceless. Helping others will always make you feel happier and more satisfied with your own life, too. It really doesn't get better than this.</p> <p><strong>Relationships, relationships, relationships.</strong> If you are like most people, you could use a little help improving your social relationships because you've neglected them due to everything that life throws at you. Even if you have good relationships with a group of friends, you can always find more! Now that you have a bit more free time (and some extra cash), why not spend some of that and rebuild lost relationships?</p> <p><em>Note: Now, I'm not saying that you can actually buy relationships with money, but creative uses of your cash can certainly help build a bond between you and your friends.</em></p> <p><strong>Mentor someone.</strong> Whether it's a young professional trying to climb the corporate ladder or a little kid trying to fit into the world around him, there are plenty of opportunities for you to offer your experience and love.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-financially-free-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-independence-is-more-than-just-a-number">Financial Independence Is More Than Just a Number</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-actually-be-spending-on-a-date">How Much Should You Actually Be Spending on a Date?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/balancing-living-in-the-now-with-planning-for-the-future">Balancing Living in the Now With Planning for the Future</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement financial freedom relationships Thu, 14 Oct 2010 13:00:06 +0000 David Ning 260229 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial Independence Is More Than Just a Number http://www.wisebread.com/financial-independence-is-more-than-just-a-number <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-independence-is-more-than-just-a-number" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/140387211_22aab0f9b4_z.jpg" alt="numbers" title="numbers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When do you think you've made it to the land of financial freedom?</p> <p>Financial independence was a goal of mine when I started MoneyNing.com in 2007. Back then, I thought of the goal as a number. &quot;When I have a million dollars in the bank, I'd be all set...&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-toward-financial-independence" title="5 Steps Toward Financial Independence">5 Steps Toward Financial Independence</a>)</p> <p>Then I started writing, thinking, and talking about money matters on a daily basis, and that number changed. Sometimes, all the glamorous advertisements and a few impulse purchases would prompt me to increase this number. Other times, I would be reminded that material happiness is just temporary relief and I would lower the number.</p> <p>It slowly occurred to me that financial independence isn't merely hitting a number, but being in the right state of mind. Some people can't retire until they have $12 million in retirement funds, while others can live on $300,000. The difference has nothing to do with the ability to <a href="http://couponshoebox.com/">find coupons</a>, but it has everything to do with their expectations.</p> <p>The funny thing is that I probably know more happy people who don't have oodles of money than satisfied, wealthy people. This may sound counter-intuitive, but the more money people have, the more money they seem to need. Of course, the money is not for survival purposes; they want more because they compare. Wealthy people are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/biggest-money-saving-tip-move-far-away-from-the-joneses" title="Biggest Money Saving Tip: Move Far Away from the Joneses">exposed to more luxury</a>, and they subsequently want more. They see ultra expensive <em>stuff</em>, and they want everything.</p> <p>Every company is out there trying to get more sales. No matter how much money you have, you won't have enough to buy everything out there. If you keep chasing, you will always need to run. You cannot win.</p> <h2>What Is Financial Independence</h2> <p>It is very easy to look at our assets and see if we can meet a certain retirement number that a financial article would cite, but honestly, who cares what someone else's number is?</p> <p>If you have $1 million in retirement funds right now, have your house paid off and have expenses of less than $1,000 a month, why does it matter that someone else thinks they need $3 million to retire?</p> <p>On the other hand, if your expenses are $20,000 a month and you have $3 million, of course you can't retire yet. You need way more than what you have. And you know what? I bet the other guy with $1 million is happier than you, too.</p> <h2>It's All Based on You</h2> <p>Financial independence is not needing to base your living decisions on financial constraints. You can achieve freedom with more money or less spending. Which road you decide to take is entirely up to you.</p> <p>Just realize that once you reach a certain level of income, keeping your spending in check is a much easier way to keep up.