Since I started my debt free journey, financial independence meant a lot of things to me, in fact what I wanted in the beginning and how I viewed financial independence then, has changed.
When I started my journey, I had wanted to pay off my credit card debt and then pay off my car. After I paid off my credit card debt, I had more money in my pocket and the thought “I don’t want to live hand to mouth anymore” crossed my mind.
Then I paid off my car but I still found myself living hand to mouth because I had found new places to put my “extra” money.
You can have less debt and less expenses and yet still find yourself not being able to manage your money properly, meaning you’ll pay more for expenses and find yourself not saving or investing anything.
Right now, what financial independence means to me includes having enough money in my emergency fund (I have a certain amount in mind).
It means not having to count down how many days are left before Payday, it means I have enough income to pay for my living expenses without having to worry how am I going to pay this or that.
It also means that I am able to pay towards a retirement fund as well as medical aid – currently I have none of these in place (I make use of the public clinic for medical services including contraceptives and my child’s injections, etc).
Financial independence also means that I am able to pay my child’s school fees a year in advance. Currently that is the one thing I have been saving towards, but I had to dig into those savings for things like fixing the car or private doctor’s appointments.
Lastly financial independence would mean that I have more options to pay for experiences like travelling.
How about you, what does financial independence mean to you? Please share in the comments section below.