• Anurag Prabhakar – Student, Kautilya

Everyone should have equal access to opportunities in life. While it is true that not all are blessed with the same capabilities or assets, I am certain that no compassionate person believes that anyone should be precluded from opportunity just because they cannot afford to seize it. In fact, I am willing to go so far as to say that there exists a moral obligation for each one of us who has been able to achieve something substantial–be it financial success or not–to ensure that others have a chance at achieving their dreams too.

I am a firm believer in the philosophy of ‘financial independence for social upliftment’. Some people call it ‘giving back’, although I think that sounds too altruistic. I’m not simply looking to donate or volunteer my time for the sake of good karma, I am pursuing financial independence in order to provide opportunities for others.

Becoming a millionaire needs a lot more time than a person may have to allocate towards investing. To become financially independent takes even more. So why do so many people still struggle? Let me address this question by discussing the following topics: the concept of financial freedom; its relationship to social mobility; how many people actually achieve social mobility through employment; and what can be done to increase social mobility.

Financial Freedom is a term that describes the moment one becomes free from financial obligations or burdens. In order to have this freedom, there must be some money saved towards retirement as well as some extra cash on-hand for emergencies. This emergency fund can vary anywhere between three months’ worth of expenses up to as much as one year’s worth of expenses, depending upon who you ask. The point is that after one has accumulated enough savings for either emergencies or retirement, he/she may decide how much more income he/she wishes to put into investments in order to achieve social upliftment through wealth accumulation.

What is Social Mobility? This term generally refers to a change in status in society. This change can be financial, social, or both. For example, let’s say that a single parent has two children who are also single parents living together in an apartment. If one of the children were to get themselves out of debt and financially independent by renting a house, then they would have achieved some form of social mobility through financial independence because there is no longer any shared income to support their daily expenses. Social mobility could also take place if one child were to go back to school while the other kept working at their current job – this may result in one having a more stable income than the other does for a while – but eventually both will come out with equal levels of education which should pave the way for both achieving success.

Social mobility is an important factor in an opportunistic economy, which refers to opportunities being more widely available for those who have certain means of access. Some examples include transportation, education, and money. Having these things make it easier to get by; without them, one may not be able to find work (if he/she cannot afford a car), go to school (which costs tuition and fees as well as textbooks), or buy anything (income must exist first before any kind of transaction can take place).

But what does this all mean for social mobility? There are many factors that contribute towards someone achieving it: savings and debt levels; their age and life stage; where they live; their career prospects; and even the education level of their parents.

If you are young with few commitments–or even if you are older with many–I urge you to start learning about long term wealth creation and the power of compounding. Do not let others decide how much money you need.

Becoming financially independent is just the first step! Once you have the time and resources to pursue your dreams, you will find that others want to help you succeed. I can definitely relate–I’ve found my network growing exponentially since starting on this journey. The most fulfilling aspect of achieving my goals is helping others achieve theirs too. You’ll find out soon enough that it’s not about money; it’s about giving back(and having fun doing it).


> Financial Freedom vs. Financial Independence: How They’re Different, And How You Can Get There
> GDP and Standard of Living

*The Kautilya School of Public Policy (KSPP) takes no institutional positions. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views or positions of KSPP.