Financial freedom has a nice ring to it, huh? It’s a buzzword for a reason—there is so much freedom that comes with having a little less responsibility on you financially. 

In today’s episode, I’m highlighting a few ways that financial freedom has impacted my life, opened doors to exploring different possibilities in life, and allowed me to chase a dream I really never imagined possible.

Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

Financial Freedom is a Priority and What it Means to Me (00:58)

Transitioning into Entrepreneurship because of Financial Freedom (2:55)

Working Full Time for Yourself (4:30)

Where I Was 5 Years Ago (5:17)

How The Pandemic Affected My Job (6:51)

Exploring Podcast Production and Photography Full Time (7:54)

Becoming a Full-Time Entrepreneur (8:43)

The Power of Financial Freedom (9:58)

Make Financial Freedom a Priority (10:22)


Review the Transcript:

Reference ep 5 (student loans) and 20 (house payoff) in this episode

Financial freedom has a nice ring to it, huh? It’s a buzzword for a reason—there is some much freedom that comes with having a little less responsibility on you financially. 

In today’s episode, I’m highlighting a few ways that financial freedom has impacted my life, opened doors to exploring different possibilities in life, and allowed me to chase a dream I really never imagined possible.


If you’re new around here, you know that financial freedom is a priority in my life. To me, financial freedom simply means that I don’t have many if any financial obligations to other people. Examples of this type of debt include car payments, student loans, credit cards, mortgage, etc.

I know that my last few episodes have heavily focused on podcast production and launching a podcast of your own, but I want to bring it back to a few older episodes when I shared about money and paying off debt.

First of all, I’d love it if you’d head back to episode 1 of the podcast where I share 5 lessons my mom taught me about money. I do think it’s important to have a good foundational understanding of money so that you can have a healthy relationship with it. Even if you didn’t grow up with similar lessons, we as adults have to power to make changes to our mindset and understanding of money—I know personally my relationship with money has absolutely changed with my own personal growth, but also with the influence of my husband who is very budget conscious in every decision he makes with money. Additionally, having debt shouldn’t stop you from being on a journey to financial freedom, it’s actually the only way you’ll get started on the journey.

I’ve shared my own journey on the podcast previously, in episodes 5 and 20. In 5, I talk about paying off student loan debt, and in episode 20, where I share what it was like to pay off our mortgage in 5 years, and what one year without house payments has felt like.

The biggest and most obvious impact that financial freedom has had on my life was giving me the opportunity to explore what I wanted to do and encouraged me to do what I love every single day. 

Let’s chat about the transition into this entrepreneur thing. Five years ago, I was asked to speak to my alma mater about life in the advertising world after college. At the time, I was working in an agency and building a little photography business on the side. I remember going into this room, sharing about my career and what agency life was like, and one student asked, “what does life look like for freelancers?”

My response cracks me up now, because I didn’t hesitate to say, great money if you can book the work. I could never do the freelance thing, because it’s so inconsistent.

Now that I’m in the freelance, entrepreneur space, what a joke that is—because it’s so not true.

It wasn’t but a few months later, I’d be turning in my resignation to my desk job to take a contract position that opened my eyes to the work of freelance.

I never in a million years imagined I’d work full-time for my own business, but due to circumstances beyond my control, and the impacts of financial freedom, I now do.

I am now responsible for my own paychecks. I have to secure the clients. I have to make sure they pay. I have to do my own marketing. I own my own business.

But how did I go from that statement five years ago to now not being able to imagine a life where I work for someone else?

Well let’s start with something I was doing five years ago… I was working a 40 hour work week, then going home and editing for 4-5 hours at night, shooting every weekend—it was a lot of working. 

While they tell you to do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, that’s some twisted idea of the truth, because for 4 years, I kept that mentality. 

I worked as hard as I could for a 40 hour a week job, then spent nights doing the same thing of working other side jobs. As much as I LOVE what I do, I don’t want to it every single day of the week. I want to explore more outdoors and go on more trips, and spend time with friends. I don’t need to work 10 hour days, 7 days a week… but for about three years, that’s what I did. I hustled in that season. But I couldn’t do that for forever..

Doing that did impact how much we were paying down debt and how we got into a space of financial freedom as quickly as we did.

I know I mentioned this in episode 20, but during the pandemic, in July of 2020, my contract role of 40 hours a week was cut in half. While I was no longer supported by a role that I considered to be consistent income, I did what freelancers do and started putting feelers out to industry friends about podcasting and photography to gain other little jobs.

I wanted to make up the income I was losing because I’d always been able to contribute to the household.

Those little jobs started to grow, mostly being podcasts since this was still in a primarily quarantining time. I soon realized, there weren’t many podcast producers in the creative entrepreneur space.. AND I loved listening to the educational content that many of my new clients were producing.

My original contractor role never went back to full-time, so I decided that I wanted to start exploring more opportunities with podcast production and my photography. I wanted to do it full time, but I was also scared. 

I had been my entire life, having a stable, consistent career had been instilled in me for my whole life by adults, media, my educators… and even in my adult life, having friends in the entrepreneur space, I still didn’t see it as an option..

I Haylee could never be an entrepreneur. I was always going to be a side-hustler.

Until November of 2020, when I decided that I wanted to make my own schedule, do things I enjoyed doing, and really build a life and a career that I enjoyed doing every day.

I had this conversation with my husband multiple times during 2020. I wanted to really lean into my own business and build something.

It wasn’t until we had paid off our mortgage and saved up some money that it was realistic for me to do it. I decided that if I could replace what I had been making pre-COVID within 6 months, then that would mean I made it.

I had a bit of savings in my business account that I could continue to pay myself with, so I knew I could go at least 2 months without any new income and still pay myself the same. 

And guess what—it didn’t take me long to replace that income.

I quickly realized the power that financial freedom had given me to chase this dream, it offered me a security that I had previously embodied in the security of an 8-5 job. 

By not having a mountain of debt to pay down and just a handful of bills to pay, I was able to do something that the old Haylee would have never dreamed of.

Now I know this episode isn’t like my normal episodes where I give you tactical steps to take to achieve some goal of yours, but if financial freedom is something that you’re looking to accomplish or having that debt and insecurity of consistent income is holding you back from chasing a dream, I really want you to consider making financial freedom your priority for the rest of the year. 

If you’re looking for a little more tactical steps, you can check out the episodes I’ve mentioned throughout this episode — 1,5,8 and 20, and I’ll link them in the show notes at gaffincreative..com/027

Thank you so much for tuning in! As always, whether you’re doing it at your 8-5 or your own business, I”m cheering for you! Until next time, I’m Haylee Gaffin, clocking out.