A beach's Girl Dream
of Financial Freedom
by Tonya - Budget and the Beach

Financial Freedom - Financial freedom means always having "enough" money to support myself and my lifestyle, where I'm not under any kind of financial stress. It means having a sizable retirement where I can feel comfortable and enjoy travel and leisure activities. It means staying out of debt. It really means never having to "worry" about money. 

Financial Literacy - Absolutely!!! No question. I think financial literacy needs to be taught to everyone at a much younger age as well. We have to take math class, so why not personal finance? It's something EVERYONE will have to deal with in their life. 

Budgeting - Well you need to take care of your needs first. Food, clothing, housing, and other basic necessities. After that you need to examine your wants and figure out if it's really necessary in your life. It's all about prioritizing what is most important in your life. 

Easy Way to Financial Freedom - Not that I've seen unless you win the lotto or get a large inheritance.

Even still most people in both situations have a tendency to blow through that money because they aren't necessarily financially educated.

You can say that actors like Tom Cruise get rich overnight, but they probably struggled in the beginning too and put in long hours perfecting their craft.

It mostly takes hard work and dedication...and hopefully a passion for what you're doing for a living. If you don't have that yet then never give up searching for meaningful work...I know I'm not!

Saving Tip - I would say you constantly have to examine your wants versus your needs. For years I never thought I could live without cable, but I cut the chord earlier this year and with services like Netflix, Roku, and Hulu, I never feel like I'm missing out on anything. I also quit my gym last year and have managed to work out five to six days per week for free! So my tip would be to be flexible and take baby steps to cut out unnecessary spending. It's always a work in progress. Test your limits to see what you can live without. 

Where to Start - Well you may not like it, but I would say start with a budget. People think budgets are this thing that restricts them from living a fun-filled life, but it's exactly the opposite. It's prioritizing your spending so you can spend money on things you value most in life. And if you fall off the budgeting wagon, just get back on and keep at it until it becomes a habit. If you want to be financially prosperous you need to see where your money is going. 

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