How to Be Financially Independent – And Why You’re Probably Not There Yet

The following is a guest post about financial independence. If interested in submitting a guest post please read my guest post policy and then contact me.

Do you want to work … forever?

REALLY. I mean all the way up until you die?

I realize that’s a terrible way to start off a blog post, but it’s time for a little In-Your-Face TOUGH LOVE!

Lots of people talk about how they’d like to make more money or have a better job. But that’s not really the secret to getting rich or getting any closer to no longer having to work. Learning how to be financially independent is a talent that very few people truly understand. But for those who do, it’s magnificent.

And that’s what I want for you. So listen up, and help me help you achieve financial freedom.

How to Be Financially Independent – For Real!

First of all you have to realize that wealth is what you have, not what you earn.

For example, a person making $500,000 per year could have less wealth than a person who makes $50,000. How? Suppose the $500K earner spends $400K of their income every year on whatever while the $50K earner only spends $25K per year. One is saving an average of 10% of their income while the other is saving 50%.

• Who do you think will run out of money first?
• Who do you think will be able to sustain their lifestyle for longer?
• Who do you think will actually be able to achieve financial independence first?

If you said the $50K earner, then you’d be correct.

The golden rule of personal finance is:

Income > Expenses

(I bet you didn’t know if was so scientific!)

Living paycheck to paycheck is how most people tend to live, and it’s a complete recipe for disaster. The larger the difference between your income and your expenses, the better!

Focus on Income – Lots of Income!

So while you might be able to focus on a few stand-out “expenses” and reduce them down a little bit, a more savvy person will focus on how they can grow the “income” side of that equation.

Why? Because while you may be able to lower your expenses, you’ll never be able to bring them down all the way to zero. Sure you can and should keep them as low as possible. But at some point you have a quality of life you need to maintain.

On the income side of the equation, the possibilities are limitless!!

How can I make such an outlandish claim? Because you have to realize that income can come in many shapes and forms.

Your income is NOT limited by your job.

No, really! It’s true. You are NOT limited by how much money you earn (even though that’s how most of us will only ever think of our finances).

It could actually be so much more.

Your income could come from:

Other side jobs.
• Investments you own.
• Other assets or businesses that you own.
• Any number of passive income methods.

The smart ones among us focus on any number of these opportunities as a way to achieve financial independence.

For example, you probably already know that you have to save for retirement. But do you know why or what the goal is?

In theory if you were able to save $1,000,000, then you should be able to withdraw $40,000 from that pile of cash each year for the rest of your life. That means never having to work again!

Think about how awesome that could be!

You’d essentially be creating a money machine that pumps out income for the rest of your days.

But absolutely none of that is ever going to happen until you start planning. None of this is ever going to materialize until you put together a plan and actually follow through with it. It’s not necessarily enough to know how to be financially independent, but you actually have to LIVE that plan each and every day. You have to participate at it and make it work – sometimes even when you don’t want to. I don’t care if you start saving for retirement at 30 or 40 or whenever. You have to start somewhere, and the best time is now!

So don’t be a chump. Be the man. Make yourself rich, and achieve financial independence. It’s only your life!

Author Bio: This post comes from Financial Debauchery, a money blog that tackles personal finance issues with a sense of humor.