What Does Financial Freedom Mean?

A few searches on the internet will show you that there is not only one or two definitions for financial freedom. In fact, there are a lot of people who define financial freedom as being linked to an expensive investment they’re selling, being a multi-millionaire in your 30s, or having a passive stream of income so you don’t need to work. And some people don’t define it all.


Obviously the term financial freedom is not something that is the same for everyone, and for me it’s not about having a lot of money.


Personally I see financial freedom as being a number of things. It’s about not ever having to worry about the bank knocking on our front door and demanding we leave. It’s about choices that make life more comfortable and special family memories. Recently Claudia and I have made a few choices that fit with our definition.


We replaced all of the windows and a glass sliding door in our house with double glazing. It was a big job, but the results have been quite dramatic. Not only do we have a house so well insulated by noise that the neighbour’s parties don’t disturb us, but it’s warm. In winter. In Canberra!


It was pretty cool to leave for work early one morning, look back at the house to see frost on the roof and be shocked it was that cold outside. We have woken a couple of times over the last month to subzero temperatures and not needed to turn the heating on. Even when we do have it on, it stays on for an hour at 21°C, which warms the house for about 12 hours.


Back in 1999 I fell in love. With a 70-200mm zoom lens. Oh, how I longed to hold one in my arms again. Until I finally bought one the other day. Yes it costs about three times as much as the average person would spend on all the camera equipment they would buy in a lifetime, but the quality of the image it captures is second to none. I will use it to spoil our little chicken, filling her bedroom walls with photos of her over the years to come.


Another way Claudia and I plan to spoil our family is with another trip to Germany. All Claudia’s side live in Germany and travelling there doesn’t come cheap (or easy as we discovered last time when our chicken was only ten weeks old and I couldn’t help with the bags after just having had my appendix out). We are planning our next trip over Christmas this year, which will be our fifth since Christmas 2006.


I guess if I had to boil it down to one thing, financial freedom to me is about family. It’s about providing them with a secure home, keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer, capturing their happy faces the best I can and travelling with them to see our overseas relatives.


How would you define financial freedom?

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