We talk about how to manage money and think about money very often. But when last did you think about the why of working better with your money? Let’s do that today.
Anne Wilson, who also calls herself the Wealth Chef, inspired this article with her explanation of the four freedoms that money gives us. “Why is it worth our while to do the hard money work and practice financial discipline?” is a question Anne asks. She says because the reward is four freedoms that make life a pleasure.
- Freedom of time
This freedom means that you get to spend your time doing the things that give you joy and energy. Examples include doing a job you love, having free time after work and over weekends to do your hobbies or hang out with friends and family, or just relax and read a good book instead of working overtime to earn more money. Freedom of time can also include whether you choose to commute to an office every day or prefer to work remotely.
- Freedom of location
When you have this freedom, you can live, work, and play in places where you love to be. Then you don’t have to live in a township or in the suburbs (or in a mine village or far away from your family) because you have no choice – you then live there because you choose to. Where do you go on holiday? To the only place you can afford, or to the place you really want to be?
- Freedom of association
This is a big one! If you don’t need a sugar daddy’s money, you don’t have to hang out with him. If you can pay your own way on a night out, you don’t have to spend your time with people you don’t really like just because they buy the drinks. With this freedom, you can hang out with people you love and respect, people who lift you up and support you to become the best version of yourself you can be.
- Freedom of purpose
When you don’t have to work just to put food on the table every day, you can do the work you love and make the world a better place. For example, if being a manager or an accountant or a miner or a payroll clerk makes you happy, then you already have this freedom. If it doesn’t, then you can never earn enough money to make up for unhappiness in your job.
Now, you might be thinking that it will never be possible for you to have any of these freedoms, let alone all of them. But that’s not true. You don’t have to be a multimillionaire to have these freedoms.
The starting point is to understand how each of these freedoms looks for you: where would you live if it could be anywhere? What work would you? Who will you spend your time with – both at work and at home? The next step is to start making small changes to bring those freedoms about.
For example, if your purpose is to help children, find a place where you can volunteer your time and skills for a few hours on the weekend. Or, if you need a new skill to do a different job, spend your time and money to acquire it. If you feel you never have time because you are always working, make notes of exactly what you do every day to help you identify pockets of time that you can use differently.
Money is not an end in itself – it is a tool to help us live the life we really want. Instead of becoming a slave to money, let it work for you to create your freedom.