Financial Freedom: Can Everyone be Financially Independent?


Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

These are rights everyone deserves. But have you ever felt that freedom and happiness were out of reach due to your financial circumstances? Do you sometimes doubt that you’ll ever be financially ‘free’?

Everyone and anyone can become financially independent. Learning and applying basic financial principles is the first step to financial freedom. Minimizing expenses, growing income, investing savings, and continually learning will help you achieve financial independence.

Regardless of your circumstances or the current value of your bank account, financial independence is possible for you. By following a few simple steps, you’ll see that financial independence is achievable for anyone.

Everyone Can Be Financially Free

When it comes down to it, the only thing that stands in the way of becoming financially independent is you. Whether your current financial situation is bleak or you don’t know where to begin, the most important step is to make up your mind to becoming independent. Once you’ve decided that, the battle is nearly already won. All that’s left is for you to pack up, journey on, and get there. 

Begin With Your Financial End in Mind

What does financial freedom look like to you? If you don’t know what mountain you want to climb it doesn’t matter what direction you go. Your first step will be defining your financial independence number. Goal setting is key on your journey to financial independence. Once you see the peak you want to reach, you can begin preparing for your journey. 

Determine Your Financial ‘Why’

Now that you know where you need to go, you may wonder if becoming financially independent is worth it. 

Here’s the truth: nothing is worth working the best, most valuable years of your life away. 

What do you spend the most productive hours of your day doing? Likely, working. Tack on the time it takes to get ready for work, travel to (and from) work, and to unwind from work. That’s your entire day. If all you have is 1-2 hours to devote to the things that really matter to you each day, you’re only spending about 10% of your life on the things that matter most. And unfortunately, you may be too tired to devote your best self to the things you hold most dear.

 So, you need to find your financial “why”. Why do you want to become financially independent?

“I want to live free of debt.”

“I don’t want to have to rely on others for my needs.”

“I want to give my children a better life than I had.

Whatever your “why” is, hold on to it. It’ll be the reason you make it through the hard times along your journey.

Steps Anyone Can Take to Achieve Financial Independence

Once you know your goal and your “why”, the steps to financial independence are incredibly simple:

  • Minimize your expenses
  • Maximize and grow your wealth
  • Invest and save your money wisely
  • Never. Stop. Learning.

That’s your recipe for success. You don’t need to be a financial professional or know the ins and outs of the tax code. You don’t need to read every investing book or be a high-income earner. You just need your will, and you’ll find your way. 

Financial Independence and Your Life Scenario

Still not convinced? That’s okay. The most important step is the first step. Read on for some quick tips on how to take that first step. 

Image of mom on bench with her two kids in a park

Becoming Financially Independent with Debt

It’s hard to become “independent” if you’re indebted to someone else. Even worse, you may have high interest on your debt, meaning your bill gets bigger over time. First – commit to staying out of debt. You can’t achieve independence with a negative net worth. Next, begin strategically paying off your debts in a way that works best for you. Two popular approaches are 1) to pay down debt with the highest interest rate or 2) to get a few small wins under your belt with the snowball approach. If debt is your demon, demolishing it will dig you out of the hole and put you onto the path of wealth and freedom.

Becoming Financially Independent with Kids

Have little ones around? Congrats! There may be a few more mouths to feed, but your efforts to become financially independent will bless their lives as well. Teach them what you’re learning, and help them apply simple financial principles like saving and budgeting. It’ll be easier to stay on track if your children help keep you accountable. Have discussions about money and how best to use it. Begin investing in their future by leveraging the power of compounding. Invest money today that will mature into a college savings fund by the time they leave the house. It’ll save you tens of thousands of dollars that could otherwise burn a hole in your future savings. 

Additionally, an at-home parent can find ways to work from home. Find work that gives you leverage, where your inputs create increasingly larger outputs. Freelance your skills and grow your network over time. As demand increases, raise your prices and begin working less. Extra income can help cover life expenses and allow you more money to save and invest in your independence. 

Becoming Financially Independent as a Single Parent

You are the salt of the earth. And to you, dear friend, we promise you won’t lose your savor. First, keep pressing on. You may be working multiple jobs, all while running kids to school or other activities. The entire deck of cards may be stacked against you, but oh how refined you will be when you reach the day of independence! Focus on what matters most, including how you spend your time each day, putting a roof over their head, and food on the table. Save by downsizing your space if you need to or shopping bulk at grocery stores. Work to establish and build wealth for your offspring (such as by paying down a mortgage instead of paying rent).

The next step will be to increase your income. Try to turn the multiple jobs you might have into a single, higher-paying salary by learning new, in-demand skills. Consider enrolling in a technology bootcamp or after hours trade school to jumpstart a new career. By consolidating your working time into one line of higher-paying work, you will get precious moments back into your day. You’ll be happier, a little more rested, and more successful overall. And as you make more money, buy back more of your time! Hire the neighbor kid to cut the grass. Offload manual tasks, find ways to work from home, and enjoy life with your family. Remember, your freedom is their freedom too. 

Becoming Financially Independent From Your Parents

Ready to head off on your own? Welcome to adulthood! Mastering financial basics early will pay dividends the rest of your life. Start by learning: read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, etc. Begin experimenting with your money to see how you handle risk. Invest in yourself and what you need, not what you want. And don’t be short sighted – small returns today could otherwise be millions in the future. Be disciplined and stay on track. 

Also, remember that there are some family financial ties that may make sense. If it’s more expensive to begin your own phone plan than to stay on your family’s plan, then pay your parents for your portion of the bill. If you need to cut all ties, then be willing to make a few sacrifices. But know that sometimes what you give up today will give you freedom in the future. 

Becoming Financially Independent as a Woman

The world is your oyster. You put the “independent” in financially independent. But remember that being independent doesn’t mean spending endlessly on yourself; self-care includes your future self, too! Be wise and prepare for your financial future – whether or not that plan includes a partner. Begin building wealth early. Invest in real estate and rent out extra bedrooms. Take care of your health so that you can be your best at 30, 50, and 80. Understand and manage your personal finances. Should the time come to combine your knowledges with a special someone, you’ll want to bring your knowledge to the relationship. An unknown future partner is not a financial plan, so take action toward financial independence today.

Woman walking with the sun behind her


Yes, it’ll take some discipline and some time to achieve financial independence. But you can do it. Not only is it worth it, but it’ll pay dividends to you, your family, and future generations. Becoming independent won’t change who you are, it’ll give you the opportunity to be who you really are. You’ve got this. Begin your journey today.

Climb on, FinBase. ????




John is a personal finance writer, editor, and a fellow FinBase climber. Tech worker by day, design owl by night, he is the co-founder and creator behind The Financial Basecamp.
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