Declaration of Financial Freedom
It is time to take a stand! We proclaim that:
- We will decide and hold tight to that which is important in our lives. Money is a tool to be used constructively to build sustainable dynamics in families and communities. We will learn what money means to us and how to use it properly in the context of expressing our values. Our self-worth is not our net-worth, and defining success beyond our bank account will provide us with true liberty. We will free ourselves from the binds of the cultural and media lies that “more is better”, or that “a little more will fulfill me”.
- We will embrace giving as a foundational component of financial freedom. We will wrestle with our demons of “not having enough” and move towards giving of our time, talent and treasure creatively, graciously and extravagantly. We will explore the causes that are important to us and create a plan that allows us to give systematically and intentionally. We will build some margin into our resources to give when an unexpected need arises in our family or community. By being intentional with our giving we have permission to say no to other concerns without feeling guilty.
- We will spend less than we earn. We will create a spending plan that reflects purpose with our choices. We will not get to the end of the month and ask – where did it all go? We will set up times to talk with our spouses, partners, or friends and hold each other accountable. We will not take guilt trips, but look for ways to make adjustments and do it a bit better every month. We will fully enjoy the freedom within the safe spending boundaries that we create.
- We will use our home as a savings account not an ATM. We will save to have a generous down payment. We will only have a mortgage that combined with taxes and insurance is under 25% of our disposable income. We will be free from over-leveraged lives that wreak havoc in a fragile economic environment.
- We will reconnect with our financial vehicles. We will know what we have, where it is, and track it down if necessary. We will know why we have the financial tools we own, what is their purpose and what are the costs associated with them. We will understand how they work and make adjustments to them if necessary.
- We will actively manage and move to minimize our debt. We cannot borrow our way to prosperity. We will establish a plan to pay off any consumer debt that is holding us hostage.
- We will take care of our possessions. We are called to be stewards of what has been entrusted to us for the time we have. We will learn to appreciate and be content with what is in front of us instead of continuously seeking out the latest and greatest unless it will truly be an asset to benefit more than ourselves.
- We will communicate with those in our lives who are or may be affected by our financial decisions. We will communicate openly and honestly about what we are trying to accomplish and why. We will provide the education to help them understand the tools we are using and prepare them for future responsibilities.
As with our political liberties, we know it takes sacrifice, discipline and lots of effort to maintain it. What are you willing to do to take an additional step forward with embracing your financial freedom?