Financial freedom is something most of us strive for. But all too often, it seems like an unreachable goal — or at least a goal that will take many years to achieve. If you’re longing to be more financially independent, you can make major progress or even achieve your goal in less time than you think.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
What does financial freedom mean to you? Make some goals: what debts you’d like to pay off, how much you’d like to save, and what bad financial habits you’d like to break by this time next year. Then, write them down and commit.
2. Create Actionable Steps
Now that you have some financial goals written down, how will you achieve them? Consider each goal individually, then map out the steps that will get you there. Say you have a $15,000 car debt you’d like to pay off. How much can you pay on that every month to get rid of it in a year or slightly longer? Do you have bonuses or tax returns you can put toward paying off debt? How much can you trim from your monthly spending to put toward savings?
3. Live Beneath Your Means
If you live beneath your means, you’ll avoid (or pay off) debt and be able to save money. Most of our financial struggles come from living above our means and spending more than we earn. Can you find a way to earn more money? Sure. But no matter how much you make, chances are you can also afford to spend less.
4. Save Money. No Matter What.
Don’t put off saving money for when you believe you have the money to do it. Do it now. Even if you can only spare $10 or $20 a month, you’ll be further ahead at this time next year, and that’ll feel good. Make saving a habit you absolutely must do; just like paying bills, only you’re paying yourself.
5. Keep Investing
How can you invest when you have very little money? What about when the market is bad? The truth is, you can always find ways to invest. Not sure where to turn? Talk to an expert who can help you find investments you can afford that are likely to pay off.