ARE YOU CURRENTLY ON YOUR ROUTE TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Apr 22, 2019 14:37
What is financial independence? Many people have different views and opinions when it comes to this subject. That is why there are so many articles and blog posts yet individuals do not use them in a similar way. What does it mean to you? Again, some people feel it means earning just enough to settle your bills so that you do not rely on your family or even the government for help. Still, to others, it means being out of debts such that you don’t have to depend on credit to get things going. Nonetheless, the meaning of the term is different from the from the ones above. Often initialized as “FI”, it means having sufficient money saved to cater to your needs throughout your life. In this regard, a financially independent person does not have to rely on salary any longer. Once financial independence status has been attained, one does not have to work to earn a living any longer.
While many individuals associate financial independence with retirement, these two concepts don’t need to be connected. It does not mean that once you attain financial independence you must stop working. It simply means you no longer need to get worried about such things as the amount you earn. Even if you do not earn enough from your job, you still can afford to provide for yourself from your savings or some of your investments while still enjoying the things you love most. Now the question is: have you attained Financial Independence? If no, are you heading towards that status?
The following section of this article will address the question: Are You Currently on Your Route to Financial Independence? We will focus on five key steps that will drive you towards financial independence.
The Route to Financial Independence
Financial independence is something you can achieve, though there are some significant steps you need to follow in order to attain it. If you are already putting them into practice, then you are on your route to it. So let us review at least six steps en route for financial independence.
• Have total control of your cash. This is something very easy yet quite challenging to many. The following tips will help in this regard:
a) Spend less than what you receive every month. Know your monthly expenses and in case they surpass what you earn, cut them down. While it may be difficult to do this, it is the basic step you must take.
b) Draft a budget and work with it. Do not overspend. Remember the more you save the better for you.
c) If you are living in debts, try to reduce them because they cost you cash each month. It is impossible to make progress if debts hold you back. Handle credit card liability with a lot of seriousness since it often has the largest interest rate. You can effectively approach it by means of snowball or stocking technique. Just try and get out of debts as fast as you can.
• Slim the Fat. After step one, you are well aware of what takes your money. In fighting for financial independence, knowing cash outflows is a huge step, in fact, it is perceived half the fight. The remaining half involves trimming out the fat. No one can ever become rich when they expend all their cash. Slimming the fat is easy, though you must make some sacrifices. Once you reduce your spending, you will notice the pile up in your money very fast.
If you feel overwhelmed, work on reducing each category in a week. Notably, food expenses are the best starting point because it is an area most people overspend on. For instance, rather than spending on lunch at work, you can start carrying packed food from home. Seeing the much you save every week will serve as a motivation to keep going that route and become even more creative in lessening expenses. Try also to reduce recurring expenses on such things as subscription boxes or even gym membership. For someone struggling for financial independence, such things are just luxuries. In addition, look for ways of reducing your electricity and internet bills.
• Boost your income and productivity. Have you successfully worked on the first two steps? Well, a point may come when there is nothing else to reduce or no fat to slim. Reaching financial independence will require you to be creative and make some extra cash. You can ask for a pay rise and try to give the employer all the reasons why you feel you really deserve and need it. If your employer denies you a raise, you can start searching for a new job. If you realize you have extra time, make it productive.
Avoid an illegitimate waste of time. Imagine if you spend four hours every day watching television or simply relaxing. In a week that will be a total of 28 hours, a nearly full-time job. Use part of these hours productively. Spend them on something that adds you extra cash in the end and facilitates your move en route financial independence. Just ensure you at least have an additional income stream.
• Increase your savings rate. In some cases, it might be difficult to apply the third suggestion because there is no extra time for making extra money. You can still look for a way of making more money without necessarily requiring time, what is referred to as passive income. The best way to achieve this is by investing, an activity that makes cash for you. Basically, you do need money to begin investing, but if you fail to invest, you may never have more money. So start investing with the little you have.
• Make use of correct tools. There are so many tools individuals can use to smoothen their financial independence path. Using the correct tool for the correct job ease things and makes it possible to monitor progress. The tools might help you budget or even control investments automatically. Such tools include betterment, personal capital, and fundraise among others.
Do you need to live a kind of life many people cannot: being financially independent? If yes, then you must do what many people cannot do. In this article, we have reviewed the concept of financial independence. Well, there times you may feel overwhelmed and possibly want to give up. If such feelings emerge, think of how good life can be once you are there. So, keep walking down that route and you will make it.
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