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-independence-is-more-than-just-a-number">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-the-lottery-without-paying-a-penny-for-the-ticket">How to Win the Lottery Without Paying a Penny for the Ticket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-money-really-buy-happiness">Does Money Really Buy Happiness?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-financially-free-now-what">I&#039;m Financially Free. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development Retirement behavior financial freedom financial independence income money philosophy Tue, 21 Sep 2010 13:00:11 +0000 David Ning 242657 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Win the Lottery Without Paying a Penny for the Ticket http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-the-lottery-without-paying-a-penny-for-the-ticket <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-win-the-lottery-without-paying-a-penny-for-the-ticket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3047006771_a9cbf5d2e9_z.jpg" alt="lottery money jar" title="lotter money jar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>What would you do if you won the Lottery?</strong></p> <p>That's a great question. One that we've ALL fantasized about at least once and probably have let our imaginations go wild in at least one conversation with friends or family. I'm not talking about scratch and win lotto tickets here. I'm talking about the big kahuna.</p> <p>I'm talking about the <strong>SUPER MEGA GIGANTIC POWER BALL EXTRAVAGANZA!</strong></p> <p>You're probably in the stark minority if you haven't at least played that game once. After all, it's completely justified! You could, no, you <strong>should</strong> be that 1-in-500,000,000 because you've worked hard your whole life and nobody deserves it like you do &mdash; so what's another dollar, or two, or five?</p> <p>Let's get back to that dream for a second...</p> <h2>The Lottery Dream Fantasy</h2> <p>When we have our lottery fantasies, the conversation often revolves around what we would buy. It might look something like this:</p> <ul> <li>My custom dream house</li> <li>A Ferrari and a pimped out Escalade</li> <li>That sailboat that I've always wanted</li> <li>A butler (is Mr. Belvedere looking for work?)</li> </ul> <p>And if we fear we're starting to look a little self-centered in our discussion, we might throw in a few things like...</p> <ul> <li>A <a title="Are You Saving For Your Child's College Education?" href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-saving-for-your-childs-college-education">college education</a> for all of my grandchildren</li> <li>A new house for my parents</li> <li>I'd give a big chunk of it to charity</li> </ul> <h2>The Financial Freedom Dream</h2> <p>In a lot of cases, the dream simply boils down to:</p> <ul> <li>I'd do nothing</li> <li>I'd pay off my debts</li> <li>I'd live off the interest</li> <li>And I would never have to work for anyone else again</li> </ul> <p>On the surface, that sounds great, right? Then why do so many retirees who could comfortably live off their pension or other retirement savings choose to keep on working? They've earned their Lottery ticket, damn it!! Be lazy and go enjoy the precious little time you have left!! (See also: <a title="The 10-Step Staircase to a Comfortable Retirement" href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-step-staircase-to-a-comfortable-retirement">The 10-Step Staircase to a Comfortable Retirement</a>)</p> <p>They keep working because they like what they do, or they like what it does for them. They might get paid, they might not &mdash; but they are still active and productive members of society. They are not sitting in their gated mansion in a dark room counting their dollars.</p> <h2>The Lottery Trick</h2> <p>The reason many of us get suckered into the Lottery fantasy and buying those tickets is because we've bought into the dream. But can all that money and the resulting &quot;stuff&quot; that you buy really bring you the happiness that you're hoping for? Probably not. Countless studies have show that those who are rich are not any happier then those with lesser means, so we should know by now that the &quot;stuff&quot; will not buy us happiness.</p> <p>And we should also know by now that those who can afford not to work for others and end up doing nothing with themselves usually end up being miserable as well.</p> <p>But financial freedom and the choice to actively do what we want with our lives? Sign me up for that.</p> <p>Here's the thing. You don't need a lottery ticket to buy you that. You need to adapt to a lifestyle that will permit that. A lifestyle that results in your making more money than you are spending (and hopefully putting a little bit away for later in life when you aren't physically or mentally able to continue working). And the less you spend on lottery tickets and buying into that false hope, the more you can save and focus on buying your freedom.</p> <h3>5 things you can do today to start buying your ticket</h3> <p>Admittedly, these are as simple as they can be, by design. Realistic goals that we all can accomplish with a little work.