Financial freedom is everyone’s desire. This so far is the main reason why most of us work so much harder than what we are supposed to do. It generally means having enough savings, investments, income streams, and cash on hand to afford the lifestyle you want for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, too many people fail to achieve it. They are burdened with increasing debt, financial emergencies, proliferative spending, and other issues that make it impossible for them to reach their goals. I want to see more midwives achieve financial freedom. We will have far less burnout, more midwives joining this amazing career, be able to serve more families, and promote legislature changes to give access to midwifery services. Wanting money doesn’t make you greedy, it makes you more humble because now you can serve yourself and your clients on your terms, not the system’s.
Financial freedom is being able to live off the monthly cash flow coming in to cover your bills, living expenses, and fun things you have planned. You can choose to become financial financially working for a really long time and having enough retirement funds built up to live off after your debt is paid off, but that take much longer than the tips I have for you below.
1. Spend less than you make
Seems so simple, but you would be surprised how many people fail at this first step. Having an easy access to credit and delays paying things versus saving, we get into this debt snowball cycle that keeps us indebted with the job for money far longer than we anticipated.
Have you ever heard about the “Parkinson’s Law”? This law states that, no matter how much money people earn, they tend to spend the entire amount and a little bit more besides. Their expenses rise in lockstep with their earnings. Many people are earning today several times what they were earning at their first jobs. But somehow, they seem to need every single penny to maintain their current lifestyles. No matter how much they make, there never seems to be enough. Therefore, one key to financial success is to break this law and start managing your expenses that it will not be more than what you earn. Learn to slow down your spending and start investing.
2. Create a budget
We are all aware how important budgeting is. Budgeting allows you to create a spending plan for your money. It ensures that you will always have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. Following a budget or spending plan will also keep you out of debt or even help you work your way out of debt. Making a monthly household budget—and sticking to it—is the best way to guarantee that all bills are paid and savings are on track. It’s also a regular routine that reinforces your goals and bolster resolve against the temptation to splurge. It’s more difficult to achieve financial freedom when you don’t actually know where your money is coming and going each month.
3. Work smarter, not harder
The idea of working smarter is quite cliché to some, but one way or another we lack understanding how it really meant. Working smarter, not harder means having a clear approach to prioritize your most important activities. Be able to manage your time and set your priorities so you end each productive day feeling satisfied rather than overwhelmed, overcommitted, frustrated, and overworked. When you work smarter, you become more productive and you develop how to manage your time worthwhile. Take control of your time rather than your time is controlling you. When you know how to manage your time vigorously, you’ll have some more time doing other task and even make money our if it.
4. Financial and business intelligence
It is very difficult to create financial freedom without understanding our financial system. It is truly a giant monopoly game where the rules change every year when new tax codes are written. If you don’t directly or have someone on your team that has financial intelligence, you will work harder and longer to create financial freedom. I learned years ago, the top 1% of successful people work smarter, not harder. They know the game and play it well. Spend some time listening to financial podcasts like Mark Kohler’s YouTube Channel on tax and accounting tips, Napolean Hill Foundation’s books like Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad Poor Dad, or Three Feet from Gold, or find a local successful business owner that will be your mentor.
5. Understanding the difference between good and bad debt
No one wants to get into debt. It’s just one of those things that happens without your notice, or may even feel as if it’s out of your control. It’s just one of those things that happens without your notice, or may even feel as if it’s out of your control. However, staying out of debt is possible. Know the reason behind your debt. Did you not pay off your credit card buying things you don’t really need or put your vacation on it without the intention of paying it back soon? Good debt is when you borrow money to make greater returns in the future. Good debt can be used to buy equipment to make your midwifery practice run smoother or start up business loan that will be paid back by profits from your business’ success? Dave Ramsey is a big fan of no debt, but the truly elite and financially free people know how to utilize good debt and stay away from bad debt.
6. Start a business
If your goal is to be financially free, then you should learn how to take risks. Don’t depend on a single income you earn monthly, start a small business. Look around the corner, research and study what other things you can do. Running a business is proven exciting for many people and for many different reasons. Whether you are looking for a flexible lifestyle, are eager to innovate, or simply want more control over your work and earning potential, there are many benefits to running your own business.
7. Own real estate
I am not talking about purchasing your primary residence (which stats show financial freedom is much higher in people that own their own home versus rent). What I am talking about is creating income streams through real estate investing. When I did my research in 2017 about the how the rich think, do, and belief, there was a classic theme of financial freedom: business ownership and real estate investing. I always stress that being financially free doesn’t mean owning hundreds of rental properties and being a slum lord. Many midwives can live within their means comfortably in a few rental properties that a property manager takes care of for them. When I met with midwives all over the country, there is a common theme among the successful ones that will have financial freedom in retirement and those that will keep working until they die because they have to. Those themes are financial education, strong business models, and real estate investing.
8. Multiple revenue streams
We work hard to earn money, and we earn money because we work hard. People usually think that in order to be rich you need to have a stable job, good career or be professional to earn more. This mindset should be upgraded into more meaningful manner.
Let’s shift that mindset into working hard to create revenue streams in our lives. Someone that is financially free has average 6 income streams in their life. They have retirement accounts, dividends, business income, rental income, products to sell, and services to product with their own time and systems created. These are things that will not happen overnight, but you have to start somewhere. Slowly work towards what your dream monthly income stream is and create value in your society. We are rewarded with wealth when value is created. What skills and unique talents do you have that could help the masses? Can you create some online courses? Can you write a book? Can you change your midwifery practice from a solo model to team with ancillary services present? Buy that rental property across the street? There are so many great ways to add revenue streams into your life.
9. Keep yourself healthy
Financial freedom doesn’t mean squat when you are sick or die at a young age. While creating financial freedom, always make your health and wealth interconnected. By staying healthy and putting organic foods into your body, your mind and endurance will allow you to reach financial freedom faster. There will be more time in each day, the mind will remember things faster and be more creative, and more people will want to work with you and build those strong relationships when you take care of yourself. It is hard to care for other people when we aren’t even doing that for ourselves first.
10. Focus on your goals
Dream big with no limits. What do you want to do when you are financial freedom? Where do you want to live? Where do you want to travel to? What does your life look like? Create a set of financial milestones that will help you move towards those goals without losing your focus. Make a vision board with pictures to help inspire you. It’ll help you stay on track as you reach for that ultimate dream of financial freedom. Having a vision board, written strategic plan, and accountability partner like mastermind group or business coach will really help you reach financial freedom faster. When things are written down and said out to the universe (to your friends, family or in the shower, we don’t judge), it will be more concrete in your subconscious that this goal of financial freedom will happen.
There are so many great ways out there to create true financial freedom. It isn’t a mythical unicorn and can be possible for any midwife with proper planning, guidance, and education. The more financially free midwives we have out there, the more midwifery can expand our reach in the community and truly serve that underserved population (I know most midwives would love to work on their calling and not have to worry about charging families). By having financial freedom, you can truly complete your mission with your practice versus how much do I need to charge to pay the bills.