Most people think of money as something they earn through work in order to cover life’s basic necessities and other purchases. This way of thinking is not necessarily wrong, but it is also not enough if you want to be wealthy and financially independent.
Take it one step further and think of your money as soldiers under your command, they can do lots of different things for you. These soldiers ensure that you can cover basic needs such as food and housing. They can also get you other things such as new cars, cable TV, gadgets, massages, and so forth. But most importantly, they can set you free. Free from depending on somebody else (usually your employer) to make a living. Thus the term financial freedom or financial independence. When you save and invest your money, you are putting together an army and sending it off to work for you. If you send them to the right places (invest well), they will come back to you with new soldiers (new money earned) that are now part of your army. As you repeat this process, you will eventually have a big enough army that the new soldiers you get each year are enough to support yourself.
When you buy something, you are giving your soldiers away to somebody else. If you do that to cover a basic expense or increase your long-term happiness, fine, you have put your troops to good use. However, when you buy something you don’t really need you give away these valuables soldiers while sacrificing or delaying your own freedom. We are not suggesting that you cut every single non-essential purchase to $0, but instead that you understand the trade-offs you are making every time you let your little soldiers go. If you start thinking about your money this way, hopefully it help you avoid unnecessary spending.