Financial Independence Journey
Financial Independence Stages
Start your financial independence journey with our motivational guide. We're all on a journey, but only some of us are willing to create a plan that will help lead to financial freedom.
The first goal was to become debt-free. Then get comfortable. Now, it’s building an empire. With hard work, patience, and a commitment to succeeding, it will happen.
Are you ready to achieve financial freedom?
Hey, what’s going on? You’ve reached the Official Personal Finance Guide! This site will offer a ton of information on achieving financial freedom, making money, and investing your savings wisely through retirement planning, credit management, and more.
In this guide, we’ll learn and review sound practices like saving up cash reserves so that they can be used later down the road during emergencies or other unexpected expenses, to getting your income to work for you and make more money. The sky is the limit for understanding the basic principles of financial literacy in 2023. Of course, I’m not a millionaire and haven’t attained financial freedom yet but I continue moving forward in the right direction and thought I’d share my financial journey with you.
I hope you find what you’re looking for here at MakeManageGrowMoney.com – this is just one stop along our journey as we work towards ultimate success with personal finance skills that will serve us well into the future!
– Adam aka Ace Spencer
Financial Independence Journey
The financial independence journey consists of 7 critical steps or economic life pivots that will change your life. Following this journey won’t guarantee success, but it should help improve your financial literacy knowledge and your chances of being financially secure. The ultimate goal is to create financial independence and, eventually, economic freedom, which could plant the seeds of generational wealth. While some believe financial plans such as Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps are the easiest way to get out of debt and grow your money, we don’t believe any set plan will work for everyone. However, knowing these 7 stages will help you identify where you are in life, and how to get where you’d like to be.
Now the question is, are you taking control of your journey, and are you heading in the right direction?
Hopefully, this personal finance guide can help you move forward towards your goals and dreams on your own unique financial independence journey.
I used to think, “someone who is financially independent doesn’t need to work to support themselves. They have the freedom to live life as they please, whether that means traveling, pursuing artistic projects, or doing volunteer work. The life of someone financially independent is fulfilling and varied.”
But I now believe financial independence is a stage in the financial independence journey that means you are comfortable and control your money and life. When you are financially independent, you may still need to work, but it’s about managing your money so you can also enjoy more of what life has to offer without stressing over bills or debt. It’s partially a mindset and partially dependent on your financial intake vs. your expenses.
Depending on one’s financial and life goals, someone making $150,000 that spends $125,000 may not necessarily be better off than the individual making $70,000 spending $25,000. Read more coming soon…
Financial freedom is the ultimate destination in the financial independence journey. It’s about having control over your time, money, location, and life. When you have attained financial freedom, you could stop working for the rest of your life while still enjoying leisure activities such as traveling, all while relieving yourself of any financial burdens.
Read more coming soon…
7 Stages to Financial Freedom
Seven different stages fit the structure or steps within this financial independence journey framework. Deciding what you want, generating income, managing your money, and economic freedom are different stages of the journey. Now that we have a basic idea of how Financial Freedom is the final stage within the Financial Independence Journey let’s keep it moving to identify where you are in your journey and how we can help you help yourself move forward.
Join Me On A Journey Towards Financial Freedom
This personal finance resource is being designed and launched in real-time. The introduction video at the top of the page gives you some details of the current plan-of-attack, but you will be able to follow stage-by-stage and have a say and influence as I release each one. So, be sure to subscribe to the email list and YouTube channel to get the latest content and info as I update you on this guide every month! Although my current financial independence journey will likely take another 5+ years, I’m hoping to have an official course ready in 2022 at the latest.
You hear financial gurus and entrepreneurial folks talk about “finding your why” all the time. It might seem a bit abstract at first, but there are ways to make it seem much more tangible. For instance, I always like to use a stand-in character. This is someone my readers will be able to relate to as they attempt to comprehend where they are in their journey.
So, let’s say that Mike, our stand-in, knows that he wants to reach financial freedom at some point in his life. He’s frustrated with working for others and doesn’t want to spend his life going from paycheck to paycheck. Well, though these are perfectly fine reasons to want to find financial freedom, they aren’t exactly “whys.”
Why’s are what give Mike’s actions purpose in working towards financial freedom. Examples might be putting food on the table for his family or giving his kids a better chance to succeed. They might even be something as simple as buying his dream car. Either way, your whys anchor your efforts to accomplishable, tangible goals. The more whys you have, the more motivated you’ll be to take the journey!
Though it might seem self-explanatory, the commitment phase is actually one of the most difficult aspects of pursuing financial freedom. You see, most of us are far too distracted by the reality of the world around us to make a lifelong commitment like this. From jobs and relationships to money issues and family problems, life is always throwing things at us that can easily distract us from our financial goals.
This is where Mike needs to learn how to filter out those things that are important from those things that aren’t. In doing so, he will likely identify many areas of his life where he is spending time, energy, or money without any real benefit. This is where he commits to both his journey and to maximizing every second, calorie, and nickel for his whys.
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If you want financial freedom, you’re going to need to generate income. Of course, this income can come from a variety of sources. You can be an entrepreneur, a crypto trader, have a full-time job or be a freelancer, but you need to make money. Luckily, there are tons of opportunities to do so. This is especially true nowadays, where the gig economy is taking the world by storm.
Depending on Mike’s skill set, he may find a home on platforms like Fiverr or TaskRabbit. Otherwise, he might pursue extra work delivering for Doordash or another similar company. The point is, the ways you make money are no longer limited to what your “job” can give you. There’s always more cash waiting to be made!
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Without proper “Financial IQ,” the money you make is always going to be in jeopardy. You see, not only are most of us terrible with budgeting, but we also tend to increase our expenses as our income goes up. That is, if you manage to pick up a side gig that brings in an extra $500 a month, you can’t use that as an excuse to treat yourself to lavish dinners every week.
I truly cannot stress the importance of finding a budget and sticking to it. I know this can be hard, especially for minority families like mine. Luckily, I got a leg up because my Grandfather was particularly great at budgeting. He even managed to own and maintain a two-family house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, despite only earning a modest income driving busses for the MBTA.
At this point, Mike needs to seek out ways to minimize his expenses at all costs. He may turn to the 50/30/20 rule, or perhaps the 80/20 rule or the envelope system. Either way, he needs to automate as much of his bill paying and money management as possible. This is the only way to remove the temptation to spend frivolously.
The other most important aspect of the management stage is starting your emergency savings fund. One can’t move onto the next stage without at least saving $1,000 which is generally a small portion of your emergency savings fund.
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Now that you are making money and have a solid understanding of where your money is going, it’s time to establish a solid foundation. Depending on where you are in your life, i.e., do you own a house and have mortgage payments, have kids, how much debt you have left, what are your goals, etc., you’ll have your work cut out. You’ll want to focus on areas such as insurance, becoming debt-free, and retirement planning. After all, this is where you build a solid and reliable foundation that will support your future growth.