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What does freedom mean to you?

Apr 22 2018 05:57
Maya Fisher-French

As we celebrate Freedom Day on Friday, it is worth having a discussion about what freedom means to you and whether you are making the decisions that lead to freedom.

For me, freedom is about choice in every aspect of our lives. In terms of human rights, especially in the South African context of our apartheid history, having the choice around where we live, who we marry and what career we want are all forms of freedom.

But underlying so many choices is the reality of money, and while we may have the opportunity for choice, our choices are often limited by the availability of money.

For me, financial freedom is absolutely key to all other freedoms, and financial freedom is about having enough money to have choices.

Those choices may be the type of school we want to send our child to, the choice to walk out of an abusive relationship, the choice to start your own business or the choice for a dignified retirement.

In my experience of engaging with South Africans and their finances over the past 15 years, the biggest stumbling block to financial freedom (and choice) is debt and the resulting lack of savings.

If I had one wish for Freedom Day, it would be for people to start saving for their choices by making better decisions about their money today. 

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