With regards to accomplishing financial stability, there is no time like the present to make your first strides. Whether you’re simply beginning, or recouping from a separation, work misfortune or insolvency, my tips for financial independence can help you get back on track.
Set Reasonable, Small Goals
Start with reasonable goals. Remember, the small things you do add up and lead to your greater accomplishment of financial independence. For most of us, baby steps work better than taking giant leaps. They’re less scary!
Save and Invest Money
A lot of us feel like we can’t save money because we have so many bills to pay. Others don’t invest money because they don’t know the first thing about investing. But if you make saving and investing priorities in your life, you’re more likely to do them. Save whatever you can, eve if it’s a few dollars, because it ads up! Think about the little luxuries you can give up (like fancy coffee or eating lunch out every day) and put that money in a savings account instead.
Investing helps your money grow. You can buy a share of stock with a good dividend. Watch your money grow as dividends are paid. The stock will usually split, giving you even more stock. You’ve only made the initial investment that costs very little.
You should set a monthly budget and live by it. Figure out how much you spend on bills each month and also on incidentals and luxuries. You can even budget the amount you’ll spend on holiday gifts later in the year. Be a smart shopper, buy things on sale and clip coupons. Use your credit cards less. You can take the money you save and put it into your savings account or invest it. You can also place it in an emergency fund.
Credit Card Debt
Many people have credit card debt (and on multiple cards) and once you have it, it can be hard to pay off. But you can pay it off! Start with the card with the least amount of debt and make extra payments against the premium. That way, you’ll pay your debt off faster. And when you’re done with this card, move on to the next one. If you manage your credit card use from the start, you won’t have a ton of debt to pay off in the future.
If you are a homeowner, your mortgage is probably your largest expense. Paying one extra mortgage payment a year can make a huge dent in your debt. But you must make sure your mortgage holder applies payment for principal. A great time to do this is when you receive a tax refund. You may be tempted to take a vacation, but consider using it to pay down your debt.
Plan for Next Year
Take time at the end of each year to plan for financial success the following year. Do you have new goals or are they the same as the previous year? Has your financial situation changed? Have there been any new additions to your family? What changes do you anticipate in the new year?
Needs vs. Wants
Financial independence doesn’t come easy for most of us. We have to think about our needs verses our wants, and for some of us, our wants often win. But this is your financial future we’re talking about! Limit your wants to when you can truly afford them.
No Fairy Dust Here
If you want financial independence, there is no amount of fairy dust that will help you achieve it. Work with what you have, set goals, make a budget and stick to it! Then check in every once in a while to see how you’re doing. Hopefully these tips help you stay on top of your finances and get you closer to financial independence. And for a look into your personal situation, don’t hesitate to give me a call.
Let’s map out your financial success together!