A Personal Declaration of Financial Independence

This July 4, why not consider issuing your own personal Declaration of Financial Independence? Here is one form it might take:

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.

Article I. 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.

Article II. 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.

Article III. 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.

Article IV. 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.

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

Article VI. 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.

Article VII. 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.

Article VIII. 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.

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

Article X. 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.

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3 Responses to A Personal Declaration of Financial Independence

  1. Maggie Baker, Ph.D. June 28, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    HI Rick,

    Great way to celebrate the 4th! I’ll passs it on to my clients.


  2. Bobbie in Atlanta June 28, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    I’m posting this wonderful article on my facebook page. Thanks and happy 4th!

  3. Richard Trachtman, Ph.D. June 29, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Here I go, being contrarian again. Yin and Yang do not exist without each other, yet your declaration sounds so Yang, Western, independent and individualistic vs. comunal and interrelated. People are relationsal animals and can not exist for long in isolation, which means that they must at some points be interdependent. We all owe each other in some way sooner or later and sometimes in financial ways. It is a matter of keeping things in balance. I would submit that taking on a mortgage on terms you can resonably expect to afford based on income and assetts is a reasonable assumption of debt. Health and career are very important but a supportive and loving relationship with family is often more important. Loving family members are supportive and sometimes that includes financial support. It is one thing for me to relieve my neice of financial burden by giving her a place to live while she returns to graduate school (as I am dong) and another to allow her to become a permanently financially dependent cripple. My 97 year old father-in-law may leave my wife an inheritance, which would be welcome, but we may end up contributing to his support if need be. Yin and Yang.