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Declaration of Financial Independence by Beth Jones, RLP®

In the spirit of Independence Day why not consider issuing your own personal Declaration of Financial Independence? The following is one form it might take, and is shared with permission from author and fellow financial planner, Rick Kahler, CFP. Rick has authored several books including Wired for Wealth: Change The Money Mindsets That Keep You Trapped and Unleash Your Wealth Potential (HCI).

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all persons are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I understand that fulfilling these rights requires the wise use of personal and financial resources, based on a balance of financial freedom and financial responsibility.

Therefore, I hereby make this personal Declaration of Financial Independence.

I declare my understanding that the ultimate responsibility for my financial well-being is mine alone. It is not borne by any government, organization, family member, or financial advisor. I understand that working with and learning from others is valuable, but my ability to provide financially for myself, my family, and my future depends primarily on my choices and my actions.

I declare my understanding of the fundamental principle of financial independence: spending less than I earn and investing the difference. I commit to follow that principle in my large and small financial decisions by developing the habit of frugality.

I declare my independence from the tyranny of consumer debt. I will not use credit to buy what I cannot afford, but pledge to use a credit card only for convenience and only when I can pay the balance due in full. I will regularly save for short-term goals like purchasing a car, vacations, home repairs, and medical expenses.

I declare my independence from financial ignorance. I pledge to learn the basics of money management, budgeting, economics, and investing. I pledge to be aware and conscious of my expenditures and to regularly track my spending. I will learn basic economic principles such as supply and demand and the difference between capitalism and socialism.

I declare my independence from the emotional slavery of my destructive money scripts. I pledge to invest the time, energy, and money necessary to understand my unconscious beliefs about money and to re-script those that do not serve me well.

I declare my independence from the trap of measuring my financial and personal success by real or imagined societal standards. I pledge to honor myself by defining what success and financial independence mean to me instead of blindly adhering to the definitions of others.

I declare my independence from fear of losing what I have. I pledge to learn and to use appropriate asset protection strategies to protect the financial resources I accumulate.

I declare that my health and my career are the most important assets I own and manage. I pledge to invest in my own future by living a healthy lifestyle and by obtaining the education I need to develop my career skills and earning power and to keep them current.

I pledge to teach my children, through my guidance and my example, the principles of financial independence.

I declare my understanding that money is the most powerful and pervasive secular force on the planet, so mastering money skills is necessary for survival in the 21st century. I pledge to respect money as a useful and essential life tool. I pledge to give it an appropriate place in my life, not regarding the accumulation of wealth as an end in itself but using money as a valuable resource to help me fulfill my life aspirations.

In full understanding of the importance of taking responsibility for my own financial well-being, I do hereby solemnly pledge to take action to fulfill this personal Declaration of Financial Independence.

Beth Jones, RLP® is a Registered Life Planner and Financial Consultant with Third Eye Associates, Ltd, a Registered Investment Adviser located at 38 Spring Lake Road in Red Hook, NY. She can be reached at 845-752-2216 or Securities offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC.

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