Time Freedom: Embracing an Abundance Mindset for A Better Quality of Life

time freedom

One of my favorite things about my life is the time freedom that I have. I worked hard to be independently-employed. The money I earn is nice but it’s simply a means to an end. The structure of this kind of work affords me the opportunity to define how I spend my time. Recently, I’ve been reading a book about abundance that allows me to take this to the next level.

What is Time Freedom?

Time freedom is really a very simple concept. It’s the ability to define how, where, and with whom you would like to spend your time. It is the cornerstone of why I love working freelance instead of 9-5.

Time freedom doesn’t mean that I don’t work. It means that I do work that I enjoy. More importantly, I’m able to adapt my work to a schedule that allows me to maximize my time. I’m able to do all of the things that I want to do in a day including my work.

The Fear of Scarcity Reduces Time Freedom

One of the traps that I’ve fallen into over the years is that of reducing my own time because of scarcity fears. I worry that I’m not going to make enough money. Therefore I devote more hours to work than is healthy. If I’m passionate about a project and really involved in it, then that’s different. However, if I’m driving myself to the brink of exhaustion because I want to earn more money, then I’m eating away into my own time freedom.

Embracing Abundance

Recently I’ve been reading The Abundance Project by Derek Rydall. The gist of his belief system is that we all have exactly what we need within us. In order to experience abundance, we merely need to recognize this fact.

Of course, he goes into a multi-step approach to practically realizing abundance. The main point, however, is that changing your perception from one of scarcity to one of abundance makes all of the difference in your life.

This makes perfect sense when it comes to time freedom. When I am in a scarcity mindset, afraid not to earn enough, I overwork. I don’t give myself the balance that I need. On the other hand, when I am in an abundance mindset, I balance everything better. I still give time to work. However, I use my time freedom to make sure to enjoy my other priorities as well.

Giving Time to What Really Matters

Abundance means so much more than just having more-than-enough money. In fact, to embrace an abundant lifestyle means digging deeper into core values. Money helps, and certainly aiming for an abundance of money is fine. However, when you look at what you really value, you realize that you need much more than money. Some of the things I personally value include:

  • Long walks with my dog
  • In-person chats with my friends
  • Attending performance art and other events in my city
  • Connecting regularly with my siblings
  • Spending time each day reading and writing
  • Creating art of various kinds

These are just a few of the things I want to focus on. Earning money isn’t on the list, though it’s necessary. In order to have these things, what I really need is time freedom. When I recognize how important it is to give my time to those things, I loosen up on a work focus. As a result, I more thoroughly enjoy each day of my life.

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Financial Freedom: Step-By-Step Stages for Goal Setting

financial freedom

I definitely dream of financial freedom. I would love to just have so much money that I don’t have to think about money ever again. Of course, that’s not going to be realistic for most of us. However, we can start small and then go step-by-step to increase how close we can get to financial freedom. A recent Forbes article laid out the 8 levels of financial freedom, which provide a good guide for setting personal finance goals.

Start By Earning More Than You Need

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck then the first step is to get out of that rut. Cut back drastically on spending. Do all that you can to increase income. If you can’t save money then you definitely can’t ever reach financial freedom.

Save Enough Money to Take a Work Break

Most people want financial freedom because they don’t want to work so much. When you’re in that paycheck-to-paycheck phase, it feels like you’ll never be able to stop working. Therefore, the next step is try to save enough money to give yourself a small taste of that life.

For example, create a savings account that will allow you to take a sabbatical from work. Even if you decide not to take it, having the money in that account will make you immediately feel like you have so much more financial freedom. Personally, I love my work, but when I feel like I have to do it just to get by then I start to resent it. That savings helps a lot.

Work Towards Small Luxuries and Extra Savings

Once you have enough in savings that you feel like you can breathe, it’s time to start thinking about your daily life. Financial freedom means that you’re able to buy the things that you want. Of course, I don’t think it’s useful to just splurge on a lot of unnecessary spending. However, I do think it’s good to recognize what small little luxuries will make your daily life better. The goal at this stage is to balance your income and spending so that you get to enjoy those luxuries regularly while still setting aside savings from every paycheck.

Financial Freedom: Money or Time

The Forbes article says that “freedom of time” is the next level. I actually think this is super important. I consider it to be one of the first steps, prioritizing it over a work sabbatical or those small luxuries. However, everyone has different needs and desires when it comes to financial freedom. For me, freedom of time means that even though I work a lot, I’m able to do so on my schedule. I’m also able to be location-independent. Those things make me feel like I have the freedom that I want.