</p> <ol> <li>Make more than you spend.</li> <li>Pay off your debts.</li> <li>Spend your time doing what you enjoy doing and get paid for it if you need it.</li> <li>Be kind and helpful to others.</li> <li>Remember this: You only live once. So live that way.</li> </ol> <p>Accomplish all five and it might just make those Lottery tickets a little less appealing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-the-lottery-without-paying-a-penny-for-the-ticket">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quarterlife-crisis-what-is-it">Quarterlife Crisis! What is It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-want-to-be-happy-then-heres-what-you-need-to-do">Do You &quot;Want&quot; to Be Happy? Then Here&#039;s What You Need to Do.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-independence-is-more-than-just-a-number">Financial Independence Is More Than Just a Number</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development financial freedom happiness lottery Tue, 31 Aug 2010 13:00:08 +0000 G.E. Miller 223406 at http://www.wisebread.com Making Personal Finance Fun while Fighting for Financial Freedom http://www.wisebread.com/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/20somethingfinance.jpg" alt="financial freedom" title="financial freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is my introductory post as a WiseBread staff writer. And I must admit, coming up with a topic was somewhat of a daunting task. I've been blogging for over two and a half years over at <a target="_self" href="http://20somethingfinance.com">20somethingfinance.com</a>, but I'm not running out of ideas. I just wanted my first Wise Bread post to be something special, you know?</p> <p>So I sat down with a pen and a blank piece of paper and started jotting down ideas. There were the &quot;top 5 list&quot; ideas, the &quot;7 reasons why&quot; ideas, oh, and a few of the &quot;things your (fill in the blank with any professional who comes in contact with your money) doesn't want you to know&quot; posts. Nothing felt 'BIG' enough though.</p> <p>Instead, I decided to scrap it all and give my story of how I got into this crazy world of personal finance blogging in the first place and where I'm at philosophically on how personal finance is symbiotic with quality of life. If you think you can relate, I'd encourage you to subscribe to my <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller/blog/feed">Wise Bread feed</a> or check out my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">Wise Bread page</a> for future posts.</p> <p><strong>Starting at the Bottom</strong></p> <p>Through college and a good portion of my twenties, I was obsessed with money. I graduated at a time when the economy was stagnant and nobody was particularly interested in hiring someone with a generic business degree like marketing who had no real-world work experience. So I unsuccessfully applied for over 200 jobs that I should have had a realistic chance at. FINALLY, after one year some schmuck offered me a sales job. It was a low profile sales job that didn't require a college degree, but I didn't care. I was tired of living at home and being broke. I took the job, worked hard, performed well, and after 10 months I was promoted to manage five co-workers and a three state territory.</p> <p>One day after my promotion, I turned down the higher income and quit that job to enter the idealist non-profit world, where I stayed for three years. The low profile sales job and move to the non-profit sector resulted in me making no more than $40,000 a year for the first 5 years post graduation. At the same time, I decided to buy a house with a 15-year mortgage, finance a car, and pay for a wedding (and engagement ring) two years into that. Plus, my wife had $20,000 in student loan debt. Aye!</p> <p><strong>An Intense Focus on Finances</strong></p> <p>With my inability to make financial gains on income alone, I had become INTENSELY focused on my personal finances. I had no wiggle room for error, and very little savings to show for all of the hard work I was putting in to my career.</p> <p>I began to read a lot of personal finance books and magazines and became somewhat of a self-taught personal finance guru (at least amongst my closes friends and family). With this intense focus on finances, bordering on the brink of obsession, I started to realize that the non-profit salary wasn't bringing me any closer to my goals. I didn't really have the first inclination of what those goals were. I just knew that I wasn't getting any closer to them.</p> <p><strong>Finally, Some Breathing Room!</strong></p> <p>So I left the wonderful world of non-profit work to take a job with a big corporation, increased my salary by 50% overnight, and started <a target="_self" href="http://20somethingfinance.com">20somethingfinance</a> having never so much as even read another personal finance blog with the idea that I could join two hobbies - writing and personal finance.</p> <p>I had to sell my house and move to a more expensive home near my new job so my mortgage and property taxes were higher, but the jump in income more than made up for it. I finally had wiggle room!