Financial freedom is the key to happiness.
How to stay happy? I have come across this question many times. A lot of people ask this time and again, especially the millennials. And this is probably one of the questions, like many others, having infinite answers. For some, staying happiness is earning huge amount of money, some believe that a magical ticket to travel the world without having to worry about finances is what will keep them happy, and as per some folks happiness is doing the right job – the kind of work you are passionate about.
What is the real way to stay happy?
Honestly, the real way to stay happy, forever, without conditions; is by achieving freedom – financial freedom. This doesn’t, and I don’t intend to mean that all the other definitions about how to stay happy are incorrect. In fact, all of them are correct because we all are different individuals. Achieving financial freedom is my way of attaining condition-less happiness, others might have a different approach to this.
The only thing is, as I believe, achieving financial freedom can get you absolute freedom: the liberty to do whatever you want to, whenever you want, and as long as you want to without thinking about others, without worrying about others. Isn’t that what we actually want when we say ‘happiness in life’? I am sure we mean the same no matter how we say it.
One Idiot – Teaching the importance of financial freedom.
I saw a short film a couple of days ago on Youtube. The movie was titled “One idiot” which was directed by Amole Gupte in association with IDFC Foundation. This movie was basically an effort by the IDFC foundation to educate the youth of India about the importance of financial independence.
The story is about ‘Bugs’ also referred to as ‘Bugs uncle’; the lead character spreading the ‘important message’ in this short film. Now, bugs, in the movie, is the affable, run-of-the-mill neighborhood “uncle ji” who, by the looks of it, does nothing in life and lives a frugal life. Wearing rubber chappals and bargaining with the vegetable vendor on the price of grocery. Basically, he is the laughing stock of the teenagers, as well as most other residents of the residential society he lives in.
Though, one day, after an incident wherein chote (played by Naman Jain) who actually likes Bugs uncle for the man he is, tries to teach his elder brother Prashant the importance of investing money. He then shares the secret about Bugs uncle, who, opposed to the expectations of everyone else laughing at him, turns out to be a multimillionaire even though he does nothing.
Towards the end, the real worth of this “Idiot” is exposed, and the teenagers realize that they can, indeed, learn a lot from this multi-millionaire.
Moral of the story: Money might not be important as claimed by some quotes such as “money can’t buy happiness”. But, money can help you achieve financial freedom which in return, provides you the opportunity to do things you love without worrying about money, the responsibilities you have in life etc. In short, financial freedom helps you stay happy without worrying about anything.
Moving on, financial freedom isn’t rocket science. In fact, the process to achieve financial freedom is very easy. However, you must remember a few things if you are trying to achieve this freedom.
- There’s isn’t a right time to start investing. You can and you should start as soon as you realize the need. In fact, you should start at an early age like our character ‘chote’ from the short film did.
You have to be consistent. In this process, you’ll have to make multiple sacrifices but you should never give up. Remember, if you save today, you’ll be able to spend tomorrow without worrying. Besides, someone rightly said, “work like a slave today and then you’ll be able to live like a king tomorrow:”.
- You don’t have to think much about where to invest, not at least when you are young. Every investment scheme available in the market is equally worth it, be it a fixed deposit scheme, a mutual fund scheme, or investing in the stock market. However, in case you are investing in market-linked securities, you must have sufficient knowledge about how things work in this domain. Same goes with Fixed deposit schemes. If you are to invest in a fixed deposit, make sure the scheme you are choosing for the purpose offers the highest interest rate.
Towards the end, I would like to quote Mr. Bugs from the short movie, “If we spend our money on things we don’t need today, we might end up with nothing to spend on things we need tomorrow.