When we think of freedom, many people envision a bird soaring – unencumbered, untamed and seemingly weightless. Money often feels like the opposite of that. In fact, if you’re like the majority of people, it can seem like the cage keeping you down. But money can also be the key to unlocking your best life and opening up your wealth space.

Part of the WellsFaber journey with you is about finding out what financial freedom means for you, aiming for that and letting us help you achieve your dreams.

Freedom to travel as and when you please
This is the closest thing to being bird-like we know of – being able to spontaneously go on an adventure in some part of the world you’ve never seen before. There’s so much to see, after all, and travel is one of the few ‘spends’ apart from education that can really change your perspective on life. Oh, the places you’ll go…

Unfortunately, as we all know, travel if you’re in South Africa is expensive. Travelling on a whim is even more demanding, as it means having the kind of disposable income (and time away from work) available that allows for such extravagances without saving up. This is a truly worthy goal, often open to only the financially fittest.

Freedom from debt
The first step in realising financial freedom is figuring out how much money you have and how much you need in order to get to your idea of ‘free’.

Fact: when you are living in debt, whatever you have in the account or on the salary slip is not actually your money. Debt is a form of slavery, because as long as you are in it you owe someone else.

There is no real way to be completely free when you financially belong in part to a debtor, so the first step in true financial freedom is paying off all debts, from ‘bad debts’ like clothing store accounts to ‘good debts’ like home loans. It’s also a serious stumbling block in having enough money to invest and create more wealth. So get out of debt as soon as you can.

Freedom to achieve your goals
This may include travel, but also may mean other things for you, like having enough money to do an MBA, send your kids to a really amazing university one day or buy a swish new car. The beautiful thing about this sign of financial freedom is that it’s so very unique to you as an individual. For some, it may look like a fierce designer handbag to splurge on once in a while, or as simple as enough money to be able to get an ice cream from your favourite place whenever you want. Getting yourself financially healthy enough to enjoy these things will not only make you happier, they’ll make you feel seen by yourself. And what could be more freeing than that?

Freedom to live life well, right now
We all think of the trip to Naples or the epic shopping fests when we envision financial prosperity, but some of the most rewarding aspects of financial freedom can be investing in whatever will make your day-to-day life that much better. We all little ways in which we sacrifice our comfort and health that financial freedom can solve. These include the money to get a decent, orthopaedic bed and pillow for a great night’s sleep, top quality organic groceries to eat well each day and a spa day or massage when you need it. These things add up and, happily, they cost a lot less than a holiday abroad and leave you feeling richer.

What does financial freedom mean for you? It’s not always easy to determine, and that’s why financial advice is so key. When you have it, the lightbulb goes on and you truly have a goal and drive to get your money working hard for you. This is vital, because like anything that’s worth doing, achieving financial freedom can be difficult at times. That’s why these tips are so important. If you can really visualise the dance lessons you’ll be able to afford, or grocery shops without checking the price on everything, you can say no to that exorbitant cellphone contract or impulsive buy on something unimportant now, so that you can be free to thrive.