What is financial independence, and how can you obtain it? This is a question many Americans struggle to answer today. In fact, you may come across thousands of different responses to this question.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and determine what it means and what it takes to become financially independent. And, remember, your path will depend on your unique set of goals.

What is financial independence to you

What Is Financial Independence Exactly?

Is it a process or a concept? Possibly a strategy or a financial status? Maybe it’s a combination of them all.

So what is financial independence? It’s the status of not having to rely on anyone else to meet your financial needs. Moreover, it’s the accumulation of income and assets that gives you the freedom to pay for your living expenses for the rest of your life.

At Investment U, we believe financial independence can lead you on a path to financial freedom. You can’t walk the path without the financial stability to save your money and invest it properly.

There are many steps to financial freedom. You must build a balance between your personal and professional life. This includes budgeting, eliminating debt and developing passive income.

From Financial Independence to Financial Freedom

Once you don’t have to rely on anyone else to meet your financial needs, you can really expand on your savings efforts. And the more you save, the closer you get to financial freedom.

Take your current job, for instance. By budgeting properly, you can set aside a percentage of each paycheck to cover specific goals.

First and foremost, pay off your monthly bills and living expenses. Next, place a certain percentage into your savings. You can even automate these efforts to ensure the money transfers on a specific date each month.

Lastly, take a small percentage of your income and learn how to invest in stocks. This will help you develop passive income.

What is financial independence without a smart investment strategy in the first place? It’s almost impossible.

Investing in the stock market is your quickest outlet to financial freedom. With compound interest, the stock exchange gives you the best chance at bringing in massive returns. In addition, your total interest returns will grow as your portfolio expands.

And this doesn’t take away from your savings efforts. It’s a win-win scenario that opens you up to the potential of huge stock market gains.

Find Your Path to Independence

Habits affect every aspect of life, including your finances. Developing healthy financial habits can lead you down the right path. Save your money, live within your means and make smart investment choices.

Investment U is home to some of the country’s leading stock market experts. For immediate access to their daily insights, trend updates and retirement strategies, sign up for our free e-letter below. You will discover ideas that cover anything and everything investing, from the top penny stocks to the latest IPOs.

What is financial independence without a plan? It’s like throwing darts blindfolded. Open your eyes to a better future, and begin building wealth today.

Read next: How to Become Financially Independent in 7 Steps