Financially Real

Find Financial Freedom this 4th of July

Finding Financial Freedom this 4th of July | www.TheHeavyPurse.comIt’s hard to believe, but we are just mere days away from celebrating the 4th of July in the United States. I know many of my readers are gearing up to celebrate the holiday by heading to nearby parks and beaches to spend time with family and friends. We enjoy the holiday with plenty of sun, sand and surf, along with good food and the company of our friends and family, especially now that June Gloom is over in Southern California. 🙂

As we approach the upcoming holiday, I thought about all the people, myself included, who are fighting to achieve personal financial freedom. We’re not going into battle armed with muskets and swords as our ancestors did during the Revolutionary War; instead, we arm ourselves with budgets and goals and emotional competence to defeat our enemy of mindless spending, keep up urges and debt.

What Does Financial Freedom Mean to You?

Financial freedom is the goal of virtually every single person, but what I find is most don’t always know what that means beyond broad terms. It’s something they seek and crave, but can’t define what financial freedom really looks like. This alone stops most people from achieving it. You have to know why and what financial independence looks like for you, not for me, or your BFF or your co-worker. Your (or your family) vision is the only one that matters.

Many common reasons are “financial security”, “peace of mind” and “freedom of choice”, which are all great reasons. They are also surface reasons, meaning your connection to your reason is fairly shallow and undefined. This makes it easy for you to get distracted and make choices that put financial freedom out of your grasp. It becomes more of a wish than a firm, intentional goal.

Define Your Vision of Financial Freedom

Your first step is to step back and really assess why financial freedom matters to you. Go beyond the surface reasons into what life will truly be like when you have financial freedom. Be specific as possible and don’t just say things like you’ll be able to travel. How frequently? Where will you go and why those locations? How will you spend your time? More importantly — how will you feel when you are able to do those things? You need to be able to both envision it clearly and have an emotional connection to deeply ingrain what financial freedom is into your DNA. This is what will help you make choices that will turn your vision into your reality.

Success Tip: The more clarity and detail to your vision of financial freedom, the better. You want it to feel real. At the same time, do not feel that your definition is etched in stone and can never be changed. As you journey through life, priorities shift and so may your definition of financial freedom. Or your surface reason may stay the same, i.e. freedom of choice, but what that means to you may evolve over time.

Acknowledge What You Are Doing Right

Assess your past behavior with your current behavior. What positive changes have you made? I find many people tend to overly focus and dwell on their mistakes. While it is important to acknowledge and learn from past mistakes, too many marinate in their mistakes, which leaves them stuck. Take an honest assessment of your growth and give yourself the kudos you deserve for making positive change. This acknowledgement will motivate you to keep moving forward and continue to make needed changes.

Determine Areas that Still Need Work

Just as you need to celebrate growth, you also must be honest about areas that you still need to address. Where are you struggling and why? Often times, I find there is an emotional reason behind the more common excuses of time or knowledge. Dig a bit deeper to see if past experiences, especially those from your childhood, may be the real reason behind your excuse of lack of time or not knowing where to begin. For example, a fear of failure may be what is truly preventing you from starting, rather than a lack of knowledge.

Financial Freedom is Worth Fighting For

As I said earlier, almost everyone wants to experience financial freedom and yet too many will never achieve it because they won’t take the right actions. Financial freedom, like any kind of freedom, doesn’t just happen because we want or wish for it. It happens because we fight for it and willingly (and happily) make sacrifices to make it our reality. It’s my wish for everyone this 4th of July, regardless of where you live, that you fight for your financial independence and it begins with the simple steps above.

4th of July by the Numbers #Infographic

To celebrate the 4th of July, I also wanted to have a little fun and found this great infographic that highlights some impressive 4th of July numbers. Hot dogs are obviously a favorite food, given the incredible amount we will apparently be enjoying in a just a few short days. 😉

4th of July by the Numbers #infographic |

How are you planning to spend your 4th of July? How are your fighting for your financial freedom?


