The 4th of July commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence in the United States. It’s hard, at least for me, to think about this holiday and not focus on two words: independence and freedom.

Yes, I spent the day celebrating with friends – enjoying good food, music, and libations. But if I’m honest, with all that is happening in the United States right now, today is a bit heavy. And it has me wondering about the meaning of the day in a different way than previous years, questioning even more so: 

Independence and freedom for whom?


Perhaps this is a little too philosophical – or “on the nose” as the saying goes – to pose on a holiday. But, I wonder nonetheless.

I wonder who else is sitting with the same question. Especially in light of historical facts: Blacks weren’t independent and free on July 4th, 1776.

And let’s not forget recent events.

I wonder how many other people and countries are a bit nervous about the state of the United States’ democracy.

I wonder how many people (in the U.S. and elsewhere) use news, events, and even this holiday to take a moment and reflect on and define what independence and freedom mean to them.

And so I ask: 

What does independence and freedom look and feel like to you?

Do you feel what you’ve described? Do you feel independent and free?

And since everything intersects with money on some level, I’d also like to know: 

What does financial independence and freedom look and feel like for you and your family? 

If you’re open to sharing, I’d love to read your answers – just send me a DM on IG

In the meantime, here are a few reminders, courtesy of the U.S. Independence Day weekend: 

  • Beware of the propensity to use “independence” and “freedom” interchangeably; they are not the same. In much the same way as “income” and “wealth” are not the same, yet they often get conflated as a measure of one’s financial well-being. 
  • Be sure to define for yourself what independence and freedom mean. In other words, don’t just adopt someone else’s definition without ensuring it “fits” with your needs, wants, goals, and vision. 
  • Make sure to determine what your numbers are – aka: what will make you say, “Yes, I am financially independent and financially free.” (In the process, don’t get hung up on the accuracy of the numbers because this is about clarity – not certainty.)

And a big thing to remember is this: It starts with security – physical, emotional, psychological, and financial.

Being and feeling secure and safe is the first rung to being independent and free. This pertains to your human rights as well as to your financial well-being.

So yes, let’s celebrate! Let’s enjoy the long holiday weekend with family and friends. AND…

Please, ponder along with me what independence and freedom look and feel like to and for you – financially and otherwise. Because whether you live in the United States or abroad, we are being reminded that these should never be taken for granted. 

Have fun and be safe!! 

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