Plan for Retirement

Once you are living comfortably, it’s definitely time to think about setting aside money for retirement. After all, that’s when you’re really going to need financial freedom. Forbes breaks this down into two levels. First, save enough for a decent basic retirement. Then, once you’ve achieved that, start saving for the type of retirement that you really want to have.

Of course, life happens, and we can’t always work through these steps in a linear fashion. Nevertheless, they provide a great guideline for some basic goal setting with financial freedom in mind.

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8 Things to Do Today Save Money This Summer

Save Money This Summer

If you want to save money this summer then you should start planning ahead. If you aren’t prepared in advance then summer can be an expensive season. People frequently travel in summer, which is a big expense. When you have children, they often attend summer camps and other costly activities. If you aren’t careful, finances easily just slip away. However, there are things that you can start doing right now to prevent that.

1. Review Your Regular Expenses

It’s time to take a look at your money. If you don’t know what you’re working with then you can’t make smart financial choices. Review all of you ongoing expenses, looking for ways to cut back. Even small changes can make a big difference in the summer. For example, how many different streaming television services do you have? Can you cut it down to one or even none for a few months to save money this summer?

2. Set a Budget and Make a Plan

Once you have cut your regular expenses as much as possible, it’s time to make a plan. Look at the money that you have. Update your budget. Don’t forget to include all of the unusual expenses that summer brings. Some expenses to consider:

  • Babysitters, daycares, or day camps for kids who aren’t in school in the summer
  • Special events including those for Father’s Day, Fourth of July, and summer weddings
  • Summer clothes if you or the kids’ need a wardrobe update
  • Travel plans and their associated costs including pet care while you’re away
  • Water activities including pool memberships or day trips to the water park

3. Change Vacation to Save Money This Summer

If it doesn’t look like you’re going to have enough money in your budget to cover your vacation, then it’s not too late to reconsider. Think about why you’re traveling. Is it to see relatives? Is it because you want your kids to experience something new? Or is it just because it’s something you’ve always done? You can reduce the cost of travel by:

  • Changing your destination so it’s cheaper
  • Using a more affordable mode of transportation
  • Camping instead of staying in hotels
  • Taking a shorter vacation than originally planned
  • Having a staycation instead

4. Brainstorm a List of Free Activities

Find ways to save money this summer by brainstorming a list of free activities now. Then fill your calendar with those. Look for free classes, events, workshops, and camps for your entire family. Check out what your city offers in terms of free days at museums, galleries, and other spaces. Visit parks, beaches, and hiking trails in your area. Make a list of things that you can do at home for free. Whenever you hear the dreaded, “I’m bored” this summer, you’ll have a list of options to point to.

5. Prep Your Home Now for Summer

If you run the air conditioner in your home all summer long then your bills will be much higher than they need to be. If you haven’t properly cleaned out air filters or looked for drafts then the price will be even higher. Update your home energy system now in order to save money this summer.

  • Install a smart home system so that you don’t cool the house while you’re not in it.
  • Get used to keeping the home a tad warmer than last year to save big costs.
  • Sign up for a tool like OhmConnect that gives you money back for saving energy.
  • Purchase some portable fans to avoid using the air conditioner so much.
  • Update your curtains or blinds to keep the sunlight out during the hottest part of the day.

6. Start Planning Summer Meals

One smart way to save money this summer is to look at what you’ll be eating. There are so many great ways to cut costs on food in the summer. Switch the whole family away from other drinks and just to water. It’s better to stay hydrated during those hot months and it doesn’t cost much. Find a good local source for fresh fruit, especially water-dense fruit like cucumber and watermelon. Keep meals simple. Use the stove as little as possible so you don’t add heat to the house. If you plan out your meals now then summer cooking should be easy and affordable.

7. Declutter and Sell Things

Take advantage of the downtime in summer to get your house in order – literally. go room by room decluttering everything that you don’t need. Sell what you can. The activity can keep your whole family busy without spending a dime. You might even make a little cash.

8. Earn a Summer Income

One of the best ways to offset the costs of summer is to earn extra income. You have plenty of daylight hours to pick up some extra work. Start looking now to see what option are available to you for a summer side job. Housesitting, ride share driving, caring for other people’s children, and lawn service are just a few of the options to consider.

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