4 Weeks to Freedom: The Road to Financial Independence
Financial independence is highly desirable. Yet, for some reason, it seems to elude many of us. You've likely tried your hand at many different approaches, yet none have been able to give you the anticipated results.
The good news is that financial independence can be achieved. By making certain adjustments to your life, you'll find yourself starting to build financial independence. So put aside your plan to work harder or put in longer hours and read on to find the answers you’ve been searching for.
Following these steps will lead you to financial independence:
1. Eliminate credit as your go to. Having a good credit score can open up opportunities for you. But living in the credit culture also puts you in a stressful situation.
· If you’re seeking financial independence, start by limiting credit use.
· You probably have a few credit cards in your wallet. Keep one to two for emergencies. Just ensure the credit limit is somewhat in line with the amount of cash you’ve saved.
· If you're unable to purchase something with cash, it probably means you can't afford it. Live within your means.
· Avoid borrowing for frivolous expenditures. Those are usually the hardest loans to repay.
2. Treat needs and wants differently. Take a look at your life. How many of the things you have or do can be considered necessities? If you're honest with yourself, you'll realize you're piling on unnecessary expenses focusing on your wants rather than your needs.
· Making a list of the things you require for survival is a necessary step for financial independence.
· Everything that didn’t make the list can easily be eliminated from your expenses each month. Why put that amount of burden on yourself? It's time to give your finances a break.
· The things you do to maintain a calm existence can be added to your list of necessities. For example, your yoga class may be necessary because of the physical and emotional benefits. But you can reduce the monthly expense by purchasing a yoga DVD and working out at home.
3. Tap into your skill set. Are you working in a field that you love and that maximizes your skills? If you think about it, you'll realize that you're most productive when you’re doing something you like or are good at.
· Think about your current job. Is it bringing out the best in you? Or, can you earn more and increase your productivity in another field?
· Perhaps you can pursue a transfer to another department at your current place of employment. Or maybe you want to move on to something completely different.
4. Save money at all costs. Even if it's a dollar at a time, put aside money for your savings account each month. Learning to save helps you develop an understanding of its importance.
· One way to save is to request a salary deduction each month. That amount can go to an investment account, which limits your access.
· Many companies have 401(K) or 403(B) accounts that can get you started with a savings plan. Look into what’s available at your place of employment.
After reading this, you'll likely realize it's much easier than you think to make some simple financial adjustments. Give yourself four weeks of this routine and then assess how it’s going. You'll feel encouraged by the positive results!
-Tiffany M. Vaughn, CPA