If you want financial freedom, do not just float through life in hopes of achieving this goal or another. Like a roadmap showing the motorist to his or her destination, goals utilize a map to outline their course, length of time, resources needed, etc. So it is for the individual.
One of the critical goals that involve long-term strategy is your goal of being financially secure. Financial freedom is having the monetary stability to make life choices and decisions without the burden of financial stress. It is to live beyond comfortably.
Attaining financial freedom is one of the biggest goals for people. However, while the term financial freedom is frequently used, the main core of its meaning and the steps to achieving it can be a bit blurry.
Financial freedom can also refer to specific goals such as being able to retire earlier, live debt-free, and have the luxury of going on a vacation every year. Once you pinpoint what financial freedom means to you, then you can start taking the steps to achieve it.
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The 8 Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom
Set Financial Goals
To achieve your dreams of financial freedom, it is essential that you set financial goals. Goals are those achievements that we strive for but, to achieve those goals, there needs to be a plan of action.
You will likely flounder like a ship at sea with a broken rudder without a clear-cut financial goal. And your dreams of making financially secure will remain that – a dream.
If it’s important for you to achieve the destination of a comfortable retirement, you should set aside a certain portion of your earnings regularly, shelter your money from taxes, and invest that money.
Goal setting is powerful in all aspects of life, and there’s a science to it.
Experts agree that it’s good practice to set goals that are measurable, achievable and specific. Take the time to set your financial goals, mobilize all resources at your disposal, and then crush it.
Accomplishing your goal of financial freedom will allow you to live stress-free. You can take control of your money and life, so it doesn’t take control of you.
Learn to Manage Money
Make a monthly budget spread in your planner, or track expenses on a spreadsheet. This will help you determine how much money you should allot for essentials like groceries and contemplate if you really need that $5 Starbucks drink every morning (just sayin’).
By definition, controlling your spending means that you stay within your means or don’t spend more than you have to. You can accomplish this by managing credit wisely and not spending your hard-earned money paying exorbitant interest each month.
Pay off your credit cards in full and try to pay off any loans you may have sooner than later.
Despite what anyone tells you, it’s achievable no matter how little you earn.
When you succeed in spending less than you earn, you will have an excess every month. This can be invested in several ways and with the power of compound interest, you’ll be on your way to financial freedom in no time.
Open up a savings account if you don’t already have one. Decide on a set amount of money to put aside from each paycheck. Some claim you should strive to save at least half of your paycheck if you can.
Also, when it comes to controlling your spending, self-discipline will serve you well in the present and provide a secure financial future.
Discipline in the use of money is reinforced by realizing the value of money and how it is earned in exchange for time. You wouldn’t want to spend frivolously when you think of money in terms of the amount of work you put in to make it.
Read Financial Books
Financial literacy is a must if you seek a life free of money worries. Unfortunately, school children are taught algebra and calculus but are hardly ever taught the life skills that truly matter, such as money management.
As an adult seeking financial freedom, you have to teach yourself financial skills and keep learning. And luckily, the resources for improving your financial knowledge is available everywhere. Thanks to the internet.
You can read financial books, publications, and personal finance blogs on the Internet. You can also follow personal finance experts on social media, attend seminars (or webinars if hosted online), enroll for free and paid courses online, and get involved in groups and forums focused on promoting financial literacy.
Constant reading is important because it allows you to learn continually and keeps you focused.
Reading financial books will educate you to be better qualified and engaged in valuing, protecting and investing your own money. Learn that there are plenty of apps and platforms that will guide you through trading stocks and everything else investment-related. Check out your options for retirement savings or real estate investments as well.
It is critical to remember that no one will care for your money as you do.
Start a Business
Not everyone is suited to the 9 to 5 lifestyle. Not too keen on the daily commute and dealing with toxic office culture? Then you may consider starting a business. You can start a business around your interest and passion to secure financial freedom for yourself and your dependents.
Business ownership fully displays the spirit of entrepreneurship and will allow you to embark on a rewarding adventure of owning and running your own business.
By starting a business, you will be working for yourself and pursuing something meaningful for you. Also, it reveals your mettle by allowing you to create your path, which is in stark comparison to the typical 9 to 5 treadmill.
Another solid reason for pursuing your own business is the satisfaction gained through success realized through vision, courage and hard work.
