Financial freedom is your birth right

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South Africans are looking forward to commemorate Human Rights Day on Thursday. The government declared March 21 Human Rights Day to honour those who fought for our liberation and the rights we enjoy today.

These rights include human dignity, the achievement of equality and advancement of human rights and freedoms.

From a financial point of view, the expression "money makes the world go round" becomes a do-able reality in the lives of all South Africans.

Suze Orman, who earned the reputation of the world's favourite financial advisor, once said that financial freedom is about understanding and accepting the natural cycles of money as it ebbs and flows through our lives.

This happens sometimes in harmony, sometimes in discord. This is much like the cycles of our bodies, our planet and the constant up-and-down movement of the economy as you read about it in the media.

It is important to learn to accept that your own money will also have its ups and downs, no matter how carefully you plan. Even if you do every financial thing right money, like other living things, isn't always going to behave in ways you can predict.

Sometimes you will have more than you expected, and at other times money will flow out and you will have less than you thought.

Let's examine some of the examples that may change your money status. There may be a time when you have money invested in shares and the market goes down dramatically, similar to what we experienced last year.

Suppose you suddenly inherit a valuable piece of property. You may be unfortunate and experience job loss through retrenchment.

Another person may be fortunate enough to be given a surprise promotion. These transitions can be exciting, and often scary, but they are part of the cycles of life and money.

Financial freedom is a state of mind. It begins with your thoughts and behaviours. There are behaviours we can avoid to assist in the journey to achieving this freedom.

Listed below are some dysfunctional money-related behaviours:

  • Using money as a mood changer - for example heading to the shopping mall and using "retail therapy" as justification.
  •  Hidden addictions - this includes things like gambling, drugs and eating out a lot.
  • Hoping to win a lotto - you might be living in fantasy land if you plan your life around this hope. The probability of winning is low or impossible.

The first step towards financial freedom is to take a step back to the earliest moments when money first meant something to you. When you began to see that money could create pleasure and could also create pain and fights. Financial freedom is your birth right. Each and every one of us can be masters of our financial destiny.

  • Sekese is a certified financial planner and member of the Financial Planning Institute, visit www.fpi.co.za
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