</p> <p>So, what did I do?</p> <p>This is the part of the story where you may be expecting me to say that I spent it all and went back to ground zero. I didn't. I had learned to live on a lower income, and with the financial hardship behind me, I&nbsp;was grateful to finally be saving money towards undefined future goals.</p> <p><strong>Saving for Saving's Sake</strong></p> <p>We're back to this goal thing. A lot of people save a lot of money for the future. Many of them die without ever spending a dime of it. So that's what I started doing - saving for the future with no real goal in mind other than that I wanted to pay off my house and retire someday. I was saving money for the sake of saving for future goals that were decades away. I was in good financial standing, relatively speaking, but something didn't feel right. The money had no real value in my life. The goals were too distant. I hadn't really enjoyed any of my jobs because I was viewing them as a means to an undefined end. I was in a rut.</p> <p><strong>Finding Purpose in Personal Finance</strong></p> <p>Then a funny thing started happening. I started to enjoy writing about personal finance. Better yet, I&nbsp;started enjoying personal finance. The 'game' was becoming fun. That car I financed? I sold it via Craigslist for the same amount that I bought it for two years earlier and started taking the bus to work. The mortgage? I started looking at it as a goal to pay it off in a few years time versus 15 years. Grocery bill? Cut it in half. Cell phone bill? Cut it in half as well. I started to become <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Phil Brewer</a> before I even knew who Phil Brewer was.</p> <p><strong>Defining a Realistic Goal Made Personal Finance Fun for the First Time<br /> </strong></p> <p>With short-term goals in sight, personal finance became fun for the first time. And while I was having fun, my blog started making a little side income. It was then that my longer-term goal started to become crystal clear: limit my monthly expenses to the point that I feel the freedom to do whatever I want to do for income. To leave the rat race, if I so choose. With that goal realistically in sight, life has taken on a little bit of extra meaning. There's a little bit of added passion in all of the work that I do now and in the financial decisions that I&nbsp;make.</p> <p>So that's where I'm at - on the brink of something that I've passionately been fighting for - and as motivated as ever to get there. I have a plan to get there. I'm sure it's not flawless, and I'm also sure I'll fall on my face along the way, but my writing will be geared towards the execution of that plan, and hopefully it will bring us both one step closer to that ultimate goal. I'll be chronicling my journey to get there on my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">WiseBread page</a> and on <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com">20somethingfinance</a>.</p> <p>That's my story. What about yours?&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-personal-finance-fun-while-fighting-for-financial-freedom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-young-entrepreneur-paid-off-40000-in-student-debt-by-age-24">How One Young Entrepreneur Paid Off $40,000 in Student Debt By Age 24</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money">6 Things You Can Look Forward to When You Have Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget">6 Old School Tools to Help You Stay on Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Personal Development financial freedom financial goals personal finance Tue, 17 Aug 2010 12:00:06 +0000 G.E. Miller 205847 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial Freedom and Using Passion to Budget http://www.wisebread.com/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_4637_1.JPG" alt="financial freedom" title="financial freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Increasing numbers of people are in serious debt and seeking <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-debt-management">debt management</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-counseling-when-you-need-it-and-when-you-dont">debt settlement</a> services. Although at first blush you would suppose that it has to do with job loss and poor economic climate, the vast majority of these people are actually high income-earners, with good jobs. What gives? Where is the financial freedom we all are striving toward? I would like to suggest that it&rsquo;s more achievable than we realize.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s tough to live in our consumer-driven society these days. Societal undercurrents tell us to buy, buy, buy. Buy the latest technological gadget, because it will make you more productive (and happy). Buy the latest fashion, because it will make you look and feel good (and happy). And buy your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte">daily latte</a> at the local coffee shop, because it&rsquo;s delicious, chic, and tasty (and it will make you happy).