Don’t Make Excuses
Achieving financial freedom is about being authentic and not making excuses for your behaviors or blaming others for your non-successes. You own your actions and behaviors, whether it leads to a colossal failure or great success.
On the contrary, the unsuccessful will always turn outwards for the cause of their lack of success. They will find a way to blame their failures on some external circumstances.
In turn, this makes it difficult for them to learn from their failures and avoid making the same mistakes again.
Making excuses can make you broke and unsuccessful. Excuses are the stories you tell yourself to keep you from putting yourself out there and risking failure and rejection.
Excuses are a subconscious pain-avoidance strategy that leaves you stagnating in your comfort zone. It affords you an escape route out of doing what you should be doing to get ahead financially and create abundance in your life.
What are the excuses you tell yourself?
Mistakes, rejections, and failures are part of the journey. Embracing them head-on rather than avoiding them will expand your limit, grow and toughen you.
When you make a mistake, say a poor investment, admit your mistake, minimize your losses and above all, learn from the mistake. The best teacher in the world is the mistakes made in the school of hard knocks.
Failure is not defined by falling from a hill, but what we do after we take that tumble.
Connect With Financially Successful People
According to the motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
You may have heard this several times, but do you realize your circle of friends could determine where you are financially speaking?
If your crowd is the sort that looks forward to Fridays just so they hang out all night, partying and binge drinking, then it’s time you moved on.
If you’re looking for financial freedom, then look to associate yourself with financially successful people. Seek out these people at various venues like service organizations within the community, associations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Lions International, etc.
For the most part, these financially successful people are identified because they have followed a formula for success.
By associating with these individuals, you will learn from them and possibly implement some of their financial techniques and methods. Furthermore, by associating with them, it will help you to maintain your edge and perspective.
It is essential to remember that by associating with your peers, you may be able to provide some insight into their financial life as well.
In 1993, with just three chapters of Harry Potter completed, J. K Rowling was divorced, jobless, broke, and a single mother. She had to rely on government handouts to survive. For two years, she worked steadily on the Harry Potter manuscript and was promptly rejected by 12 major publishers. Deflated but not knocked-out, Rowling persisted until a small publisher accepted 1000 copies and paid her an advance of £1500.
Rowling has since then sold more than 500 million copies of her Harry Potter books. And achieved celebrity status – being the first billionaire author and winner of multiple awards.
History is replete with motivational stories of exceptional individuals who kept at their vision until they broke through despite all seemingly unconquerable odds.
Persistency is the manifestation of unwavering doggedness in the pursuit of a goal or a course of action.
Persistency means pursuing your dreams against all the odds.
Every worthwhile endeavor, including your path to financial freedom, requires a copious dose of persistence. Because let’s face it. Life could be tough. And it wouldn’t do to tuck your tail in between your legs and flee at the first obstacle that comes your way.
That doesn’t mean it’s the end.
Take those temporary setbacks as lost battles – and a signal for you to retreat, reorganize and launch a fresh offensive. The war is only over when you raise your arms in surrender.
It may often appear as if you’re not making any real progress. But if you cling on and persist, you will witness a breakthrough—the breaking of dawn that dispels all the darkness. You will need to cultivate virtues like patience, endurance, and long-suffering to make it through the long night.
Above all, financial freedom is achieved when all of these components are melded together, and you take action.
It is not enough to have worthy goals, a glorious vision, training, experience, etc. The plan of action needs to be energized, and this energy is provided by taking action.
Action means that something physical is accomplished, energy is expended and something occurs.
Often in business meetings, there is much talk about where the company has been, where it currently is and where it needs to go. Often, these meetings are replete with reports and graphs and strategies. However, the most critical aspect of the business meeting agenda is the action items. Those action items include what is going to be done, who is going to do it and when will it be done?
Therefore, it is crucial for you as the director to yell out “action” then proceed according to plan.
In other words, plan the work and then work the plan.
Last Notes on Financial Freedom
By following these important steps to financial freedom, no matter how dire your financial situation is today, it’s always possible to fix it and ultimately achieve your goals. But it all depends on you. If you are willing to put in the required effort to set financial goals, make solid plans for achieving said goals; take massive action, before you know it, you’ll be free. Not to say you won’t face challenges along the way.
The successful people you read about have all come a long way through seemingly unconquerable odds, but by sheer persistence, made it through.
And so can you.