How would you like to be financially free? That is my goal! Recently I completed an excellent energizing six week on-line course on financial literacy and steps towards financial freedom. Financial freedom is defined as stepping away from your work, living comfortably, and having enough residual income to pay bills and expenses. Working in a successful business and having no time to spend your money, is not financial freedom, even with mounds of money coming in. Having people run your business successfully so you work when you want to, on the other hand is financial freedom. I learnt there are other ways to become financially free, but that is a topic for a later date. Today I will address three areas of my personal learning.
My focal areas of exploration will include the external world of my economy, the internal world of my economy, and my personal self care so I am around to enjoy my financial freedom. These are three aspects that I personally found most helpful for my financial growth. What is external financial growth? How did this help me? External financial growth defines the basics of my financial economy. A few activities include keeping a daily tracking sheet of every penny I spent for the month, and creating a personal budget from that spending sheet. The tracking sheet led to an interesting phenomenon because as soon as I realized I was writing down my expenses, I became more frugal with my spending. I quickly noticed areas that I could further cut down. The budget was easy to create because it was a fill in the blanks sheet. These activities helped me curtail free spending that put me into debt that could have been avoided in the first place and kept future spending on track. The internal world of my economy was a little more involved and surprisingly more difficult.
My internal economy was much more complex because I had to take a hard look at areas like motivation, goal setting, procrastination, and gratitude. Motivation and goal setting are natural concepts for me but being honest about procrastination was a little more difficult. I was not aware that procrastination involved unconscious tiredness, illness, and even injury. Times of tiredness were really procrastination moments that appeared, so I could allow myself to delay a project I was fearful to tackle. When I suddenly found housework joyful and a priority, it was a delay tactic. These are only a few examples. The gratitude exploration became another taxing experience as I was not especially grateful for all aspects of my life. Letting go became difficult, even when I was the main beneficiary. Another area of personal growth was my self-care.
My personal self-care was an area I had to look at candidly and with brutal honesty. Was I really doing everything to keep my body from deteriorating? Were those extra pounds I had put on slowing me down and adding to my knee twinges that I was periodically experiencing? Was I really exercising as much as I needed to be? Skipping my yoga sessions every now and again, was that excusable? Tracking exercise and eating has its benefits with similar findings to tracking expenses. Tracking food consumption and exercise can easily be forgotten within a busy life style but writing them down helps keep you focused so that you remember. I found I ate less and exercised more. Personal growth is difficult but very rewarding when you go for the experience in spite of the other side of you saying quit, Irene, and watch that sitcom. The more difficult the task, the more joyful the completion. John Maxwell wrote, the best investment in the future is a proper influence today. I learnt my proper influence today and my investment in the future, is my learning of business literacy! Learning, one step at a time is my progress to financial freedom.