</p> <p>If you are vulnerable to these pressures (and we all are &mdash; I&rsquo;m certainly not impervious), then before you know it, you&rsquo;ll have overspent, even if you have good incoming cash flow. Next thing you know, you&rsquo;re unhappy and in debt.</p> <p>So how do we manage these pressures? I believe the trick is to have a passion. <strong>If we are undirected, we are susceptible to all the external forces of consumerism around us</strong>, and whamo, we&rsquo;re a full-on rat in the race, wondering when the wheel will stop spinning or how we can get off the ride.</p> <h2>Financial Freedom</h2> <p>What is your definition of financial freedom? Contrary to popular opinion, I don&rsquo;t believe it has to do with making more money (because the more you make, the more you spend), or having a certain balance in your bank account. Financial freedom is rarely about spending the rest of your days on a beach sipping tropical drinks with fancy umbrellas in them. (As nice as that would be, it gets old pretty quickly).</p> <p>My current income is a mere fraction of what I made when I was running my financial planning practice. And yet, I have more freedom &mdash; financially and otherwise &mdash; than I ever have. A friend of mine who runs a fledgling business considers himself to be financially free, despite a lack of surplus cash and long hours. And another friend who is a mature law school student by day and working at night says she, too, is more financially free than she ever has been.</p> <p>How can this be? Isn&rsquo;t financial freedom, well, <em>financial</em>?</p> <p>I think the pattern in all three cases is in our passions. We all work long hours, but we love what we do. We are excited to wake up each day (although admittedly my law student friend is a little bleary-eyed). We have direction, and most importantly, we have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all">a goal that makes us sing</a>.</p> <h2>Goal Setting</h2> <p>If you are in debt, setting a goal that is simply to get out of debt isn&rsquo;t exciting enough to achieve easily. With a goal like that, the end-game is nothing more than a bank account with a $0 balance. As much of an achievement getting out of debt may be, a $0 balance is hardly something to dance in the streets about.</p> <p>Instead, the goal needs to be something bigger. Something exciting. Something that gives us butterflies in our stomach.</p> <p>For myself, initially setting the goal of traveling full-time was exciting enough to get me through the obstacles that stood in my way to packing my bags and getting on that airplane. And in continuing on this path over the last three years, my goal of continuing to make my full-time travels financially sustainable keeps me in check.</p> <p>I work long hours sometimes (between volunteering and writing), but I do it from wherever in the world I so choose &mdash; a nomadic life which has been a lifelong dream. Even though my income is almost ten times lower than it once was, I never truly want for anything.</p> <h2>Achieving Financial Freedom</h2> <p>When I was a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner">financial planner</a>, before pulling out balance sheets and working on numbers, the first thing I did was to ask my clients what they want to do with their lives. I challenged them to dream big, and not worry so much about what&rsquo;s &ldquo;realistic&rdquo;. As a result, I helped people move across the world, open businesses, and own properties. Ask any of these people if they initially thought it would be possible, and they would probably laugh and say no.</p> <h2>Using Passion to Budget</h2> <p>Once you set a goal that makes you sing, all of a sudden <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-budget">budgeting</a> becomes a lot easier. As you contemplate that purchase that is supposed to make you happy, the other side of your brain reminds you that the happiness is only temporary (and often unhappy debt is a consequence), and that your real dream could come true if you exercised some restraint. <strong>It&rsquo;s not deprivation; it&rsquo;s prioritization.</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;ll begin to see everything with new eyes. You&rsquo;ll realize you&rsquo;re unwittingly spending money on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need">things you don&rsquo;t need</a>, and all of a sudden you&rsquo;ll start to find money where you didn&rsquo;t think it existed. Depending on the goal and your starting point, the progress may be slow, but if you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">keep the vision in mind</a>, it&rsquo;s amazing how things can fall into place.</p> <p><em><strong>A Passionate Goal + Conscious Spending + a dash of Faith = Financial Freedom.</strong></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-look-forward-to-when-you-have-money">6 Things You Can Look Forward to When You Have Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-you-won-the-lottery-you-would">If You Won The Lottery, You Would...</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Lifestyle financial freedom savings plans Sun, 30 May 2010 16:00:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 104690 at http://www.wisebread.com