Achieving financial freedom is a goal for a lot of people. It generally means that you have enough savings put to one side, and enough cash-in-hand to afford the lifestyle you want. It will also give you the chance to retire, or even pursue the career you want even if you need to take a pay cut. The problem is that too many people fail to achieve true financial freedom because they are burdened with debt or they simply spend too much. If you want to stop this from being the case, then now is the time for you to make a positive change.
Set your Life Goals
Think about it, what does financial freedom look like to you? It may be that you have goals which are too vague. Either way, if you want to get around this then you need to write down how much you should have in your bank. You then need to write down what exactly your lifestyle entails and what age you would like to achieve this by. The more specific you can be with your goals, the more likely you will be to achieve them. When you have done this, you can then count back to your current age and establish mileposts as often as you can. If you do this, then you can write everything down neatly so that you can really make a positive change for yourself. Use this amortization schedule calculator if you want to work out your current loan.
Make a Budget
Making a household budget and of course, sticking to it, is a fantastic way for you to ensure that your bills are going to be paid and that all of your savings are on track. It will also help you to stick to a routine that enforces your goals as well as bolstering any resolve that you have to avoid spending.
Pay your Credit Cards
Credit cards and other high-interest loans really are toxic to your wealth. You need to make a point to pay off the balance as often as you can. Student loans and mortgages tend to have a lower interest rate so you don’t need to worry about paying this off. Making your payments on time is also a fantastic way for you to boost your credit rating, so keep that in mind as much as you possibly can.
Automate Your Savings
It’s a very good idea for you to enrol in the retirement plan that your employer is able to offer you. This will give you the chance to make full use of any matching contribution benefits you may make. It’s very wise for you to have an automatic withdrawal if you possibly can. This will help you with your emergency fund and it will also help you with any unexpected expenses that you might have. Ideally you have to portion up your money as soon as you are paid. This will help you to make sure that it never touches your hands. Avoid the temptation where possible and you will soon find that you are able to come out on top more than ever before.
Invest Right Now
Bad stock markets can easily make you question this, but when you look at things historically, you will soon see that there has truly never been a better way for you to grow your money than by investing. The magic that is compound interest will increase it even more and it will also help you to achieve meaningful growth too. Open up an online brokerage account if possible as this will help you to make it easier to invest and it will also give you the chance to make a much more meaningful portfolio. Achieving financial freedom can be very difficult in the face of growing debt. This is especially the case when you have things such as medical emergencies and issues going on too. If you are careful and if you are disciplined though, then you will soon find that you can come out on top with ease.
Watch your Credit
Your credit score will ultimately determine the interest rate that you are going to be offered whenever you buy a new car or if you refinance your home. It also impacts things that may not seem related, such as your car insurance or even your life premium. The reasoning is that if someone has reckless financial habits then they may be much more likely to be reckless in life, whether it is through drinking or even driving. This is why it is so important for you to get a credit report at regular times so that you can stop any black marks from appearing against your name. This will protect you even more in the future.
So many people hesitate when it comes to negotiation. They feel as though it is rude, or that there simply is no wiggle room for the price. This is not usually the case. You need to overcome this as you may end up saving thousands every year. Small companies tend to be very open for negotiation and if you offer to buy in bulk or if you buy on a regular basis then this may open the door for you to get some fantastic discounts in the future.
Review all of the changes that might be in the tax law every year if you can. This will help you to make sure that you do everything that you can to keep track of the developments that might be taking place in the stock market. Of course, knowledge is your best defence against those who might want to prey on any unsophisticated investors, so you have to keep this in mind as much as you possibly can.
Taking good care of your property will make everything from lawnmowers to cars or even clothes last way longer. The cost of maintaining something is a fraction of the cost when compared to replacing it, so keep this in mind as much as possible. If you just don’t know where to start here, then try and start with things such as your car. It may be that you need to try and take your car for an evaluation to make sure everything is running well, or that you need to replace things such as your brake pads before they wear out.
Live Below your Means
Mastering a frugal lifestyle isn’t so hard. A lot of wealthy individuals out there have developed a habit of living far below their means. Of course, it is very helpful for you to make sure that you stick to it as well.
Know what you Want and what you Need
This is not a challenge for you to try and adopt a minimalistic lifestyle and it is not a call to action for you to go to the local recycling plant with all the stuff you have accumulated over the years. It is just a way for you to make small adjustments so you can distinguish between the things that you want and the things that you need. If you need some help, then try and take things one step at a time. For example, it may be that you don’t need to get a takeaway coffee every single time you go to work, and that you can easily make a coffee when you get there instead. Sure, you might want a takeaway coffee, but you don’t need one.
When you have reached the point where you have got a nice amount of wealth, whether it is tangible assets or even investments, you then need to get a financial advisor as they can help you to make sure that you are making the best decisions that you possibly can. It will also help you to avoid getting back into the situation that you are in right now, so keep that in mind if you possibly can.
Take Good Care of your Health
The principle of proper maintenance, believe it or not, applies to your body too. You have to make sure that you are paying visits to your doctors and to your dentists as well. A lot of problems that you may well experience in life can sometimes be avoided if you take good care of yourself. Lifestyle changes are now easier than ever to make if you simply exercise and have a healthy diet. Some companies have limited sick days, and this can make you have a notable loss of income if you do fall ill. It’s possible for you to safeguard yourself against things like this if you simply put some savings to one side and if you also make sure that you are putting yourself first.
So all of these tips should help you to become much more financially stable and if you follow them carefully then you will be able to have way more freedom with what you do with your finances and you may even find that you can achieve more without any limitations. There’s never been a better time for you to make a change.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.