June 29, 2015  •  30 Comments  •  Financially Real

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  1. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    We plan to hang around the house and swim in the neighborhood pool. I *might* buy a few sparklers!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a great plan, Holly! Have a great 4th of July!
  2. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    We will be enjoying a BBQ and some fireworks with family and friends this 4th of July! We continue to build wealth to reach FI!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      We're looking forward to spending time with family and friends too. :) Happy 4th of July, Brian!
  3. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    We're having family in town for the 4th and will likely grilling. We're going to Chicago for a short family trip a few days after the 4th so we'll be pretty low-key. :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a great way to celebrate the holiday. Chicago is such a great city too! Have a great 4th of July!
  4. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    Great post Shannon! It is worth fighting for and even if you make mistakes here and there (raises hand) you just need to re-focus and get back on track. My mom is in town but I'm not sure what I'll be doing yet. Probably avoiding the beach on that one day. lol!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Financial freedom is absolutely worth fighting for. And mistakes will only get in the way of reaching financial freedom if you allow them too, which I know you won't! I know a lot of people avoid the beach on the 4th but it's a bit of a tradition for us! :) Have a great 4th of July!
  5. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    Great analogy, Shannon! To me, financial freedom means 1) being debt free and 2) being able to produce enough passive income that I don't have to work (but of course I will because I want to)!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Thanks, Natalie! I like your definition of financial freedom and it's one I share as well. More importantly – I know we will both eventually achieve it too!
  6. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    Siena and I are doing a triathlon in the morning and probably doing a barbecue and watching fireworks in the evening. That is a lot of hot dogs! I can barely eat one thinking about what goes into them, but a grilled hot dog really does taste good.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a lot of fun, Kim. Lauren has started running in some marathons with me and I love it. It's a shocking amount of hotdogs! :) Happy 4th of July and good luck to you and Siena!
  7. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    I never realize how good things are until I run in to neighbors or friends that have their world crash down with one car repair or emergency surgery. We all talk a big game, but rarely follow through. The feeling of not having to worry paycheck to paycheck is worth more than the money you have saved and invested. Everyone can do it but not until you truly have the desire to do so. Celebrate being in a great country and celebrate the freedom to be financially sound.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      So true, Lance. It is very easy to forget how fortunate you are until you see someone struggling. I know my family is blessed and I don't take our good fortune for granted. I also know that many people believe they cannot break the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck but they can with some hard work on their part. We do live in a great country and hope you and your family have a safe and happy 4th of July!
  8. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    I don't feel like we need to fight for our financial freedom anymore...we are kind of already there. It's more maintenance and continued financial growth at this point. We'll be going to a 4th of July parade in the morning, cookout in the afternoon and then fireworks at night. I love this holiday and all that it stands for. God bless America!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a great day, Brian! I love the 4th of July too. I'm glad your in maintenance mode and know how hard you and your family worked to get to that place. Have a great 4th of July!
  9. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    I'm in love with the color scheme of this visual! I'll be visiting friends in New York to watch the parade and fireworks :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a great day, Anum! Have a great 4th of July!
  10. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    I plan to spend the day with my family and maybe a few fireworks. A cookout sounds fun too!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a nice way to spend the holiday, Kayla. You can beat being with friends and family. :) Have a great 4th of July!
  11. Monday, June 29th, 2015
    I am fighting for my financial freedom by literally doing everything I can to increase my income. We are pretty financially "smart" (imo) but we do have a lot of debt and some big goals for what we want to do in our lives. Money is something we need to accomplish those goals.

    That graphic at the very top of your post is awesome, by the way. The infographic reminded me I need to button down my 4th of July plans. I currently have none!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      I think you are pretty financially smart too, DC. You are constantly looking for ways to earn more money, willing to think outside of the box and put forth the extra effort, which makes a huge difference. Tanya made the post graphic and did a great job, as always!:) Have a great 4th of July with whatever you decide to do!
  12. Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
    We're planning to go to Arizona for a short vacation. Financial freedom for me is much more than money. Having this in life enables me to do whatever I want and to be who I am.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Sounds like a new way to spend the 4th, Jayson. I agree that financial freedom goes beyond having "enough" money but allows you to live the life you want, on your terms. Have a great trip!
  13. Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
    Hi Shannon! Hope you have a lovely 4th of July weekend, and thanks for sharing the infographic; I always love reading stuff like this :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      You're welcome, Mackenzie. I love infographics too. :) You have a wonderful 4th of July too!
  14. Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
    I always love the info graphics you share Shannon!! I used to confuse retirement and financial freedom, in fact, until I became a financial advisor, I never heard the phrase financial freedom. Once I did, though, I realized that it wasn't as far away as retirement and with some adjustments, it was something I could achieve sooner than later. Once Will is through college, we plan to declare financial freedom and we are working hard to get there.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      A lot of people confuse the two, Shannon. And realizing financial freedom can be achieved before retirement is something that also really motivates me as well. Have a great 4th of July!
  15. Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
    Today is Canada day and we didn't do much. We had the few previous days off which was nice, got a few things done around the house saw some family and just relaxed which was nice. I'll be thinking of all my American friends and family on Saturday :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
      Happy be-lated Canada Day, Catherine! Sound like you had a nice, relaxing mini-vacations, which are some of my favorite vacations. :)
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan