Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Green Swan. As you are well aware, today is the Fourth of July, and admittedly one of my most favorite holidays. Everything about this holiday screams fun, excitement, and celebration. And on top of that, it is the most patriotic holiday for the U.S. Love it or leave it!

The Fourth of July brings back so many great childhood memories. Growing up we would always travel to my uncle’s farmhouse and get the whole family together for the celebration. And the day would be shared with not only aunts, uncles and cousins, but my grandparents, siblings of my grandparents, my cousins’ grandparents on the other side of their family, and we’d also have plenty of family friends stop by. As a kid it was a blast!

What I liked most about it was that the day was filled with tradition. We would always, always have a big family baseball game. As you can tell by how many folks I listed above at my uncle’s, it was quite easy to fill two teams along with plenty of spectators. I always looked forward to the baseball game the most, but we of course had a great grill-out. And when the sun went down we would begin to light off our own fireworks. Ok, maybe I looked forward to this the most! It. Was. Awesome!

And how appropriate for the Fourth of July to be filled with family tradition. The tradition of the Fourth of July holiday is steeped across the U.S. It was a holiday everyone celebrated and it brought everyone together.

So on a day filled with tradition, I want to talk a little bit about how it all came to be.

Time for me to give a quick history lesson. The Fourth of July is not the day we received our independence from Britain. And neither is that the reason the Fourth of July holiday ever came about.

Back in the 18th century, we were not the “United States”. We were a bunch of colonies at that time. And in the eyes of Britain, we were an investment that needed to start to provide a return. Britain was paying for our defense, etc, so time for the colonies to start paying some revenue (tax) back to the mother country.

That is where the disagreement started. The colonies didn’t agree with “taxation without representation”. Since we didn’t have any representation in the British Parliament, we shouldn’t have to pay tax.

The Continental Congress was formed and Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. It was later revised and edited by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson before being sent to Congress. On July 4, 1776 it was approved by all 13 colonies and fully adopted. And so began the American Revolution!

This is where the holiday comes from and why it is known as Independence Day!

This is day we declared independence, not the day we received independence. For the colonies, after July 4, 1776, there was still a war to be won. We still needed to fight for our independence.

And that my friends, couldn’t be a better tie-in for a personal finance blog. Today I want to declare my financial independence. What better day to declare financial independence than today? No, I’m not going to my employer and saying, “I’m out!” There is still a war to be won…so I’ll keep my declaration concealed and private for now (except to you fine folks).

Just like the American Revolution, it will take years before I actually reach independence. The American Revolution was fought until 1783, about seven years after declaring independence before we finally received our independence. I’m not sure it will take that long for my wife and myself, but it may. But we are hoping it will only take five more years before we reach financial independence.

Also, similar to the American Revolution, the desire to gain independence had been brewing for years before actually formally declaring independence. For the colonies, the first opposition to the mother country began in 1765 when the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a significant measure to tax the colonies. It took the colonies over 11 years from that initial opposition to declare its independence. For my wife and I, we have been employed and “working for the man” for about 10 years and now the day has finally come for us to declare our financial independence…

On this day, July 4, 2016, 240 years after the American Colonies declared their independence from Britain, my wife and I declare our financial independence! And so began The Green Swan Revolution!

I hope today’s post is a bit educational, a bit fun, and a bit inspiring. Enjoy your Independence Day and all of your great family traditions! Be safe if you are lighting off fireworks. And maybe this year, enjoy thinking about a different kind of independence as well, your Financial Independence!

The Green Swan

Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach

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Ray Ray

Hey J.W,

Thanks for the history lesson…. and it’s fantastic to see that you are still waging war on debt and have declared your financial independence! Congrats!
It’s going to be a great day when you CAN say “I’m out!!”

I know I can’t wait for that day to come 🙂

Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions

Terrific overview of the history of the 4th! We also had great 4th of July traditions! My kids are both lifeguards now – so the day has turned in to work around here, but we still try to do a few fun things as a family. Happy “Anniversary” of your road to freedom too!

Rob @ Money Nomad

I love the comparison between US freedom and financial freedom. It’s definitely something worth pondering on this holiday — we need to ensure that we are embracing the freedoms we have received responsibility. Thanks for being a financial Paul Revere! 🙂

Marc @ Rusty Savings

Thanks for the inspiring financial freedom speech! I am definitely feeling excited about financial freedom now that I’ve found this community. Although it’s 10-15 years down the road to me, that’s definitely a lot better than the 35-40 years I thought it would take. Blogs like these will keep me inspired, keep it up!

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