From the time all animals are born they seek to be free and independent beings. Humans are no different but take a lot longer to reach this lofty goal.

A bear will have cubs and within a year they are independent and can fend for themselves. A human is still completely helpless after a year of living. In fact, humans are dependent until they become a legal adult, at the age of 18 and many stay dependent until much later.

Even this being true, the one thing that humans want above all else is freedom and independence to live the life they choose. But, this description isn’t enough to describe the human experience when it comes to freedom. A bear dances off into the woods, going where it wants, doing what it wants, and it doesn’t even occur to it that it would behave any other way.

A human, however, is ultimately insecure. We always wonder what we are going to do in the future, how are we going to live tomorrow, why didn’t we do that in the past and why do I have to do this right now?

But, in the overall scheme of things humans want to be free and independent but we don’t ever see how we are going to get there.

There are levels of freedom in the life of a human being that you can reach as you advance through time. It is so important to realize that all you do should be focused on freedom and independence. Until you establish your own freedom and independence you are captive. But, you don’t have to climb the gauntlet all in one day.

However, let me just say this before we begin. The worst feeling in life is the loss of your freedom. Once you have been free and independent you can and should never go back to being “captive”. Once you get free, stay free.

The stages of freedom for a human being are…

1. Walking, and running on your own. Distancing yourself from your mother, father, or caretakers.
2. Riding a bike or a horse. Creating greater ability to place space and time between you and your mother, father, or caretakers.
3. Leaving home to go to school, another step away from your parents or guardians.
4. Making your own money from odd jobs or working at jobs in businesses around town. This gives you your own money which places you one more step away from the control of your parents or guardians.
5. Moving away from home either when you leave high school to go to college or to enter the workforce. When you can support yourself and live by yourself you have acquired really the first real accomplishment in the quest to be free and independent. You are now taking responsibility for yourself and your situation and there should be great pride taken in achieving that.

Now, you are dependent on your job for your freedom, which means you are not really free or independent, because you have to answer to your employer in order to make the money necessary for your flight from home.

After this people think that they are ready to start a family, based on their earning ability and the desire to become a leader in your own family. Now, you have two things which are limiting your freedom and independence, your job and your commitment to others in a legally binding contract.

So the next levels of the search for freedom and independence begin. How do we become free and independent from employers and still be able to take care of our responsibilities to our chosen life sharers?

That is a whole new level of freedom and independence.

Ultimately, the only way to have freedom and independence is when you are able to find ways to earn enough fresh and new income that is paid to you automatically without you doing much of anything. This is known as managing your income producing assets.

However, earning enough money to build those kinds of assets may take a long time when done the standard way. Save, invest, be frugal.

What are freedom and independence?

It is the ability to wake up in the morning and to go and do what you want without any constraints from financial limitations or having to ask anyone’s permission. I go and do what I want to do. Until then, your life is one long excuse after another.

To reach that kind of freedom, or any kind of freedom takes a lot of work and planning. It doesn’t happen by accident.

So, we come to the secret of finding freedom and independence…work and planning and that never stops.

Working and planning is your real job in life. They are the only things that can set you free. If you don’t have a plan to create financial independence no matter what level and work to organize those finances so you can plan what your money can do for you, then you will never know freedom and independence.

Most people budget their money from the necessities of life to the desires of life. But, I believe that we should budget the other way around. Because, if we first take care of the necessities, we may never get to the desires. But, if we focus on our desires, then we will be forced to budget because we will always have to account for the necessities of life to do that. But it is a different equation.

Let’s say I want to travel a lot during the year. Let’s start there. When traveling you have to pay for food, a place to sleep and tickets or some sort of transportation. You have to figure the spending to do things while you are traveling. Plus, you have to figure in how much you will need to offset the income you may lose when you aren’t working back home. On top of that, you have to figure in the amount of taxes you have to pay on your income because you will be using after taxes income or net income.

If you budget $10,000 a year for it, then that should actually be the first money you make and every time you spend that money it starts again from $0.00, nada.

If you want to buy a new car every year, then you will probably also have to budget in $10,000 a year including insurance.

If you want to have new clothes every year, there is another $2,000 a year right there.

So you see, when you think this way, it is the power to budget for what you really want in life that is going to set you free.

When you know you have to save $10,000 a year on travel, $10,000 a year on a car, $2,000 on clothes, then that is going to give you a number based on your income that dictates what necessities you are allowed to have.

Instead of living in a $1,400 dollar a month abode, whether rent or mortgage payments, you will have to choose a dwelling that costs only $700 dollars a month. $700 x 12 = $8,400! That is Freedom money! It forces you to revisit what you really want out of life.

Instead of eating fast food, or in restaurants where you not only pay for the overhead but also a tip, you cook at home and take lunch with you. Sure, eating out is fun, but you are literally eating cash, after-tax income.

None of this will work unless you actually save the money and don’t spend it on things you don’t really want. That money has to go in a savings account dedicated to those things that you really want in life. That is where freedom begins.

Now you are working for your freedom and independence, and paying for necessities as a second priority.

Ultimately, all of this money has to be designed to be earned passively in order to truly be free. It needs to be enough to pay for your dreams, your necessities, and your responsibilities while being compliant with the laws of the land.

In order to be free and independent, everything you do has to be driven in that direction. You must build passive income streams, you must save for your dreams, you must pay for necessities, ensure your future and contribute to the things you see as being of value.

Freedom is not free. It has a price. The price is planning, organizing, working, budgeting, prioritizing, and ultimately engineering.

When I consider the cost of living in a house to paying rent, I am almost convinced that renting is better. What would a house cost to keep up if it had a swimming pool, a fitness center, landscaping, maintenance costs, taxes, and insurance, not to mention the down payment?

You can live in a two bed two bath apartment for less than $1,000 a month that has all of that if you live in Bowling Green, Kentucky. No, you aren’t building equity that way, but you are also not spending a lot of money on things you would have to spend money on if you owned your place.

I’m not saying don’t own real estate, what I am saying is own real estate to rent, and rent from your own real estate, or from someone else’s. That way, your real estate is a business expense, with tax advantages and on top of that, someone else is paying for it! Your expenses living in an apartment are contained and not wasted, and you still have all you could want or need.