As I sit here surrounded by torn wrapping paper, empty boxes, and a room full of children happily playing with Game Boys and puzzles and Matchbox cars, it occurs to me that this is the first Christmas since I was still in school where I didn’t have an underlying nervous sense of worry about how I was going to possibly pay for all of the gifts.
I know that many of my family members used plastic to cover their Christmas gifts. One friend of mine actually did a house refinancing to get rid of the credit card debt of this Christmas and of Christmases and other unnecessary purchases.
It is a deep psychological relief to not have to worry about any of that. I just stick to one basic principle – spend less than you earn – and I work as hard as I can to make that gap between what I earn and what I spend as big as I can. The end result of that is financial freedom – the ability to do the things I want to do.
Financial freedom isn’t about the best way to manage your bank account – it’s a tool to get there.
Financial freedom isn’t about optimizing your investments – that just ensures that your money is doing good things for you.
Financial freedom is about being able to sit here with a glass of egg nog, watching a house full of people enjoy their Christmas presents, and not have the slightest bit of worry about anything more than when the traditional Christmas ham is going to be done.
It also means that I can give the gifts I truly want to give without worrying about the money, and it means I can sit here and laugh and smile and eat Christmas cookies without any real worry in my heart.
It’s truly the best Christmas gift of all.